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Join Rick and Elara of Backyard Green Films as we traverse the U.S on a green adventure! We travel throughout the land in our travel trailer (nicknamed Bessie), on a mission to share the stories, dedication, and wisdom of America's stewards of sustainable agriculture who've followed their own 'call of the land.' From scientists to geneticists to organic farmers and ranchers - plus a bounty of interesting folks we meet along the way, each voice is uniquely diverse, and each story compels us to uncover, discover, and share. Please become a Patreon member and help support our podcast. Copy and paste the link in your browser.
98 Episodes
(To the tune of “My Prayer,” by The Platters)When the Summer has gone, and the weather is changingWhen the sunshine has gone, I head straight to my hearth And here at the hearth, I will sit. While you knit.My prayer is some knitwear from you To keep me warm through the day with a pattern divineMy prayer is a sweater in blue with some cables dark gray And a hip length waistlineTonight while I’m freezing my toesOh, knit me a thing, so I can go out to the snow.My prayer and the sweater you craft Will take away all my chills, and block this horrible draftI’ll have a soft thing to wear at the end of my prayerSupport the show (
Every meet people who are just plain easy to be with, the minute you meet them?  That’s Martin and Joy Dally of Shepherd’s Lane farm and Super Sire Ltd.  We have decided to park Bessie on their front lawn to commune with the sheep at least twice a year, if we can get away with it.  Okay, so maybe that’s too much to subject them to, especially when they were such wonderful hosts.  But it was idyllic to be on their Oregon farm in the fall, with Teeswaters, Gotlands and Valais Blacknose sheep dotting the pastures all around.  Toss in chickens, peacocks, herding and livestock dogs, fields of green grass and a wool room to die for, and we hope we can push for maybe once a year, if we’re nice about it.Today is Part 1 of 2 of our podcast with the Dally’s.  These two overachievers have a full and busy life running the farm, going to trade shows, traveling across the country and overseas to find new stock, producing wool, and periodically running a Laparoscopic A.I. Sheepalooza (our new favorite phrase).  They have the teamwork down pat, though, and that really makes the difference.  We’re really looking forward to seeing their new venture -- the Panda Muppets (okay, they call them Valais Blacknose) --  next month when lambing season starts.  Until then, our trip to Shepherd’s Lane was so delightful, we brought home some sheep to remember the delightful experience.  Okay, maybe not all of the sheep.  But our living room chairs have never looked so lovely. Links: the show (
For some people, an idyllic childhood was all about birthday parties, sleepovers and soccer games.  And while those are undoubtedly a fixture for many, for others it was also about cleaning manure out the rabbit hutches and picking green beans until your fingers won’t move anymore.  Idyllic, you might question?  Yep – one of the best ways to grow up, at least the future me has determined.  Having agriculture as a part of daily life when you’re young teaches many great life lessons, and shapes us, our work patterns, and our view of the world.Our podcast guest today has this perspective in common with your host, having grown up in a family that probably also hatched duck eggs in the guest bathroom and knew how to use a manure fork (thank you for your patience, Mom).  Libby Henson comes from a family of agriculturalists at the genetic level.  She said her father, Joe Henson, “was born an actor, but ran away to be a farmer,” and practiced that vocation robustly, both in the animals they raised and in his activism.  He started Britain’s Cotswold Farm Park in 1971 and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust in 1973.  Libby’s brother Eric is also a conservation farmer, showing up on the BBC’s Countryfile show on the telly every week.Libby is a force of nature, and outstanding in her field (never gets old, that one).  Her resume includes titles like first Director of The Livestock Conservancy, Co-founder and Co-director of Grassroots Pedigree Software Solutions, and Very Smart British Lady (okay, we took some liberties with that last one).  Our conversation took place in November of 2017, so in addition to learning about her important work, we’ll get her perspective on a few ag things starting to hit the news at that time.  Funny how things change, but stay the same – they keep coming around again and again.  Kind of like the production patterns of zucchini.Links: the show (
