Acres U.S.A.: Tractor Time

Soil

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.

Friday Oct 15, 2021

On this episode we’re listening in on a recent virtual event for André Leu’s new book, Growing Life: Regenerating Farming and Ranching. And he’s getting a little help from his friends, Vandana Shiva and Ronnie Cummins. Leu, Shiva and Cummins go way back and co-founded Regeneration International back in 2015. The organization promotes food, farming and land-use systems that regenerate and stabilize climate systems, the health of the planet and people. In addition to being the international director for that group, Leu is also a farmer in Australia and the author of The Myths of Safe Pesticides and Poisoning Our Children. We here at Acres U.S.A. are proud to be the publisher of all of his books. I should also mention that he’s speaking at our Eco-Ag Conference in Columbus Ohio in December. Go to ecoag.acresusa.com for more information on that. Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmental thinker, activist, feminist, philosopher of science, writer and science policy advocate. She is the founder of Navdanya Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in India and President of Navdanya International. She is a prolific writer, speaker and author, and recipient of numerous awards. Find her books Food, Farming & Health and Oneness vs the 1% in the Acres U.S.A. bookstore. Ronnie Cummins is co-founder and International Director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and its Mexico affiliate, Via Organica. Cummins has been active as a writer and activist since the 1960s. Over the past two decades he has served as director of US and international campaigns dealing with sustainable agriculture issues including food safety, genetic engineering, factory farming, and global warming. You can find his book, Grassroots Rising: A Call to Action on Climate, Farming, Food and Green New Deal in the acresusa.com bookstore.

Friday Sep 24, 2021

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.

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