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Lessons of Profitable Farming: How One 'Farm School' Hopes to Attract Young Millennials to the Land

Lessons of Profitable Farming: How One 'Farm School' Hopes to Attract Young Millennials to the Land Read Transcript

- If you want to catch aglimpse of what farming's future

could look like, Joel Salatin'sfarm is the place to come.

And wannabe farmers are coming in droves,

hoping to change thedirection of a tradition

that's become known for it's failure

to attract the next generation.

- The overall pool of farming,

it's continuing to age,and get older and older.

I think farming as a vocation

needs hospice.

- [Heather] Adding to theurgency, the transfer of land.

Given the aging andretirement of current farmers,

40% of the nation'sagricultural real estate

will likely change handsin the next two decades.

So why turn to Salatin?

In the past 20 years,

he's grown a small family farminto a 20 person operation

serving 6,000 householdsand 50 restaurants.

He's also acquired aninternational reputation,

spread the word on his unique methods

through more than a dozen books.

His message, to succeedfarming must consider

the environment, the farmers' well-being,

and the bottom-line.

- It's profit that alsoappreciates the ecology

of the situation and thecommunity of the situation.

- [Heather] Salatin talks alot about healing the land

and proves it by farming

with no pesticides,fertilizers, or hormones.

He integrates his animals and land

to create an innovative cycle.

Cattle feed off diverse grasses,followed by broiler chicks

that use the shortened grassto ingest fresh sprouts.

The egg-mobile withfree-range hens comes next.

Hens dig through cow patties

searching for protein-rich larvae,

and their droppings fertilizethe fields all over again.

Salatin wants to spread thenews about his techniques

with books, training, and word of mouth.

- And so, it's all about empowering people

to start or do better withtheir farming enterprise.

- [Heather] Most ofthose who come to learn

are already committed toearth-friendly farming.

A sticking point though is howto make a living off of it.

Salatin's answer is hopealong with practical ideas.

Like his bandsaw mill.

It provides lumber for fencing and barns

that he could otherwise not afford.

In another lesson he talksabout animal behavior

and building in a way thatfacilitates easy movement,

saving time and energy.

Young farmers like John Caldwellsay Salatin inspires them

to pursue farming as acareer and not just a hobby.

- These guys are like, thisis how long it takes us,

this is how much you'regonna get out of it,

this is how you're gonna do this

to get the most profit out of it.

They're very business-oriented,

and that's somethingI'm not used to at all.

- It's not just farming.

You actually have to planthings and prepare for your year

and know what you're doing,and do a lot of research.

- I wanted to see an exampleof a working, diverse,

integrated, multi-generational farm.

That's what is mentioned in the books.

That's the vision thatI think people have,

and I wanted to really see it for myself

and see how it works,

and it absolutely does, and it's awesome.

- They do browse a little bit.

- [Heather] That's becauseSalatin includes his son

and grandchildren as part of the team.

If timing is everything,

Salatin believes farming that'sclean, green, and profitable

gives people a sense of pride,

which fits today's political climate.

More and more he sees bothliberals and conservatives

wanting to take control oftheir lives and make an impact.

- We see a kind of alibertarian undercurrent moving

and certainly Trump issymptomatic of that.

I think that what he represents

is the disempowermentand disenfranchisement.

What he represents is peasantspicking up pitchforks.

- Those pitchforks can be seen in the form

of homeschooling, alternative medicine,

and independent farmers whowant to do right by the land.

The farmers that Salatin istraining are already making

a difference in our foodsupply and could ultimately

change the way our country produces food.

Reporting in the ShenandoahValley, Heather Sells, CBN News.

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