Welcome to the New Year, and goodbye to the old.  This is the time of year where we often look back on the past, even if it’s usually just in the form of the “best of and worst of” lists.  We’re no different, but instead of the past year, we’re looking back to the last 500 (plus 1) years.  Half a century is a long time, but it’s an anniversary to be commemorated for today’s podcast guest:  The Galiceno horse.These little horses are little.  Did we say that twice?  It’s because they are definitely that – as in, the size of a pony (but unquestionably look like a horse).  Even so, they pack a power punch in the “capacity” realm.  They arrived with Hernan Cortes in 1519 when he invaded Mexico, and originated from genetic stock from Northwestern Spain.  Even at 12 or 13 hands and about 700 pounds, they can carry a 200-pound person all day long over rough terrain.  Maybe all that fortitude comes from laboring in the Mexican silver mines, or maybe it’s from its development as a true land-race breed over the last century.  But either way, we hope this highly-endangered animal keeps going into the future.  There are said to be less than 200 in existence, most of them non-breeding, so that’s a real concern. Join us as we talk to biologists Rick and Pat Blaney and Heidi Reinhardt at Suwannee Horse Ranch in Live Oak, Florida.  We’ll find out more about these wonderful little equines with stamina, quickness, intelligence, and a beautifully-smooth running walk gait.  And you don’t need a three-foot mounting block to get in the saddle, either.And unlike some horsepower of Spanish lineage, they turn on a dime (that’s a gentle dig at the Mustang car).  A car joke – Rick can be so proud. Links: the show (
Winter is a pretty bleak time most everywhere right now.  And even though it just started, this year it seems like the gray skies are going to go on forever.  Yes, there’s a none-too-subtle parallel to the difficulties on planet earth right now.But Spring is coming.   Sooner or later, winter will end, and a new season will arrive.  We can all take a lesson from those that have learned from the practice of agriculture, and gaze out at the bareness, but imagine things as they soon will be -  full and green and bursting with life. The winter has been a cold one, but we just have to remember the words of Hal Borland:   “No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”A very, very Happy New Year to all of you, from Rick and Elara and Backyard Green Films.  We hope you join us in our hope for an early Spring. Links: the show (
We’ve been waiting four years to say it:  We’re done. Well, “done” once the technical, legal and distribution people have their say, but we’ll be handing it over to them within the next two weeks.  We’ll make sure to keep you posted on how to see the film in the upcoming months.  We’d like to thank you, our audience, for sticking with us here at Backyard Green Films, and for sharing the journey with us on this road.But as we wrap up this film and start to think about what might be on the road ahead, we want to say a special thank you this Christmas to the people who allowed us into their lives, and shared their stories with us.  The real stars of our Wonderful Life are the farmers, ranchers, scientists, veterinarians, fiber producers, breeders, butchers, and everyone else having to do with the creation, nurturing, and distribution of agricultural products that we love to talk about.  As we’ve learned on a planetary scale in this tumultuous year, we need everyone the agricultural supply chain, and need them desperately.  It’s often a thankless responsibility, but always a critical one.  In the words of Clarence the angel, in one of our favorite movies, “Strange, isn’t it?  Each man’s life touches so many other lives.  And when he isn’t around he leaves and awful hole, doesn’t he?”Go watch the movie, please.  It’s a Wonderful Life.  And it’s truly wonderful because you shared yours with us.Links: the show (
