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The Thriving Farmer Podcast

The Thriving Farmer Podcast

Author: Michael Kilpatrick

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If you’re looking to build a profitable farm that works, The Thriving Farmer Podcast is for you. Learn the latest tricks and strategies from successful farmers, strategize with in-depth interviews with leaders in the industry, and connect with stories of farmers just like you. With over 15 years of farming background, your host Michael Kilpatrick has the experience and authority to bring you practical advice, ask the hard questions, tease out the gold nuggets, and help share what it’s really like to build a truly profitable, sustainable farm. In the interviews, we focus on building farms that last, setting up your systems, knowing your customers, building your team, and treading that ever-challenging work/family/life balance.
10 Episodes
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Ep 10. What FSMA really means with the Vermont Produce Safety Team
In This Episode: >> The differences between Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) >> An explanation of FMSA exemptions >> A discussion of common food safety myths >> How systems and record-keeping are the foundation of food safety plans Quotes from the Episode: "Food safety is a constant improvement process...it's about thinking intentionally about produce safety and adopting good practices to try to minimize risk" "You can't clean what you can't see and you can't sanitize what you can't clean" About the Guests: Andy Chamberlin grew up on his families Vegetable Farm in Underhill, Vermont. After going to school for mechanical engineering, and entering the workforce he discovered he needed to be out and about, making a difference in peoples lives, and the passion for farming never wilted away. Now, as an Ag Engineer for UVM Extension, he gets to work with fruit and vegetable farms in Vermont, and the North East educating farmers on produce safety and post-harvest handling, trying to improve the lives and business of the people that he works with. Chris Callahan is the Extension Associate Professor of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Vermont. His work focuses on the application of the engineering practice to food systems. Specific engagement is with food producers, processors, and distributors to improve efficiency, quality, safety and cost control through integration of technology, systems integration and process controls Hans Estrin is a Produce Safety Specialist for UVM Extension. He co-develop UVM’s Practical Produce Safety Program in 2010, and since 2014, has developed and coordinate the Community Accreditation for Produce Safety (CAPS) with the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association. As an On Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) lead for Extension, Hans provides on-farm technical support to help Vermont growers comply with FSMA and meet market expectations. Hans is an AFDO certified PSR trainer in produce safety, and regularly co-leads Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower training courses. Hans also coordinates UVM Extension’s Post Harvest Team, focused on a team approach to integrating efficiency, profitability and food safety on Vermont Produce Farms. Hans further supports the development of local produce markets and businesses; He co-founded the Windham Farm and Food Network (now Food Connects), helped launch VT Dinners and Manadnock Menus, and has supported the start-up other Vermont Food Hubs. In his former career, Hans taught high school science for decades, around the globe, and worked on several produce farms.
Ep 9. Rachel Sprout Yeats of Six Toed Fox Organics
In This Episode: >>  Overview of small scale organic farming in New Zealand and how they focus on wholesale marketing streams >>  How they balance the demands of their 3-acre vegetable operation while raising 3 children >>  Their productions methods using no-till, deep organic, and permaculture principles >>  Rachel's long-term perspective of hiring a team About the Guest: Rachel Yeats manages Six Toed Fox Organics, a newly established 3-acre certified organic market garden in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, growing a diverse range of crops & cut flowers for direct retail at the farmers market & through an online store, and specializing in greens and herbs for wholesale. Rachel is passionate about lean and holistic management, and applying ecological and equitable practices on her farm to ensure a sustainable, resilient, triple bottom line output in a four-season context. Six Toed Fox Organics has quickly become a leader in the NZ organic greens market, and Rachel emphasizes the importance of building relationships with customers at both a personal and commercial level, accompanied by a quality product; as well as attracting and retaining a passionate crew to build a successful and skilled team with longevity. Rachel uses a permaculture lens to design and manage the farm and its team - you won't find any herb spirals or swales, but everything is carefully planned and monitored with a whole systems approach, including the finances; starting with an abundance mindset of "we can, if..." to find creative solutions to every problem.
Ep 7  Linley Dixon of Adobe House Farm
