Nicholas Covey wrote:Chris,
After you returned from your internship in Missouri I heard you speak to the effect that grazers could not compete with corn farmers. Since that time with your other internships and further experiences, does that still ring true to you?
I feel that in order to really destroy the grips that Big Ag has on this country, and on the farmers, is to make it profitable to do things a better way. Thus it's my goal to find a way to convert flatland row-crop fields into something both profitable and sustainable. Without profitability, converting farmers to the cause is a lofty goal as sustainability to them is a largely irrelevant novelty unless it's profitable.
My thoughts have been some sort of polyculture of high density perennial forage mob grazed with a polycultural mob of cattle, sheep, geese, chickens, and is some areas swine and ducks.
Chris Stelzer wrote: I think most of the farming issues in this country are directly related to government policy and printing money out of thin air... although those are just my opinions.
Nicholas Covey wrote:Chris, Let me give you a more detailed background...
In January I found myself unemployed so I went back to work for my father, who is a rowcrop/cattle farmer. I have helped around the farm for the last few months, as I did before I went off to college. So with many many hours locked in a tractor I discovered your podcast after listening to your Jack Spirko interview. Having also listened to Paul (In small doses... ) I have come to question the procedures that we spend so much time and effort on. I heard the Gabe Brown interview and took a lot away from it. However, the interview regarding the actual issues with glyphosate was what really lit a fire under me. If nothing else, we are spreading a large quantity antibiotic all over the place, and our farm is no exception.
I know that I have an opportunity to make a change here as I have access to land. However, as we are from Missouri... you have to show us. I have to make it look good, pay out, and in reality it has to outproduce what we have already. I am pretty sure that I can produce well on our pastures (which are on hilly ground consequently) but I feel like if the farm is to be truly off the hook to the USDA/Monsanto/Dow Chemical subsidy cow then we need to get out of the rowcrop business completely. Thus I feel that I need to be able to produce something comparable in "value" on that same flatland... without Roundup.
keep certain traditions their family has done for generations alive