This week we take you back to one of our earliest interviews, and one of our most formative experiences in the Backyard Green Films universe.  We learned the fundamental joy of buying handmade things, and doing so face to face.  And when we say that, we actually mean face-to-face not only in the kitchen where the soap was made, but with the farmer who made it and the goat who produced the milk for the ingredients.  Holy cow (or, in this case…okay, you get it).  How often do you get to thank a goat in person for the product of their labor?  It was a first for us. Our farmer, Cathy Bardsley, gave us the grand tour of her Silk Tree Farm in Little Compton, Rhode Island, where we got to meet Red Wattle Hogs, Spanish and Nigerian Goats, Narragansett turkeys, and Black Jersey Giant and Dorking chickens.  As if that weren’t enough, we were treated to the scent extravaganza that is Cathy’s kitchen/soap and candle factory.  This is where we learned the joy of buying Christmas presents that meant something bigger than the present itself.  Every candle and every bar of soap became a way for us to not only do that gifting thing we always do every year, but it became a way to back up our belief in small farms with something a little more tangible.  Spending, baby.  It’s inevitable this time of year, but this time it had a higher purpose. So go buy stuff.  When was the last time you heard that?  We’re not advocating indiscriminate expenditures, but if you are gifting this year, we hope you consider the small farmers across America, and how they might benefit from your dollars.  Everyone wins on this one. Links: the show (
We haven’t talked about horses for a while, and they’re definitely one of our favorite creatures, so today we’re off to Wisconsin, to talk about one of the most majestic animals in the equine world:  The Friesian.  Native to Holland and beloved by film producers everywhere for their striking looks, there’s a very long history on these animals, and they have gorgeous movement to boot.We met up with Nicole Porter Salvato and her husband Dan on their beautifully-remote hilltop ranch in western Wisconsin.  Prairie Sky Sanctuary has beautiful trees, mushrooms in the woods, gorgeous pastures filled with butterflies and flowers, yaks, thoroughbreds, and Friesians, of course.  And though the blue above seems to go on forever in the daytime, it’s a dark-sky location that’s hard to beat, for all of you astronomy buffs out there (And they have yak cheese, so we knew we were truly in Wisconsin). In talking to an epigenetics expert (among the other bases of knowledge Nicole has in her very interesting brain), you would think our conversation today would be about the yaks she raises, and the groundbreaking genetic research she is doing (No, Sunny Hill Ranch, today we’re focusing on horses.  Sorry about that.).  Nope!  Those elegant, prancy, high-stepping ebony horses are the thing today.On a related but unrelated note:  As we’ve been binge-watching TV series this year, one of our many topics of conversation with Nicole and Dan left us wondering about a concept from Beforeigners (thank you, HBO).  When does an organism that we artificially bring from one time or place into another something different?  If you bring an Old Norse person (read “Viking”) into Oslo in the current day, is he still a Viking?  Even if he shares the same basic genetic material as what’s there now, are the modern-day newbies something different altogether?  Will they react the same way as the ones on the ground?  And if we apply this question to our obsession with artificial insemination today, are the animals we create in this way still the same animals?  No one knows for sure yet.  But it’s worth a thought or two and a rousing intellectual discussion.  Or twelve, if you were on the mountaintop at Prairie Sky that day.  Sheer bliss. Links: the show (
When we went to Martin and Joy Dally’s Shepherd’s Lane Farm in Oregon last month for a Laproscopic A.I. Sheeping Bonanza last month, the one thing we didn’t think we’d come home thinking about was…cheese.  Not that we’re complaining, of course.  The people we met there were enough to keep us busy interviewing for days, and we’re going back for the lambing part, so we obviously didn’t get enough. Dr. Joe Klopfenstein, DVM, DABVP, sat down to talk with us in a bustling pasture with dogs and kids and sheep and peacocks all around, to talk about why he was there on the farm, what his students are learning, and what things other than wool and lamb chops that sheep are good at producing.  He has promised to take us on a tour when we return to this beautiful state, as he said that Oregon is not just well-known as the home of microbrews and wine, but also of sheep, in all their producing glory.  Since different varieties of sheep lead to different varieties of wool -- and now, of cheese (Pecorino, anyone?) – that works in our favor.  Once you can figure out how to milk them, that is.  Dr. Joe has promised to explain that one as well. Links: the show (
