Food Truths: From Farm to Table
Parents, especially moms, worry an awful lot about the food they are serving their family, often feeling guilty about the chemicals, antibiotics, DNA, hormones, and engineered crops on their plates.
Michele Payn, a CEO, popular public speaker, and leading influencer in the genuine farm-to-table movement, says ignorance – along with deliberate misinformation and marketing hype – is creating a great deal of the unnecessary angst and concern.
Herself a farm girl who has been a Holstein breeder since the age of nine, Michele is on a mission to turn food confusion into clarity, and to make certain that the food we eat is raised the right way, by the right people, for the right reasons.
What’s Old is New Again When It Comes
to Cutting-Edge Ranching and Farming
Del Ficke, Owner, Ficke Cattle Company
Today’s independent ranchers and farmers confront a wide array of challenges to their survival.
These include competition from large corporate producers; regulatory interference; soil erosion; dwindling water supplies; and the migration of our sons and daughters to more urban areas.
Del Ficke has figured out a solution to these and other threats, and he has amply demonstrated them on his own land and with his family’s own livestock operation, which dates back to 1888.
Del’s Succinct Answer: Farm and Ranch more like our grandfathers and great-grandfathers did.
[To hear my RANCHCAST with LEM LEWIS interview with Del Ficke, click here.]
Indeed, Del is an outspoken proponent of holistic ranching and farming. He travels the country advocating for simpler, more earth-friendly methods of managing rural land, crops, and cattle.
That includes utilizing no-till farming; planting cover crops; implementing ultra-high density grazing; forging stronger local communities; resisting government incentives to expand and grow crops for export; and avoiding getting sucked into the vortex of always investing in the next product or service because some salesperson says you should or because others around you are doing it.
Authenticity is the Secret to Richard Lynch’s
Success as a Country Music Singer/Songwriter
For folks in or around Donna, Weslaco, Raymondville, and Harlingen, Texas, it’s not too late.
You can still catch The Richard Lynch Band performing live in your area before February is out.
For the rest of us Richard Lynch fans, we’ll have to be patient until he and his talented musical compadres return to Texas – as well as Tennessee, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and other locations – later this year.
For now, I hope you’ll be satisfied hearing my RANCHCAST with LEM LEWIS interview with Richard, which I conducted this past week by phone between his performances in the Austin area.
Richard, of course, is the talented Independent Country Music Hall of Fame music artist whose chart-topping hits are known and loved for their authenticity. Richard’s music captures the heart and soul of American ranchers, farmers, and other countryfolk.
This Legend About My Great-Great-Great
Grandfather Bears Repeating
As “The Ranch Broker,” I’ve developed an expertise of sorts wrestling bureaucrats and cutting through red tape to complete complex land sales transactions. Sometimes, by the time we close a difficult ranch sale, I am exhausted.
Yet I doubt that all of my bold strategic maneuvers and white-collar ‘bruises’ would hold a stick to the savvy and bloody wrestling my great-great-great grandfather, Prentiss Lewis Goen, did with an 8-foot tall, 1,000-pound grizzly back in March of 1850.
I heard tell of my ancestor’s epic battle with the bear since the time I was just a boy. In fact, my father, Hardy Lewis, possesses the bent, single-shot rifle that Prentiss used first to wound the bear in the face, and subsequently to club it repeatedly in mortal combat.
Only recently, as part of my project to better document the ranching and family folklore that has been passed down to me as oral tradition, have I begun to discover additional, fascinating details about Prentiss and the bear.
Ranching Legacies Are Priceless Legacies
Ranch and family lore are priceless tales, passed from one generation to the next, that help us as individuals shape our sense of who we are and where we fit into the flow of people and time.
When you meet ranchers or tour their properties, history is one asset that is not immediately visible and can’t quickly be assessed.
But never doubt its value – both tangible and intangible.
I grew up knowing that my father, and his father, and his father were each ranchers. You might say that I inherited not only my share of their physical estate, but also of their love for the land, wildlife, open skies, loyalty, and patriotism.
What is that worth? Let me offer an illustration.
Ranching with Family Ain’t Always Easy!
My Conversation with
Farmer Andy Junkin
I’m not sure what’s more fun, interviewing guests about ranching for my RANCHCAST with LEM LEWIS podcast or being interviewed about ranching for other podcasts and media outlets.
Anytime I get to talk with other rural property lovers it’s a special treat.
Recently, Andy Junkin, a 7th generation farm boy, author, and host of Agriculture Strategy, invited me to chat with him in a live video hosted on Google’s Hangouts. A replay of that 18-minute conversation is now available on YouTube at http://tinyurl.com/andy-junkin.
Andy, like me, labors to save rural landowning families. He works as a consultant to farm owners, improving their ability to make and implement crucial decisions about the future of their properties. “I live to save farms,” Andy writes, adding that “most farm families contact me in the middle of a family crisis.”
Andy has an impressive track record of helping farm families mend their rifts and bolster their profitability, making the eventual transition to next-generation owners a smooth and efficient process.
I hope to have Andy on an upcoming edition of RANCHCAST. Meanwhile, I think you’ll enjoy hearing Andy and me, on his show, talk about what I do in my capacity as The Ranch Broker.
Among the topics Andy and I cover in less than 20 minutes are:
If you want to learn more about Andy – whose given name is Mark Andrew Junkin, I recommend you visit his website: www.agriculturestrategy.com. He’s currently offering a free copy of his book, Farming with Family: Ain’t Always Easy!
The Legacy of Barack Obama and You