A Word About Sustainable Agriculture

After I mentioned Polyface farmer Joel Salatin, of Virginia, Allan Wall, who grew up on a farm in the Heartland, sent this message: "My brother and his wife (who live a mile away from us) have 8 kids and homeschool. They have a dairy farm, sheep and poultry and sell mutton, lamb and eggs at a Farmer's Market each Saturday. They have a relatively small acreage, but rotate the dairy cows incessantly and utilize an 'eggmobile' for the hens and eggs. (I think they got that idea from Joel.)

Another 'guru' (using the word in the sense of a teacher and not a Hindu teacher) my brother keeps up with (who also runs in Joel's circles) is Allan Nation, the pasture expert. Nation encourages farmers and ranchers to obtain as much nutrition as possible for cows or other livestock from pasture. That, of course, implies different sorts of pasture in different places. A few years ago, my brother and his family won a Sustainable Agriculture award.

[In contrast] Big Agribusiness emphasizes things like those horrible feedlots where cows are trapped 24/7 and those horrible chicken houses where chickens are trapped in metal cages their whole miserable short lives. And, of course, hiring illegal aliens to do farm work. But these sorts of Salatin/Nation type operations have the potential of helping family farms get by with less land and without illegal labor."

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