Every thinking American has some level of recognition of the decay that has occurred in our rural communities. Almost everyone can agree that this decline is one of the greatest economic disasters of the last half century.
An important message from a Regenerative Farmer to Concerned Consumers:
Do you believe in Climate Change?
Most thinking people do.
Do you worry about how climate change will impact future generations?
Most compassionate people do.
Do you wish that there was an action, that you could do from the comfort of your home, to cease contributing to climate change and even help to mitigate its incredible ongoing damage?
There is, if you are willing to take action on it.
The power of animal impact: a side by side comparison of grazed versus ungrazed pasture
Once upon a time, there was an industrial commodity farmer who had two sons.
The father and his two sons worked together to produce corn and soybeans in a monoculture. They rotated the two crops year after year on their land, with the fields either dedicated to corn, or to soybeans. This sort of farming practice is called a Monoculture, and it flies in the face of the Natural Systems under which Our Earth evolved. Nature Abhors a Monoculture.
If most consumers knew what I know, they would buy their food directly from a farm.
There are a lot of good reasons to know where your food comes from. The most obvious is that its not a good idea to put anything in your mouth unless you know where it has been.
There are also health, safety, and nutritional concerns. Consumers understand these, and they are certainly important, but there is another whole dimension that I don't think most consumers have contemplated: Consumers literally shape the world with their food dollars.
Scientists tell us that the planet that we live on was once a lifeless rock, spinning around the sun. It would have been black, and brown, and gray, with a poisonous atmosphere. It would have been incredibly hot on one side, with the water vaporized, and incredibly cold on the other side, with the water frozen solid. And, again, lifeless. [think about the pictures that we see of the surface of Mars, or the moon].
Somehow life began. I won't debate on how that occurred, but the fact that we are here makes it inarguable that it did begin. And that was the beginning of many complex and interrelated cycles that transformed the earth from a lifeless rock.
When Jenni (Harris) stepped into the office and asked if we knew what “gumption” was, I was pleased to say that yes, in fact, I DO know what gumption is. She explained that her dad, Will, was just dumbfounded that she and her sister, Jodi, didn’t know what gumption meant. Will’s experience indicated that the meaning of gumption is lost to the younger generation. My intention for posting Will’s words of wisdom is for there to be a revival, of some sort, of this word, but not just the word. A revival of the character it takes to have gumption, which is the core of what is lacking in this day and age. Ironically, even though Will’s daughters had not heard of gumption, much less what it meant, they both inherited MORE than their fair share from their dad. That is one of the highest...
As I reflected on Will Harris’ explanation of the Internship Program at White Oak Pastures, a similarity ran through my mind. Will and Ray Kinsella, the farmer played by Kevin Costner in the 1989 film Field Of Dreams, share a common experience, so to speak. Ray was a baseball fan who either audibly or subconsciously kept hearing “If you build it, he will come.” “He” did come and brought enough men with him to play baseball games in the middle of the farm.
Like that farmer, Will Harris heard the call, but on a much larger scale, and he actually did hear them. He heard the voice of many, very loudly and clearly, time after time, asking to come to White Oak Pastures, and he stepped up to the plate. Will embraced his legacy, this farm, and built White Oak Pastures. Men and women, young and...
Will Harris shares how he evolved from the principles of grazing he was taught at the University of Georgia in the 1970’s, to the holistic management platform he so strongly adheres to and endorses today. Planned grazing is one of the integral components of holistic management that helps generate the benefits of regenerative farming.
“Planned grazing is such a big topic that it’s hard to know where to start, but I’ll just start”, says Will Harris, founder and leader of White Oak Pastures.
Over the millions of years of our earth's evolution, a number of essential cycles were created: the water cycle, the energy cycle, the mineral cycle, the microbial cycle, the carbon cycle, and others.
Over the last 80, or so, years, we have broken all these cycles. We have industrialized, commoditized, and centralized the production of our food. These changes were implemented to make our food cheap and abundant. They were wildly successful in accomplishing these things....
But, the degradation of our land, air, and water, the erosion of the welfare of our livestock, and the impoverishment of rural communities were the unintended, and unnoticed, consequences of these changes.