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Joel Salatin.

Notes • Jesse Cool intro: o “conscious and conscientious farming and cooking” o organic was not always mainstream, and to hear that word applied to what we do is humbling.

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Polyface Farms: “we’re not just two-faced, we’re many faced” Shenendoah Valley: bread-basket for the Confederacy during the war of Northern aggression o Full of buffalo, elk, prairie chickens, pheasants, wolves, coyotes, bears

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“chickens expressing their chicken-ness” parts oriented wholism, community based, about us, we are all relative, the whole is worth more than the sum of the partsa world-view from the east, not what we get here forests: o important for transpiration, hydrological cycle, wildlife, carbon sequestration o like any resource its greatest stewardship is created when we have a value associated with it o “I’ll be very transparent with you, this is full disclosure, I’m a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic” o sell a lot of firewood from the farm, which people come to pick up, don’t deliver o we give men in our community a reason to own a pick-up truck to justify it to their wives o use highly capitalized equipment, when it becomes obsolete it is very hard for the family to transition  using multiple use equipment frees up the next generation

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by having multiple use with our infrastructure so its all portable and easily adaptable to other things

part of our ministry is to create food and fiber experiences that are so sensual pleasing that we can incorporate the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker so people can see what goes in the front door and what comes out the back door our communist machine: makes all the lumber all the same size cows are dropping 50 pounds of material every day out their back ends cattle feeding: o bedding of manure and hay, add corn to it to ferment, cows tromp on it and get out all the oxygen which makes it even more fermented o the feeding trough is on pulleys so it can accommodate the growing compost layer o then, bring in the pigerator

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Pigs go in and go after the corn—they love to do it o This allows the pigs to fully express their pig-ness—their individual physiological distinctiveness

The US-Duh (USDA): o Only thing that matters is can we grow it faster, fatter, bigger and cheaper o We all know that’s not the only goal

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Our culture views these animals as so many pounds of protoplasmic material A culture that views this life in that disrespectful dishonoring way of hubris will view its own citizens the same way, and other cultures the same way Suddenly we have an ethic, a seamless ethic, that runs from field to fork o That’s the way you build an ethic o Our culture would regain its moral high-ground in the world

if it moved to a little more humility instead of hubris • Suddenly we build a sacredness and a mobility to this mundane task of eating and drinking and making merry. Its not just fatter, faster, bigger, cheaper. There are other issues involved. The problem is we’ve called our manure waste. California is now burning manure to create electricity. Isn’t it disingenuous what we look down upon cultures like India that scavenge native forests for electricity—this is no worse. Urban Dilbert Cubical Refugees For a century farmers have been trying to figure out how to get their stuff to market, but now the market is coming to us Facility is multiple use o Architecturally, this is the way the third world builds. • This creates team persona with the animals. Those pigs are just bacon, they are fellow team players in this great healing sacred calling! The pigs are then released to the pastures. o They tear up an area when they are in it, but this is very short term disturbance  A lot of progress happens in life with short-term disturbance. Our times of growth as people, and learning, are short-term disturbances. Exams, difficult conversations, etc are short-term disturbances, but are also times of growth and movement.

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o Gradually, what you get is the encroachment of a savannah  We never planted a seed, we didn’t do any tillage; its simply very very carefully timed disturbance.

o The pigs finish on acorns in the forest. • When you begin using the kinds of systems we do, if that were widespread it would completely turn around the halls of power and politics in this movement, and there are a lot of people in Wall Street that don’t want to see that

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“our pigs have a great life and one bad day” By having the kind of relationship we have with these pigs, allowing them to have a fully joyful and ebullient experience, we respect them enough to take them. o Its like when the Native Americans harvested the buffaloes, there were rituals to respect the taking of life.

The great fertile areas of the world were built by herbivores. o We are still today harvesting the carbon sequestered from buffaloes, biomass and predators.

How do these herbivores function so that there is a symbiotic relationship? o They are always mobbed up because of predation, which makes them interact with the soil, each other, and the forage differently o It completely changes the social logistical impact of the herbivore on the land o Secondly, they are always moving  They move away from yesterday’s excrement

o The third thing is, they are mowing!  • They aren’t eating dead cows, chicken manure, etc.