What are you thankful for?  It seems like the Thanksgiving table will be pretty empty, and pretty bleak for many people this year.  And what kind of hope is there in the midst of so much death and pollution and destruction and isolation in the world today?  What are we supposed to learn here, anyway?The answer:  We learn from Fungi (mushrooms, to most of us).  This amazing organism has been around long enough to be in the fossil record, and has been doing the same thing for as long as we can tell.  It creates life from death; Healing, from injury and disease; Networks of benefits between organisms like itself, and completely unlike itself; and fractal communication, way before we ever thought up the internet.  It’s why communities that work together often thrive, especially in times that seem less than hopeful.We might look at the ground beneath our feet and see a pile of dead dirt, but it’s teeming with life, and renewal, and hope.  Fungi are the largest organisms on the planet, in more than one way.  It’s almost like magic.Our podcast is a little different this week -- basically a big promo for a film that made us cry, and hope.  After watching Fantastic Fungi, we wish the same emotional experience for you with this one.  Fungi (and the story of those that pursue them) are agricultural products we wholeheartedly recommend that will make you feel full of hope, even if there’s no ingestion required.And yes, we’ll be bringing you more from the Mycelium Movement and Mycoremediation to a podcast soon.  It’s Magic.   Links: the show (
There is finally a chill in the air!  Some of us here in warmer climates look forward to the time each year when cold weather arrives, so we can cozy up on the sofa in front of the fireplace without melting from the heat outside.  60 degrees is probably a very reasonable temperature to start up the fireplace, we think.  But in other places, cold is a constant reality, and it is not to be taken lightly, especially in the area of food production.  In the far north in places like Alaska, farmers and ranchers have not only said cold to deal with, but you also have some rather large predators on your list (Who on earth wants to deal with a polar bear in the chicken coop at 4:00 a.m., anyway?).  If those weren’t challenges enough, the supply of new lines and new breeds is either far, far away or very, very expensive to bring in to the region.  Genetic bottlenecks might be the end of your herd, even if you survived the previous perils.Our podcast guest today is Sabrieta Holland, a veterinarian plying her trade just north of Anchorage.  We met her at Sheepalooza (a.k.a. Martin and Joy Dally’s Valais Blacknose Laparoscopic-A.I. Week).  Sabrieta was there to add to her store of knowledge about artificial insemination, and to find new breeds and genes that might do well in Alaska to contribute to the stability of the regional food and fiber supply.  If you’re a farmer, distance on the final frontier can be as deadly as harsh weather and polar bears might be -- unless you’re smart enough to figure a way around it with today’s technology, and have the help of a forward-thinking vet.  We’re pretty sure we found one.P.S.  We'll eventually Take Off to the Great White North.  Beauty, eh?  We’ll yak with you soon, Steve and Anita.Links:,_Alaska,and%20instinctively...%204%20See%20also.%20%20More%20 the show (
2020 has been a year filled with catastrophic disasters of all types, and the only thing unclear is which movie we’re reenacting at the current moment.  Backdraft meets Twister meets 2012, with a dash of the Day after Tomorrow and a near miss by Armageddon.  If those weren’t crazy enough, there were a few reports of brushes from Orca and Jaws tossed in for variety, with slices of Yul Brenner and Chuck Heston in The Ten Commandments (Locusts and plagues, no less).  I could point you to news stories showing all of those things this year.   Both the man-made and natural disasters we’re now facing are something we feel helpless against, at least at the scale we’re facing now, so how does one combat all of that?  The answer might be to combat the things you can, and survive the ones you can’t.  It’s one in the “win” column if you get off Isla Nublar alive, whether or not the T-Rex is still standing when you leave. So how does one survive?  Preparation is the best weapon we have.  And for those of us who also have non-human living things to protect, the difficulty level goes way, way up when responding to an emergency (ever tried to catch a panicked chicken?).  Chaos theory gone wild.  Today, we have just the person to tell us about how to go about it.  We’re bringing you our conversation with Julie Atwood of The Halter Project, who started by training first responders in safe animal emergency response, but broadened the scope, now offering education and resources for the rest of us.   We have a visuals up on our Backyard Green YouTube channel, if you would like to see.  Training EMT’s to save a plastic horse (in preparation for the real thing) has to be seen to get the full impact of the scope of the task.  We’ll let you insert your own mental C.G. disaster of choice in the background on that one. Links:,cyclone%20in%20the%20Southern%20Pacific%20and%20Indian%20oceans. the show (
