Acres U.S.A.: Tractor Time

Acres U.S.A.: The Voice of Eco-Agriculture. Our guests are the top names in modern farming and ecology, including doctors, agronomists, authors, soil scientists and more. Hosted by Ben Trollinger, editor of Acres U.S.A. magazine

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Tuesday Nov 15, 2022

In this episode ... and this is quite the invitation … we’re going to make you a bit uncomfortable. We’re going to talk about a lot of things going on in eco-agriculture and regenerative agriculture, but we’re not going to talk about soil health. In fact, we’re going to talk about money. We’re going to talk about the challenges built into the booming interest in the regenerative ag industry, what pieces are missing, and how the investors lining up at the gate can help – or they can hurt.
To explore these topics, we’ll be talking with Lauren Manning, the owner of Ozark Pasture Beef and senior associate at Croatan Institute, an independent, nonprofit research and action institute whose mission is to build social equity and ecological resilience by leveraging finance to create pathways to a just economy. She talked to us from her farm in Arkansas, where it had just snowed for a little November surprise – or shock – but she still found a moment to talk.
Tractor Time is brought to you by Sea-90 Ocean Minerals!  Sea-90 offers complete nutrient support for today’s farm, homestead, and ranch. With more than 90 minerals and trace elements in nature’s perfect balance, Sea-90 re-mineralizes soil, increases nutrient density, and elevates the vitality of your animals.  
Phone:  (770) 361-6092
Thank you for listening. You can learn more about Acres U.S.A. at

Thursday Oct 20, 2022

On today’s episode of Acres U.S.A's Tractor Time sponsored by microBIOMETER, we’re going to live under the soil. We want to invite you too. Imagine a world where you could peek under your crops and see and hear what is going on. Where you could look into your flowerpot on your windowsill and see a whole universe of life. What you’d see would not only resemble Times Square, but Times Square Times Times Square times Times Square … or something like that. The cycle of life and the intelligence of nature is fully, and beautifully, at work.
We are joined today by Laura Decker, the owner and operator of microBIOMETER, Dr. James White, a professor of plant biology at Rutgers, and Jeff Lowenfels, the author of several books, including a new one, Teaming with Bacteria. In our conversation, you will hear us try to establish why microbiology is an important topic for all farmers and ranchers today, and then go deep into what we know. How nutrients are brought to plants. How water can be stored. How nature resists some technology we are trying to force into it today. In the end, you’ll hear Jeff Lowenfels compare mycorrhizal fungi to the free love concept, we (unofficially) nominate Dr. James White for a Nobel Peace Prize, and Laura Decker talks about the future.
Lowenfels is the author of the latest book, Teaming with Bacteria. You can find it, and all of his books, at His entire collection is 30% off right now. Shop here"
Dr. White will be speaking in December at the Eco-Ag Conference & Trade Show in Covington, Kentucky. Laura Decker will be there too. So will I. We’ll see you there as well. You can register at
Improving the health of your soil is essential to increasing your output, but how can you tell if you are making progress? Research shows that microbial biomass — fungi and bacteria — is the leading indicator of soil health. Living soil fixes nutrients, improves plant immunity, stores water more efficiently and builds soil structure, therefore, a healthy level of microbes increases productivity while reducing inputs. There are more microbes in a handful of living soil than there are humans on this planet. We are just now starting to understand how vital the symbiosis is between plants and these microorganisms. 
microBIOMETER® is a low cost, fast, on-site soil test for microbial biomass and fungal to bacterial ratio that allows you to quickly determine the health of your soil.  Order direct at Frequent retesting provides you with the data necessary to assess your soil management practice.

Monday Sep 26, 2022

On this episode we welcome Anne Biklé and David Montgomery, as well as co-host Sarah Day Levesque, to the program.
Anne and David recently published What Your Food Ate, a deep dive into the research around regenerative agriculture tactics. They read hundreds of research papers, talked with dozens of practitioners and ended up … hopeful. Listen in as they talk about their book, how they see us building a more resilient human being through changing our food supply to focus on nutrient density, microbiology and plain old common sense.
49 minutes. Hosted by Ryan Slabaugh. Listen to the episode to find a way to save 10% on their new book at

Thursday Jan 13, 2022

On this episode we welcome Anneliese Abbott.
Her name may be familiar to Acres U.S.A. readers. She writes a monthly column called History of Organic Agriculture in America. It’s a must read that’s always full of surprises — and so is her first book, Malabar Farm: Louis Bromfield, Friends of the Land, and the Rise of Sustainable Agriculture.
The book explores the life and legacy of a famous, Pulitzer Prize-wining novelist who became an Ohio-based, hard-partying prophet of a new kind of agriculture in the post-war era. It’s fascinating story that involves everything from Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall to wild parties, boxer dogs and techniques that now make up the foundation of sustainable agriculture.
Abbott studied plant and soil science at The Ohio State University. She ran a Michigan CSA for four years. She’s now a graduate student in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Thursday Dec 23, 2021

Rick Clark is a fifth-generation farmer based in Warren County, Indiana, but he’s been spreading the no-till, organic gospel far and wide for the last few years. He gave a keynote address at the Acres U.S.A. Healthy Soil Summit back in the summer. And just this month he was a featured speaker at the Acres U.S.A. Eco-Ag Conference in Columbus, Ohio.
And if you’ve ever heard Rick speak, you know how much of an evangelist he is for soil health and ecological farming. His enthusiasm is infectious. He’s definitely not hiding his light under a bushel.
In fact, big food brands have started taking notice of Clark’s production methods. Rick was named Danone’s Sustainable Farmer of the Year in 2017. And Land O’ Lakes recently recognized his work with an Outstanding Sustainability Award.
So why is Clark getting this attention? Because he’s proving that an obsessive focus on soil health — and not just on yield — can work at a commercial scale.
His family has farmed near Williamsport, Indiana since the 1880s. Today, the family is producing organic corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and more on 7,000 acres. Clark is quick to point out that they were, historically, among the worst offenders in terms of excessive tillage and toxic chemistry.
But over the last 15 years or so, that’s all changed. Today, Clark is proving that no-till organic production methods can lead to both a profitable business and a healthy, balanced ecosystem. Yes, that means no till, no pesticides, no herbicides, no synthetic fertilizers. But it isn’t just about what he isn’t doing. Clark is also perfecting the craft of cover crops as well as the use of livestock within cropping systems. Clark says his strategy is to work with Mother Earth to create self-sustaining, closed loop ecological systems that are teeming with biodiversity. But he’s also obsessed with collecting data and using technology to his benefit. What he’s not obsessed with is yield. To him, it’s almost a five-letter word. The most important consideration, for Clark, is the long-term health of his land. And his vision might just be the future of agriculture.
To find our more about Rick Clark, visit


The Voice of Eco-Agriculture

Founded in 1971, we strive to be lifelong educational partners for farmers, ranchers and growers of all kinds. We strongly believe to farm economically, you must farm ecologically. 

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