I don’t get how the US-Duh, which taught us this new scientific technique of feeding cows by grinding up dead cows and feeding them to live ones, is now trying to make itself the repository of food safety. Why would anyone trust the USDA? They brought us mad cow disease. Say it with me, the three Ms: Mobbing, Mowing and Moving We can graze at much higher stock density than previously believed We are stocking over 100 head on a ¼ per day o By letting the grass go to physiological expression it lignfies, and that lignification makes a brown starchy product that feeds the earthworms and soil microorganisms

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Long intervals between times of very controlled disturbance If every cow in the US were managed with this bio-mimicry in fewer than ten years we would sequester all of the carbon that has been emitted since the beginning of the industrial age o Bio-mimicry: cape buffalo in Namibia vs. cows and electric fence in Swope, VA o This is nothing new…

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The government can never innovate anything because it has to please 51% of the people, by definition Portable shaded loafing shelter o So we don’t drop the manure under the trees where it can attract pathogens etc

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Gravity gives us 80 PSI of water anywhere on the farm Before antibiotics, how did cows exist? o What follows every herd of herbivores in nature? Birds! o Bird scratch at the cow patties, eat out the fly larvae, and sanitize the manure

We can have a healing environment AND a healing economy, but its not going to be done with organic industrial chicken houses, its going to be done with a radical departure, a 180 degree turn, from the industrial paradigm Embedded food system: butcher, baker and candlestick maker back the in the community o Aesthetically pleasing instead of fecal concentration camp

I’m not a luddite, okay. I love technology, but only technology that enhances the environment to allow the chicken to better express its chicken-ness. We have all these species, but not at concentrations too high With these kinds of systems you make so much money you have to hire someone to take it to the bank Only line bred no outside genetic forage fed flock in the nation

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We’ve got a problem in our culture when the only animal interaction that anyone has is with a pet o When animal right-ists say that we should never complete the cycle of death, regeneration and new life is to not indicate a new transcendence to some state of nirvana that we’ve moved away from this animal thing, its actually showing a newly devolved state into the pit of disconnection

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Rabbit genetic line: selects for liver health Deep bedding that grows a lot of bugs, a lot of nematodes, keeps the chicks healthy Floorless feed shelters that we move every day, only one day per spot for the entire year Ultimate age economy miniaturized and down-scaled Dining is one of the most intimate thngs that we do, we are taking stuff into our bodies, next to the act of marriage that is a pretty intimate thing to do “Prostitution food”: where’s the courtship, where’s the knowledge, where’s the build-up that makes it real and special and bearable? All of this is a choreograph to try to mimic what nature does Its familial, its relational, its enjoyable, its not cooped up in some dank clotted room somewhere o Its rural heritage, its community

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Seasonality of spring and rest, spring and rest also creates breaks in our own life disturbances so its not the same thing day after day after day o With industrial agriculture we have built an immunodeficient system, we can’t even let people come on our farms

Food studies now confirm that if what you are eating has a good story behind that you know, you actually digest your food better o Empirical studies that show the value of having knowledge about your food

One of our favorite things to do is go and cook sausage samples on site and feed them to the children of vegetarians o When people learn that this is the fastest way to heal the planet we have made a lot of conversions

Develops a farm that will romance the next generation into it, which is the ultimate test of sustainability o The joy of my life is that we have four generations living on the farm—the ultimate test of sustainability is does it pass that generational test?

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To be able to find a haven of dreams, go find yours In our community we are a typhoid mary o Our neighbors really believe our free range chickens are going to transport diseases to their Tyson chicken houses that they have a $500,000 mortgage on and wipe them out and destroy the earth o They really believe that we are jeopardizing the planet’s health o That is what wall street preaches

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This movement is a very grassroots, eclectic, movement You have a very cloistered community that allows itself to think non-wall-street-ified o Much of the country is entirely beholden to the conquistadores on wall street. They don’t wear those Spanish uniforms anymore.

What we represent is true food security and there are a lot of interests in the world that don’t want us to be food secure o There area lot of people that profit on us being dependent on the industrial system