With the past weekend in the rearview mirror, we’ve wrapped up October, Halloween, and the craziness of voting here in the U.S. -- at least for most of us.  Some will still be dealing with both the last little bits of voting in person and leftover Halloween candy for the rest of the week, and both might be somewhat traumatic for us in some way or another.  But we’re feeling lighter already and a little slaphappy, so we’ll bring up some ideas that seem far apart, but are actually connected (just like people).  Green monsters, Silicon Valley, Waffles, Death Valley, The high-intensity vapor lamp, and laundry detergent.  In celebration of the last big event in October, The Donkey Welfare Symposium (virtual this year), we wanted to include an interview with Erick Lundgren.  This gentleman is studying donkeys, but not in the everyday husbandry sense.  He’s looking at the broader ecological impact of the animals we use, when the humans drop out of the picture.  Ever wonder where all the wild burros come from in the U.S.?  Some of the agricultural animals that we have domesticated, imported, used, and then set loose have adapted and thrived.  Are they pests, or contributing members of their ecosystem?  Erick is collecting data to determine that answer.  If you saw him at the seminar this weekend, or even if you didn’t we hope you enjoy our interview with this field scientist who studies megafauna and their impact on the environment.  We didn’t offer him any waffles when we met, via Zoom.  This guy does some serious traveling.Links: http://www.mulerescue.orgSupport the show (
It’s donkey time again!  The Donkey Welfare Symposium was a wild one last October (there were libations and tattoos and singing farriers and speakers from exotic ports of call), and it looks like this year’s virtual conference will follow that theme.  “Donkeys in the Wild” is kicking off virtually on October 30 -31, 2020, and we’re celebrating by bringing you our interview from last year’s event with Jessica Anselment.  This intrepid soul is the author of two donkey-related children’s books and a blog called, “A Donkumentary” (follow below for links).  Jessica spoke with us about her own rescued donkeys, and talked about the many reasons why donkey rescue and education are so important.  She also advocates for the Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, which is a pretty big organization.  Their main facility in San Angelo, Texas “is home to 1,000 donkeys at any time,” with satellite adoption centers and sanctuaries across the country.  They work with Federal and State authorities to remove animals from public lands, take charge of abused and neglected animals, give them time to adjust to their new situation, and find adoptive homes where they can thrive.  Think about the logistics on that one, folks.  There’s more to it than just getting one recalcitrant beast in a trailer for a quick move.The donkey is an often-misunderstood animal that might just be smarter than us in some things.  This leaves us asking…who’s the ass here, anyway?  Whatever your answer, we think that’s a compliment.  Links: the show (
It’s alive!  And kicking.  Or squirming, as it were.  Either way, it’s not pretty, and is akin to the horror films that many might be ingesting this month.  In the true spirit of the upcoming Halloween observances across the land, we’re going to bring you a podcast filled with gruesome tales of things growing where other things don’t want them to grow.  John Hurt will not participate, and neither will Kurt Russell, and no one’s body parts will end up anywhere other than where they started on this one.  That said, we’re going to bring you our virtual conversation with Dr. Scott Bowdridge, Associate Professor of Food Animal Production at West Virginia University, who talks to us about the infamous Haemonchus contortus, aka “HC” or “The Barber Pole Worm.”  This innocent-sounding parasite is responsible for internal egg laying, bloodletting, and death by exsanguination – all the same things you’d get with Kurt and John, but without the acid drool.  Dr. Bowdridge’s long (long long) term study of HC and the enhanced immune response of the amazingly resistant St. Croix sheep might be the key to helping small and large producers around the world to solve one of animal husbandry’s big problems.  It’s no small task to do what might be a 30-year study, but this man is the guy to do it.  