New Film, Farmers for America, Aims to Celebrate and Inspire the Next Generation of Rural Producers
An Exclusive Interview with Filmmaker Graham Meriwether
Ahead of the national premiere of Farmers for America, host Lem Lewis, The Ranch Broker, interviews filmmaker Graham Meriwether about the documentary that aims to celebrate and inspire the next generation of American farmers and ranchers.
Farmers for America profiles 20 extraordinary American farmers – large and small, organic and conventional – who are using American ingenuity and pluck to overcome the many, many obstacles that confront them daily.
To serve as the film’s narrator, Meriwether was able to recruit Mike Rowe – the talent behind Dirty Jobs and Facebook’s Returning the Favor.
Meriwether worked on Farmers for America for more than four years, crisscrossing the country to showcase the farmers featured in the film.
As founder of Leave It Better Media, Meriwether’s mission is to “share stories of spiritual, economic and environmental healing.”
The national premiere will take place in Indianapolis, IN, followed by a panel discussion featuring local farmers. Meriwether is looking to rural producers and others who support American farmers and ranchers to host screening of the film in their communities. To sign up to host a screening, visit www.farmersforamericafilm.com.
Interview Conducted: October 20, 2017
© 2017 The Ranch Broker. All Rights Reserved.
RANCHCAST with Lem Lewis showcases the vital contributions that America’s ranchers and farmers make to our nation’s economy and food supply. Whether you live on a ranch or farm, invest in rural real estate, or are simply a fan of the ranch lifestyle, this program is your guide to insights and practical advice available nowhere else.
Some of the Finest Bourbons in the World
Come from a Ranch in Tiny Hye, Texas
There is so much to boast about for those of us blessed to live in Texas. Garrison Brothers’ Texas straight bourbon whiskey is like icing on the cake.
Made from pure Texas-grown organic cereal grains, combined with our nutrient-rich rainwater, Garrison Brothers bourbons are among the very best to be found anywhere in the world.
On this edition of RANCHCAST with LEM LEWIS, our host and certified whiskey sommelier Lem Lewis travels to Hye to visit with founder and proprietor Dan Garrison.
In perfect Texas entrepreneurial style, Dan comes from the “better to ask forgiveness than permission” school of business. Although just about no one believed it possible to distil quality bourbon anywhere in America other than Kentucky or Tennessee, Dan proved his skeptics wrong.
Dan bought his first still in 2006, before he even had a legal right to operate one, and shipped his first bottles in 2011. They’ve been a sell-out hit ever since.
If you love fine bourbon whiskey, or even if you never touch alcohol, you’ll enjoying drinking in Dan’s Texas swagger and his philosophy of business.
He and his family are part of a growing segment of rural producers who are demonstrating creative, alternative ways to living and working the ranching life.
Dr. Matt Wagner Offers a Master Class in
Wildlife Conservation and Range Management
My guest on this episode, Dr. Matt Wagner, is someone who I know enjoys the outdoors as much as I do.
Dr. Wagner is the definitive expert on wildlife conservation, range land management, and the Texas laws and policies governing them. I could invite him on every episode of this show and I know that I’d never grow tired of hearing what he has to say.
Dr. Wagner spent 28 years with the Wildlife Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, most recently as Deputy Director. He is an adjunct faculty member of the Biology Department at Texas State University, where he teaches Wildlife Law and Policy. He also works under contract as a project administer with the Wildlife Management Institute, which has supported game management, biological diversity, and ecology since its founding in 1911.
As if that is not enough, Dr. Wagner has extensive experience working with and advising private landowners such as me. And Dr. Wagner is a believer in the important role that privately owned land plays in the well-being of wildlife and wildlife habitat.
On this edition of RANCHCAST with LEM LEWIS, Dr. Wagner and I will discuss two big issues impacting wildlife conservation in Texas. One is the the loss of connection between people and the rural lifestyle, and two, the distribution and allocation of water.
Because Dr. Wagner is so knowledgeable, he and I also explore the impact of exotic wildlife and the efforts to manage them. We talk about statewide land stewardship programs and we even review efforts to privatized white tailed deer. And finally Dr. Wagner and I discuss the subject of chronic wasting disease in Texas.
If you own a ranch, are thinking about buying a ranch, or simply love the ranching lifestyle, you're going to want to hear what Dr. Matt Wagner has to say.
Photo: Dr. Matt Wagner
Interview Conducted: November 2016
@ 2017 The Ranch Broker. All Rights Reserved.
Exposing Pecksniffery and
Debunking Common Food Myths
Last year, I attended The Wizard Academy’s Reputation Tool Chest workshop taught by award-winning business journalist, Dean Rotbart.
