Monday, January 03, 2011

Joel Salatin on Dominion

"If your vision can be accomplished in your lifetime, it's too small." -Joel Salatin

Polyface has been widely praised by sustainable-farming advocates and foodies for its commitment to Earth- and animal-friendly practices, including rotational grass grazing, humane treatment of animals and local processing. Salatin now spends a great deal of time traveling around the world, giving speeches and presentations on how to copy his success; his son Daniel now oversees the day-to-day operations at the farm.

One huge difference — for a commercial farm — is the diversity of products. Polyface has an annual average population of 6,500 laying hens (for eggs), 24,000 broilers (for meat), 1,000 head of cattle, 200 hogs, 500 turkeys and 250 rabbits, according to its website.

“We've mixed it all,” Salatin said. “That diversity, and the scale that we operate at, is unique.”

Another big asset is Salatin's willingness to treat his farm as a viable business and hire sufficient help, he said.

“We're business people, not just farmers — but we run the business with a vision of healing the planet,” he said, before adding, “If your vision can be accomplished in your lifetime, it's too small.”

Salatin fervently believes that smaller-scale farming is the necessary future for America.

“There are 35 million acres of lawn in the United States, if we want to just look at land (that could) produce food,” he said. “There are 26 million acres devoted to housing and feeding recreational horses. Those two combined are enough to feed the country. And we haven't even talked about the golf courses.”

Read the entire article here.

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1 comment:

NW said...

Oh, I like Joel Salatin more and more, every time I see him. I was first introduced to Salatin by Michael Pollan in Defense of Food. Then I heard Salatin at the 2005 Entrepreneurial Bootcamp with Vision Forum. I appreciate what he is doing. With so many folks upset about our dependence on foreign oil, it is amazing that our dependence on unsustainable, foreign farming does not catch as big of an alarm. I agree that small, family farming will become a larger issue/necessity.