For all we know, an understanding of this enhanced immune response might be the key to saving more than the small ruminants of the world -- the scary times we live in today are evidence of that.  The good doctor won’t need a flamethrower for this horror flick, but a microscope will come in handy.All you sheeple out there – there are some links below that might be helpful, and Dr. Bowdridge was kind enough to commit to another interview, so send your topics to us and we’ll go down the rabbit hole with you.A video of this podcast can also be found on our YouTube channel, with a few slides from Dr. Bowdridge’s collection and a few extra visuals for flavor.  But not in the John-Hurt-dining-room-table kind of flavor.  Well, maybe a little of that.  It is the Barber Pole Worm.  Be warned – things might get scary. Links: the show (
Rock and roll music and the combination and recombination of genetics have so many commonalities, and not just on the math end of things.  They both started with older things and brought in new things, and are constantly bringing in more influences to make something old stronger, or something new and different.  We all march to a different drummer, after all, so there is a beauty in how the pieces go together no matter which you prefer.  The music of the spheres can mean a perfect guitar solo, a flock moving in concert, or a fertilized ova, depending upon who is doing the conducting.In this week’s podcast we speak with Susie Wilson of SuDan Farm.  We met this wonderfully informative shepherd over the belly of a sheep at Shepherd’s Lane Farm, during the Great American A.I. Rally (okay, so it was more of the Valais Blacknose assembly, but there were a lot of things going on, so we’ll take liberties).  We followed up with her at her farm in Canby, Oregon, and got a chance to see the strikingly rabbit-like ears of the Border Leicester sheep in its natural farm flock environment.  Border Leicesters weren’t the only breed on site -- or species for that matter – and we have a wonderfully informative podcast for you today.  And, for a few lucky listeners, free stuff, as Susie was not only extremely generous with her time, but also with her wool products.  Listen to our podcast for more details.Rest in Peace, Eddie Van Halen.  Imported from the traditions of Europe, combined into something new and different.  A grand conductor in your version of the music of the spheres.P.S.  We worked a long time to get that Van Halen/A.I.-related title as clean as we could.  This is, after all, only Rock and Roll.  But we like it. Links: Support the show (
Introduction: We’re on the road again (albeit with a little bit more “distance” in our distance these days).  This week we’re celebrating our new favorite color – “Gotland Gray.”  We’re bringing you a conversation from last year’s Sheep and Wool festival in Rhinebeck, New York, where Amy Corey of Little River Farm told us a little bit about the characteristics and history of the Gotland – the petite-with-a punch-sheep.  And Amy is pretty good at pronouncing those Swedish/Viking/Russian words, too.Well, maybe these guys are considered a medium-sized sheep, but they gain quite a bit of attention in the pasture, no matter what size you think they are.  The striking coats come in 50 shades of gray (we won’t go there), with a lustrous curl that is as soft as it looks.  And yes, we got to touch one, so we know for sure.  You don’t need to take our word for it if you want to see one for yourself; just go to our Backyard Green Films YouTube channel to see them “in person.”  Our wallets will be a bit lighter after a visit to the Shepherds Lane farm store, because we’re bringing some of that gorgeous color wool home to roll around in (again, we’re not going there).  Elara is planning her socks already.In an upcoming podcast we’ll speak with Martin and Joy Dally here at Shepard’s Lane in Oregon, to tell you a little bit more about what it takes to get a Gotland -- and other breeds of sheep -- across the pond to the U.S. these days.  If you’re not bringing them on Viking ships, that is. Links:,nivicola%20%28snow%20sheep%29%2C%20with%20four%20subspecies%20More%20  Support the show (
