Acres U.S.A.: Tractor Time

agriculture

Episodes

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 Bookstore.AcresUSA.com.

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 www.farmgreen.land.

Monday Nov 22, 2021

On this episode we welcome Nicolette Hahn Niman. The name might sound familiar to some of you. She’s married to the pioneering California rancher Bill Niman, for one, but you might also know her as the author of two seminal works on ethical meat production, Righteous Porkchop and Defending Beef. Over the years, the former vegetarian and environmental attorney has become a passionate and outspoken advocate for sustainable food production and improved animal welfare. She’s published pieces on those topics in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, HuffPost, and The Atlantic. And Chelsea Green has just published a new and expanded edition of Defending Beef: The Ecological and Nutritional Case for Meat. A lot has happened since the first edition of the book was published back in 2007. Since then, cattle have become nearly synonymous with human-caused climate change and environmental destruction. But are cattle inherently bad? Or … is there another side to the argument? In this conversation, you’ll hear why she believes cattle, and other grazing animals, can be used as tools for restoring both human health and ecological balance. Beef, Niman argues, doesn’t have to remain an environmental villain. She believes that wisely managed livestock can help repair ecosystems, fight climate change and improve human health — all at the same time.    

Friday Nov 12, 2021

For the last twenty years, Beth Hoffman has worked as a journalist covering food and farming. Her work has been featured on NPR's Morning Edition, The Guardian, Latino USA, and the News Hour. She’s also taught journalism at university. And now she considers herself a full-time farmer. Although she lived much of her life on the west coast, in the San Francisco area specifically, she and her husband moved to rural Iowa a few years ago with the dream of taking over his family’s 530-acre farm. She tells that story in her new book, Bet the Farm: The Dollars and Sense of Growing Food in America, out now from Island Press. The book is part memoir and part exploration of the current state of the family farm. Use the coupon code NOVPOD at the acresusa.com bookstore for 10 % off on all titles.

Copyright 2020 Acres U.S.A. All rights reserved.

Podcast Powered By Podbean