Acres U.S.A.: Tractor Time

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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 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.

Friday Jul 26, 2019

Hosted by Ben Trollinger / Editor, Acres U.S.A. Hello and welcome to Tractor Time podcast, brought to you by Acres U.S.A., the Voice of Eco-Agriculture. I’m your host, Ben Trollinger, and as always, I want to say thank you to our sponsors, BCS America. You’re probably heard of kamut (kah-moot), also known as khorasan wheat, also known as King Tut’s Wheat. It’s drought resistant and highly nutritious. It’s in organic breakfast cereals. It’s in pasta. People with gluten sensitivity can eat it. Artisan bakers drool over it. It’s one of organic farming’s biggest success stories. It’s a story that’s rooted deep in history and it that might just show us the way forward. I’m joined by Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle, co-authors of Grain by Grain: A Quest to Revive Ancient Wheat, Rural Jobs, and Healthy Food. The book details Quinn’s journey over the last several decades to turn his dryland farm in Big Sandy, Montana into a powerhouse of organic and regenerative agriculture. Through his multi-million dollar heirloom grain company, Kamut International, Quinn has managed to create a durable network of around 200 organic farmers. Quinn was also instrumental in shaping the country’s first organic food standards back in the late 1990s. Before that, in the 1980s, he helped establish standards for his home state.  Liz Carlisle is a lecturer in the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University. Her first book, Lentil Underground, prominently features Bob Quinn’s work and also won the Montana Book Award and the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature. She’s a forager of regenerative agriculture wisdom — and also a recovering country and western singer. 1 hour, 4 minutes

Tuesday Apr 23, 2019

Hosted by Ryan Slabaugh Good day and welcome to Tractor Time podcast brought to you by Acres U.S.A., the Voice of Eco-Agriculture. I’m your host Ryan Slabaugh, and today our episode is focused on soil health, and the philosophies of Glen Rabenberg. Glen has spent a lifetime journey building a system that works across climates and soil types, and in the next hour, we’re going to ask him to walk through his journey, and how he piece together the knowledge – and wisdom – he needed to eventually start his company, Soil Works, which helps so many farmers around the world. As you will also hear, Glen will be leading a farm tour at our Healthy Soil Summit, August 21-22 in Davis, California. Registration is open at www.acresusa.com, and we are only allowing about 150-200 into the event, so sign up soon. Glen is also working with us to produce a series of podcasts we will release this summer focused on short, simple tactics you can employ on your farm to increase and improve your soil life. One other announcement: We will also be opening registration to our annual conference, this year in Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 9-12, in May. We have a ton of great speakers — some new, including Marty Travis, the start farmer in the movie, Sustainable. We really want to see you there – we’ll be talking about biodiversity, regenerative agriculture and diversification tactics and a whole lot more. But today’s program is soil-soil-soil with Glen Rabenberg, and his life journey. Our guest today, Glen Rabenberg is the founder and owner of Soil Works LLC. Born and raised in Bancroft, SD, he graduated from Desmet High School in 1980. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, General Agriculture and Agriculture Economics from South Dakota State University in 1985.  Glen then went to work for Walco International as an Animal Science Technical Advisor. He spent most of the following years with Walco working with animal pharmaceuticals, veterinarians, and farmers. Through his experience he began to notice trends in the animal science industry.  He saw that many of the diseases he was employed to treat were the result of nutritional deficiencies from poor grains and forage that the animals were consuming. Rather than conforming to the traditional methods of soil science, Glen brings his knowledge of animal science and applies it to the soil. Glen continues to search for new ways to restore the soil and aid in the production of quality food.  He aims to “bring soil back to the way nature intended.” He still maintains his third generation farm in Bancroft, SD and travels the world solving the world’s soil problems with a little bit of simplicity and the “rite” tools.

Friday Jan 04, 2019

Hosted by Ryan Slabaugh. Sponsored by Albert Lea Seed. Good day and welcome to Tractor Time podcast brought to you by Acres U.S.A., the Voice of Eco-Agriculture. We are happy to be bringing you another episode, our 1st of season 3 starting this year, and 24th overall. On today’s program, we’re going to honor our 2018 Eco-Ag Award winner, who we celebrated in December at our 43rd annual conference. Jeff Moyer, is a longtime organic farmer, author, lecturer. His work with Rodale Institute, both in hands-on farming and as executive director, is advancing the state of the art of organic agriculture and building bridges to bring these methods to mainstream, conventional farmers. His talk at our conference was aimed at helping farmers see the future of the organic certification industry, and how words like “regenerative” and “sustainable” are already being fought about in the advertising board rooms across the world. “Like it or not, we’re in a food fight,” he says. “Right now, organic is in the middle of that fight. So is the word regenerative. And sustainable. And sustainability.” Other past winners who have showed up on the Tractor Time podcast have included Dr. Vandana Shiva, who won in 2017, Gary Zimmer in 2011, Ronnie Cummins in 2009, Joel Salatin in 2006, and Neal Kinsey in 2003. Learn more about Rodale Institute here.  

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