No, we’re not in India for this one, if you wondered about that after that title.  We’re closer to Rhinebeck, New York for this week’s podcast.  On October 17-18 the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival will be held – albeit virtually – so we’re taking you back to remember the fun from last year.  We’re celebrating all things fiber, including the beloved cashmere sweater.  Okay, so this podcast is not so much focusing on the sweater (that’s Elara’s vote), as it is focusing on the goat.  That is a slang term for the Greatest Of All Time to many, and we think the cashmere produced by some breeds of goat is pretty amazing, at least when it comes to that wonderful feeling you get when you wear it at just the right dressy occasion.Our guest is Pam Haendle, of Hermit Pond Farm in New York.  She brought a wonderfully educational booth and the sweetest little goat to Rhinebeck for the mad gathering.  She was gracious enough to speak with us about her goats, her kids (ha), and what on earth cashmere and pashmina are, anyway. It’s all about the marketing.We have a book to recommend as well, for all of you fiber people out there (no, we’re not paid for this, but we have high hopes eventually).  Ever wondered what all that corgi hair might look like in a cable knit?  Corriedale?  Buffalo?  Yak?  We found out.  We kid you not -  we bought the book.Remember that we’re posting daily on the Backyard Green films YouTube channel, so tune in for more visuals from the livestock barns, arenas, and vendor halls at Rhinebeck 2019.  Or you can join us on the 17th and 18th as we follow the virtual version of the New York State Sheep & Wool festival 2020.  Think on the bright side - no traffic this year!Links: Support the show (
Justin Morgan DID have a horse.  And it was a beauty.  One of the quintesenntially American breeds, the Morgan horse sprang from the loins of a stallion named Figure, a.k.a. Justin Morgan(‘s) Horse.  And that was not the only Spring that Sprung, as anything that trots or drives in North America probably can thank Mr. Morgan, piano teacher and blacksmith on-the-side for participating in the cancellation of debt through livestock trading, leading to a subsequent horse breeding career (for Figure, not Justin, mind you).  Standardbred, American Quarter Horse, and Tennessee Walking Horses have all been influenced by Figure, not to mention the Hackney in jolly old England.  This little horse was cleanly-built muscle, but could pull all day and still not seem tired.  Logging?  Check.  Racing?  Check.  Trotting?  Check.  And boy, did those genes carry forward, for both temperament and looks.  Today is Part 2 of the Morgan Horse Story.  Well, Part 2 of what we now know might be 427 parts, but we’ll save those for future podcasts.  We won’t go down the lineage rabbit hole today, but will take a few minutes to talk about one line:  The Government Morgan.  We visited the historic barn at the UVM Morgan Horse Farm in Weybridge, Vermont, where we spoke with Sarah Fauver and Kimberly Demars about the goals of a Morgan Horse breeding program.  We also stood and admired the absolutely gorgeous Willoughby, in the stall and in the ring.  He patiently took time away from his busy beauty pageant and stud schedule just to meet with us (or we’d like to think so).  Just like a Morgan Horse – a cheerful disposition, no matter what kind of work he has to do.Links: the show (
This week is the first part of two on the indomitable little powerhouse horse known as the Morgan.  Justin Morgan probably would have done just fine as a composer and the local town clerk, but he did have an equine that became much better known than he was (thank you, Marguerite Henry).  We met up with Pam McDermott of Dawn Wind Morgans in Myrtle Creek, Oregon in the summer of 2017.  Pam graciously sat down and spoke with us about the connection she feels with this little horse with a big heart, and why she does her best to help to save this endangered breed.  Next week we’ll continue the story with another Morgan interview from the opposite side of the continent, but the western half of the U.S. is feeling the pain of raging wildfires this week, so our hearts are in Oregon with Pam and her fellow Oregonians, even if we are not.  Please join us in sending positive thoughts to all those agriculturalists and foodies we’ve met with over the last few years that are feeling the pain of potential evacuation, even as we speak.Karen, Bide a Wee Farm (Newberg, OR) http://www.bideaweefarm.comHarless, Cozine Springs Ranch (McMinnville, OR) http://www.cozinespringsranch.comJoy and Martin, Shepherd’s Lane (Lebanon, OR) https://www.shepherdslane.comBill and Lori, Shasta Ranch (Klamath Falls, OR) http://www.shastaranch.netThe Shockeys (Applegate, OR) Danforth (Ashland, OR) https://www.adamdanforth.comCamas Davis (Portland, OR) Flood, Brooklyn Tweed (Portland, OR) https://brooklyntweed.comEmily, Twisted Yarn (Portland, OR) and Elizabeth, Heart 2 Heart Farms (Sherwood, OR) https://www.heart2heartfarms.comThe Portland Highland Games (Portland, OR) https://www.phga.orgMother Earth News Fair (Albany, OR) https://www.motherearthnewsfair.comTillamook Factory (Tillamook, OR) the show (
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