Acres U.S.A.: Tractor Time

pollinators
Tractor Time #61:Indigenous Agriculture (w/ Kelsey Ducheneux-Scott)

4 days ago

On this episode of Tractor Time we welcome fourth generation South Dakota rancher Kelsey Ducheneaux-Scott. Kelsey is the director of programs for the Intertribal Agriculture Council, which seeks to build and restore indigenous foodways in Native American communities. She’s also a co-owner of DX Beef, a direct-to-consumer grassfed beef operation on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. That’s where she grew up and that’s where she ranches today with her family. She’s passionate about soil health, land stewardship, education and bringing nutritious food to her community. She received a bachelor’s in Rangeland Management from South Dakota State University, a master’s of agriculture in Integrated Resource Management from Colorado State University, and she’s currently closing in on a doctorate in education at Northcentral University. Even though she’s still only in her 20s, she’s emerged as an important voice within the regenerative agriculture. For more information about Kelsey, visit dxbeef.com.

Tractor Time #60: Talking Plants, Smart Insects and a New Farm Language

Wednesday Aug 18, 2021

On this episode we’re discussing talking plants and smart insects with entomologist and author Dr. Joe Lewis. Lewis spent his career in entomology with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service at the Tifton Campus of the University of Georgia. It was there that he worked to unlock the secrets of how plants and insects communicate with one another, particularly how plants use SOS signals to recruit beneficial insects to their defense. Based on those groundbreaking insights, Lewis and his colleagues developed holistic and sustainable approaches to pest management within agricultural systems. In 2008, along with his colleagues John A, Pickett and James H. Tumlinson, Lewis received the prestigious Wolf Prize in Agriculture. Although Lewis has published papers in many academic and scientific journals, he’s just published his first book for Acres U.S.A. It’s call A New Farm Language: How a Sharecropper’s Son Discovered a World of Talking Plants, Smart Insects, and Natural Solutions. The book tells the story of Joe Lewis’s humble beginnings as the son of an illiterate Mississippi sharecropper and the hardscrabble, yet happy childhood he spent raising chickens and growing cotton. It was on that small, rented farm, which had no electricity or indoor plumbing, that Lewis developed a fondness for nature that would set him on an unlikely path toward becoming an eminent scientist and innovator. More than a memoir, A New Farm Language is a manifesto and mission statement confronting the abuses of industrial agriculture and defending the value of strong communities and natural solutions.    

Tractor Time #57: Jesse Frost on No-Till Farming and Creating Living Soil

Thursday Jun 24, 2021

On this episode we welcome the No-Till Titan himself, Jesse Frost. Frost owns and operates Rough Draft Farmstead with his wife, Hannah Crabtree. The farm is an organic, no-till market garden based in Lawrenceburg Kentucky. It sells at area farmers’ markets and offers a CSA service. Frost is also the host of the No-Till Market Garden podcast. And for Frost, the show grew out of a sense of service and necessity. He saw that there was a dearth of information on how to make no-till practices work for small-scale vegetable farmers and he decided to do something about it. In the process, he’s built up a thriving community of farmers who are eager to share ideas and best practices. In addition to his essential podcast, Frost also has an incredible new book out from Chelsea Green Publishing called The Living Soil Handbook: The No-Till Grower’s Guide to Ecological Market Gardening. This episode also features an interview with investigative journalist Carey Gillam on an environmental disaster at an ethanol plant in Nebraska and an ongoing lawsuit over dicamba drift in Texas.

Tractor Time Episode 27: Jodi Helmer, Author, Protecting Pollinators

Wednesday Mar 27, 2019

Good day and welcome to Tractor Time, brought to you by Acres USA, the Voice of Eco-Agriculture. I’m your host, Ryan Slabaugh, and it feels like a spring day here in Greeley, Colorado, where we are recording episode 27 on this 20th day of March in 2019. It’s been a very interesting week in eco-agriculture, and while I don’t want to get too much into the news, it’s worth mentioning that we have a bunch of customers lose buildings to the heavy winds and flooding in the Midwest and out near our offices, we are following another Monsanto trial that decided the behemoth is responsible for informing its users about the potential risks, including cancer, and the European Union has decided to investigate both Monsanto and Exxon’s involvement in climate change denials. So the pressure’s on. A lot of people I’ve talked to think a vacuum is coming, where Roundup will be replaced by something … and we know the toxic race is on, but we sure hope some farmers can find a way to use nutrient-based farming techniques on part of their land. At least, that’s why we are here today. We are going to talk to Jodi Helmer, a journalist, gardener and author of six books, who with Island Press is releasing a new book, Protecting Pollinators (Island Press, available in the Acres U.S.A. bookstore.) We wanted to take this chance to talk bees and butterflies … and even long-nosed bats. We haven’t had an episode dedicated to this topic yet, so we needed one, as we know pollinators are one of the secret ingredients for growing food that we’ve neglected to include in a lot of our commercial agriculture systems. We’ll learn more about where we are with this today, how the protect the bees movement is doing, and what we can do with the land we own, rent and work at to help foster a better environment.

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