How does my faith influence what I do? o My friends in the religious right don’t agree with a lot of what I do o Conflict between pro-life and environmentalist values

o Simplistic terms are not always easy to come by o All of those traditions bring some assets and some liabilities to the plate. We have to recognize we are all inconsistent, and we should not take ourselves so seriously o I believe in the divine creation and that I am a pilgrim here to shepherd this back to the garden of Eden status o Women are the nurterers. My ministry is one of nurturing, and I think that if a lot of people on wall street had a little more femininity in them and took their turns sitting up with the sick baby at night maybe they would be a little more caretaking of creation than people who are operating on testosterone and hubris • Is the food you produce a luxury/elitist item? o The largest food corporations in the world are not in the food business, they are in the recreation and entertainment business. o The fact is that when we look at cost, if we buy unprocessed direct from a farmer and cook it ourselves it is a lot cheaper than processed corn syrup in the store.  Potatoes: 9 cents each, frozen pre-prepared French fries: $1.20 pound

o We tend to make time and money for what is important to us. o This food that we have is honestly priced, the food in the grocery store is not honestly priced. They outsource the pollution, the social upheaval, all sorts of problems that that food engenders. When we talk about price we say that all the costs is in there, and if everyone farmed like we did we wouldn’t need a department of Environmental Quality. The fact is that the supermarket price is not an honest price. Our food is the cheapest food in the world. Once you factor in the environmental costs of everything that is out there in the industry, our food is cheap. o Let me also quickly say that much of the cost of local food is attributable to onerous government regulation which is not scalable to local production o Between my field and your fork is a host of chicken police

that want to deny you freedom of choice to feed your three trillion member community what you want to have instead of what the government wants you to have  We are being denied the biggest freedom of all, the choice to eat what we want to eat, that makes it enjoyable to exercise our other freedoms of religion, owning guns, etc.

Every single climate has assets and liabilities, there is no paradise this side of eternity o The asset here is that when it doesn’t rain you can stockpile forage that doesn’t degrade as quickly in your low humidity o The fact is, if I did this presentation in Swope, none of them would believe this works either. The fact is, to not duplicate it but to take the principle, the rest periods, the short term disturbance, the multi speciation and diversification. What you are seeing is half a century of stewardship. We didn’t start this yesterday, and it takes time. o Every time I come out to the NW I just get green with envy thinking “man if I could have these people!”

As a city boy, how can I get into what you are talking about? o I am a firm believe is that when a student is ready, a teacher will appear. o My question is what are you doing where you are to blossom? o If all you’ve got is a window box, grow a window box. If all you’ve got is a postage stamp, grow a postage stamp o We make our opportunities. You have to put yourself in the place where those opportunities can show themselves to you. o I’ve got a stack of letters on my desk of old people seeking a young person to inherit their farms to. o We are in an unprecedented time of having an abundance of land that does not need to be purchased. In the next 15 years, 50% of America’s farmland will change hands.

o What’s lacking is bright-eyed bushy-tailed self starters. • Is anyone in the Obama administration paying attention? o They pay lip-service, but they say it quietly so the Farm Bureau Administration doesn’t here o The chairman of the house Ag committee (D-Minnesota) is o Wal-mart has pioneered micro-chipping for tracking. The USDA is taking this technology under the guise of food safety and wanting to micro-chip every single animal in the US. This is very much a plan to eliminate local farmers. o I don’t want to scare you, but I want to scare you. o We really believe that we should have the freedom of choice to choose raw milk if we want to, but the people in Washington don’t believe we are capable of making that choice o There are great powers that think they are saving us from ourselves with these regulations. o Dennis Avery: Saving the Planet with Pesticides and Plastics o Every bulletin you see that comes out of credential sources is a lie. Every single one. Every one. o The fact is that all these little latin squiggly words that we’ve all learned to say in the last 20 years. Now we all say them, they flow off the tongue. What this is, these words we’ve learned to say with impunity, this is nature screaming to us, saying ENOUGH. Who will listen? The conquistadores are still making the decisions, and it is up to you and me, and our sphere of influence, to say I’m listening, and I care. • How do you think we can work on developing rural communities around areas to inspire young people to go back to rural areas? o Concerned about not having a support network…mostly social interaction of young, like-minded people o The question is well-stated. I’m going to tell you that for me, when I started my community was my customers. It was not the area farmers, because to the local farmers I was a lunatic, and still am. You have to find your support group, and for me it was our customers. Our customers

want us to be more successful than we do. One season we had a bad season, we had a predator that took a bunch of the chickens, and we were short of chickens and had bills to pay. One customer shoved something in my pocket and said, “I need you to stay in business.” It was a $100 bill. o Your community of patrons will enthuse you, encourage you, and be your support network. Honestly, most of your neighbor farmers want to get out of it anyway. • May the cucumber beetles not find your cucumbers, may the foxes be blind, amy the gophers go to someone else’s fields, may you find your dreams, may you find your expression, and blessings on you in your life.