Dean is the host of Monday Morning Radio, a popular business-to-business podcast that in 2016 alone attracted more than a quarter-million listeners. With Dean’s help, I launched RANCHCAST with LEM LEWIS earlier this year, and I’m pleased that Dean continues to work with me to build our RANCHCAST audience and ensure the quality of our episodes.
This week Dean and I share hosting duties – combining our two audiences for a very special interview. Our guest is Michele Payn, a nationally recognized influencer in the large, growing, and very successful farm-to-table movement.
Michele is CEO of Cause Matters Corp., a consulting firm that advises companies and individuals on how to influence public discourse surrounding agriculture, health, and nutrition topics. This week Michele celebrates the official publication of her newest book: “Food Truths From Farm to Table.”
While my expertise is in ranching, farming, and rural real estate, Dean is an expert on small business, reputation management, and effective communication. Together we explore with Michele both the business and the nutrition aspects of ranching and farming, and debunk some of the most common food myths.
Photo: Michele Payne, Cause Matters Corp.
Interview Conducted: March 8, 2017
@ 2017 The Ranch Broker. All Rights Reserved.
What’s Old Is New Again:
Disruptive Ranching and Farming
The Ficke Family has been ranching and running a livestock operation in Pleasant Dale, Nebraska since 1888.
Today, Del Ficke and the Ficke Cattle Company are role models for successful, holistically-managed, independently owned, profitable rural producers.
On this edition of RANCHCAST with LEM LEWIS, Del shares his disruptive techniques for making ranching and farming both more profitable and more satisfying. Better still, Del is showing rural producers how to manage their land so that their children and grandchildren will be incentivized to stay at home or return there.
As Del travels the country, speaking to groups and working one-on-one with producers, Del often encounters those ranchers and farmers who think his ideas are crazy. At first.
But when they hear Del out and see what he’s been able to accomplish on his own ranch and for his consulting clients, Del’s stature quickly transforms from: lunatic to genius.
Authenticity is the Secret to Richard Lynch’s
Success as a Country Music Singer/Songwriter
My guest this week is a farmer, a barn builder, a philanthropist, and a patriot.
But to his legions of fans, country music artist Richard Lynch, a member of the Independent Country Music Hall of Fame, is a:
Photo: Richard Lynch, The Richard Lynch Band
Interview Conducted: February 15, 2017
@ 2017 The Ranch Broker. All Rights Reserved.
Raised a City Kid, Inventor & CEO Paul Francis Shares His Love of Ranching
Paul Francis is best known as the inventor of a technology that allows orbiting astronauts on the International Space Station to stay fit in the weightless environment. His resistive exercise device has been used by more than 50 space travelers.
Here on Mother Earth, Paul's inventions are at the core of the Bowflex Revolution home gym ($200 million in sales), and the DoubleFlex Portable Gym, which has been featured on QVC, HSN, and is now sold nationwide in Brookstone retail stores.
Ever chance Paul gets, however, the founder and CEO of OYO Fitness, jumps in his SUV and heads to his BlackHat Ranch, located in Northeastern Kansas, about an hour outside of Kansas City.
Anyone who thinks today's ranchers fit a particular stereotype, will enjoy my interview with Paul, who has made ranching part of his DNA, even though he came to the lifestyle late in life.
Paul has invented many things. But his greatest invention - and the one that gives him the most pleasure in life -- is actually a reinvention: taking a city kid and transforming him into a full-blooded, All-American Rancher.
Prominent Ranch Economist Forecasts Muted Texas Rural Land Price Increases in 2017
Ranch land prices should continue to rise in 2017, although not as rapidly as they did in the robust years of 2014 and 2015.
That is the assessment of one of the nation’s leading ranch economists, Dr. Charles E. Gilliland, who recently shared his full analysis with Lem Lewis, host of the RANCHCAST with LEM LEWIS podcast.
Dr. Gilliland is a professor in the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and a research economist – specializing in rural land and property taxes – at the university’s Real Estate Center. Lem Lewis, well-known as “The Ranch Broker,” is a fourth-generation Texas rancher whose full-service brokerage company serves both land buyers and sellers, concentrating on the Texas Hill Country, South Texas, and West Texas.
More than oil prices and interest rates, Dr. Gilliland explains in his interview with RANCHCAST that ranch land values in Texas are tied to population, job, and wage growth.
Photo: Dr. Charles E. Gilliland, Texas A&M Univeristy
Interview Conducted: October 13, 2016
@ 2016 The Ranch Broker. All Rights Reserved.