In This Episode: >> Her journey from PhD to becoming a farmer and getting involved in the organic movement >> The challenges of finding land and securing water rights in the Western US >> How Eliot Coleman and Wendall Berry have inspired her >> Her involvement in the Real Organic Project and the importance of integrity and transparency in organic farming About the Guest: Linley Dixon owns a 5-acre mixed vegetable farm in Durango Colorado, marketing through Southwest Farm Fresh (a farmer-owned cooperative), farm to school, and the Durango farmers market). She farms with her husband, brother and 8-year-old daughter. She holds a MS in Plant and Soil Science from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Florida. In addition, she held a 2-year post-doctorate with the USDA’s Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory where she studied fungal plant pathogens from around the world. Her research involved studying the impact of farm biodiversity on plant disease levels, providing perspective on the various inputs required given different production practices. She is the Associate Director of The Real Organic Project, which helps educate and connect farmers and eaters by providing more transparency on organic farming practices. The Real Organic Project is an effort to save the organic family farms that are struggling due to the increasing number of factory farms now being certified organic that are at odds with the original intent of organic farming.
Ep 6. Tom Stearns of High Mowing Organic Seeds
In This Episode: >> How Tom got started seed saving and grew his hobby into a business >> How growing seeds is different from market gardening >> How he empowers employees with responsibility and ownership >> Tom's thoughts about the state of the organic seed industry   About the Guest: Tom Stearns began gardening at an early age at his family home in Connecticut. Prior to completing a degree in Sustainable Agriculture from Prescott College in Arizona, he began saving seeds. A hobby was born in 1996 in Vermont when Tom began sharing these seeds with others through a small flyer. High Mowing Organic Seeds has since expanded into one of the leading organic seed companies in the U.S., supplying home gardeners, commercial growers and retailers. Tom’s vision has always been to create a company that would help support the re-building of healthy food systems, first in Vermont, followed by the rest of the U.S. He has also taught numerous workshops since 1996 on many topics such as agricultural education, economics, community supported agriculture, genetic engineering, plant breeding, local food systems, sustainable business investing and more. His informal, personal style, ability to explain complex issues and infectious enthusiasm makes him a popular and inspiring speaker. In addition, he has served on the board of several agricultural organizations including NOFA-VT, The Center for an Agricultural Economy, and Sterling College. He lives on 50 acres in Vermont with his wife Heather and their two girls, Ruby and Cora.
Ep 2. Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm
About the guest:  Joel Salatin, 61, calls himself a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer. Others who like him call him the most famous farmer in the world, the high priest of the pasture, and the most eclectic thinker from Virginia since Thomas Jefferson. Those who don’t like him call him a bio-terrorist, Typhoid Mary, charlatan, and starvation advocate. He co-owns, with his family, Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia. Featured in the New York Times bestseller Omnivore’s Dilemma and award-winning documentary Food Inc., the farm services more than 5,000 families, 50 restaurants, 10 retail outlets, and a farmers’ market with salad bar beef, pigaerator pork, pastured poultry, and forestry products. When he’s not on the road speaking, he’s at home on the farm, keeping the callouses on his hands and dirt under his fingernails, mentoring young people, inspiring visitors, and promoting local, regenerative food and farming systems. Salatin is the editor of The Stockman Grass Farmer, granddaddy catalyst for the grass farming movement. He writes the Pitchfork Pulpit column for Mother Earth News, as well as numerous guest articles for ACRES USA and other publications. A frequent guest on radio programs and podcasts targeting preppers, homesteaders, and foodies, Salatin’s practical, can-do solutions tied to passionate soliloquies for sustainability offer everyone food for thought and plans for action. You can read Joel's full bio here: http://www.polyfacefarms.com/joels-bio/   In this episode you'll hear: Who were Joel’s mentors and their lasting impact on his life Why Joel wrote his new book, Your Successful Farm Business: Production, Profit, Pleasure How Polyface is changing their marketing to adapt to a more mature grass-based market Why now is still the best time to start a farm And so much more... Links for further information: More information about Polyface Farms. http://www.polyfacefarms.com/ Polyface’s online meat delivery service https://www.grassfedbrands.com/ Stockman grass farmer - my favorite grazing publication https://www.stockmangrassfarmer.com/index.php Purchase Joel’s newest book https://amzn.to/2XqIV5r
Comments (1)

Jake Caron

Great to have this podcast from In the Field Consultants! Looking forward to learning from the guests that are hosted on it.

Mar 9th
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