Ep 130: Is the Food Supply Chain broken?

Can we fix our food supply chain? Yes, we can! And companies like SIMPLi are going to be at the front of that fight. Today, I’m joined with Matt Cohen, co-founder of a company called SIMPLi that is revolutionizing the food supply chain. Learn more how Matt and everyone at SIMPLi are working directly with farmers to bring better products to consumers while also helping those farmers as much as possible.

SIMPLi, an ingredients company whose mission is to bring the best, most nutritious and delicious single-origin ingredients (quinoa, extra virgin olive oil, beans, etc.) from around the world to your kitchen.

Matt and co-founder Sarela Herrada



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Show Notes

  • Matt’s Background
  • Entreprenuers
  • Metaverse
  • Start of Simpli
  • Normal Supply Chain vs SIMPLi
  • Fraudulent food activity?
  • How has Covid impacted these small farmers?

SIMPLi, an ingredients company whose mission is to bring the best, most nutritious, and delicious single-origin ingredients (quinoa, extra virgin olive oil, beans, etc.) from around the world to your kitchen.

  • Eliminate fraudulent activity in the supply chain + create sourcing transparency on a global level. Food fraud is estimated to cost the industry between $30-40 billion per year. By working directly with growing communities in Peru and Greece to consolidate all the middle parties (co-ops, broker, exporter, importer, distributor, etc.), they have been able to create a fully vertical supply chain for getting products from farms to consumers, preventing 100% fraudulent supply chain activity.
  • Combat climate change. Agriculture emits an estimated 10.5% of greenhouse gases. SIMPLi’s partners use regenerative organic farming in order to grow the most nutritious ingredients possible and to minimize the harmful effects that conventional agriculture has on our environment. Simpli has helped 560 farmers and 1,060 acres transition from traditional to regenerative organic working farms.
  • Supporting global farming communities. After harvest, ingredients will touch about seven steps in the supply chain before landing in the hands of a business or consumers. These middle players can trigger a number of transaction fees, taking money directly away from farmers. Because of SIMPLi’s simple supply chain of “Farmer – SIMPLi – You”, they are able to pay above market price and improve the livelihoods of their farmers.

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Ep 129: A TikToking and YouTubing Texas Farmer – Farmer Dan

Have you ever heard of something called “Milo”? I sure haven’t. I apparently do know it’s more common name, which you’ll find out soon in today’s episode!

Today’s guest is Dan Sell, aka FarmerDan, who grows wheat and milo in Texas. Dan and I chat about his background, how he built an awesome following on social media, his future plans, and much more! I had a blast chatting with Dan so I definitely think you’ll enjoy this episode! And don’t forget to check out Dan’s content below.

Dan’s YouTube

Dan on Instagram

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Show Notes

  • Dan’s background of being a 7th generation farmer
  • Harvest 2021
  • Crop rotation with wheat and sorghum
  • Leave out ground
  • No till and no till fertilizing
  • Wheat and Milo (aka sorghum)
  • Planting sorghum
  • Got married recently and went right back to planting
  • What’s the planting/harvesting schedule look like
  • What are some big misconceptions consumers have of farming?
  • YouTube videos/Instagram/AND TikTok
  • Harvest videos and pictures

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Ep 128: Ranchers Thinking Outside the Box

Let’s talk about ranching. Specifically, what ranchers are doing to set themselves apart as well as improve both their enjoyment with work and profit of the business. My guest today is Jared Luhman from the Herd Quitter Podcast. Jared is a busy man with a day job, ranching job, AND a cool podcast focused on, you guessed it, ranching! The Herd Quitter Podcast is all about learning from ranchers around the world that are thinking outside the box and going new and exciting things to both help their businesses turn a profit as well as increase their happiness on the job. In our interview today, Jared and I talk about the biggest lessons he has learned, stories of ranches diversifying to the extreme and being super successful, and how it’s important to shift the business even when you think you can’t.

Herd Quitter Podcast.

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Show Notes

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Trevor: All right. Well, Jared lumen welcome the farm traveler podcast, man. How are you doing?

Jared: Oh, I’m doing great. Thank you so much. Yeah. Happy to be here, dude.

Trevor: Yeah. I’m excited to chat with you. You’re a fellow podcast or you’ve got a cool podcast called the herd quitter. Um, so I always like to geek out with fellow like ag pod-casters and stuffed it.
I mean yeah. They figure out what your, what your niche is, how your podcasting journey is and all that stuff. So, yeah. Uh, before we kinda dive in about your podcasts, kind of tell us a little bit about yourself, kind of your.

Jared: Sure. Yeah, no, I, I would love to it’s it is fun to talk to other podcasters. I I’ve had conversations with people and stuff on the side just to like, yeah.
The, the nitty-gritty things of how they’re doing, what they’re doing. So I’m excited to get into that. But, um, my, my background, so I grew up right here. This, the house I live in is my, it was my grandfather’s house and our family has been here on this land. For quite a while. Um, the farm we’re on, we got in the 1960s and our family has been farming on this street, [00:01:00] uh, for over a century.
So I’ve been in farming. My family has been in farming and agriculture for quite a while. Um, we. Weren’t always kind of doing what we’re doing now. I would say my grandfather was a fairly progressive kind of a conventional commodity based farmer. He was farming like a thousand acres, 140 beef cows milk and nearly 200 cows and a couple of hundred sheep back in like the seventies, which was wild for its time.
Like very progressive and big. And we had, uh, a foreign exchange student who actually came to our farm back then in, in. The late eighties, I want to say, or something like that. Uh, the mid, mid eighties who was at our place and just flat out told my dad and my grandpa, uh, you guys are doing this all wrong.
Like why, why are you working so hard? You, you should, you know, you’re 15 years behind us over in New Zealand. Um, and so. My grandpa, you know, could have easily taken offense to that. But instead of taking offense, he actually sent my dad kind of encouraged my dad to go over to New Zealand and learn [00:02:00] what he was talking about.
So my dad went over to New Zealand, worked on a gray grazing based dairy and another grazing based beef and sheep station. And that’s kind of changed the trajectory of our family farm for. You know, for decades now. And he came back home and started a grazing based farm. And, and today now that I could spare you all the details of the 30 year transition to where we are now, but now, uh, we’re.
Uh, primarily pasture based operation. We raised red, it registered red Angus beef cattle. Uh, we sell seed stock or bulls through Farrow cattle company. My wife and I own, uh, uh, the grass fed cattle company, which is kind of our direct marketing enterprise for our farm. And we market pasture chicken that we raised on our farm and grass fed beef, and then pastured pork.
We get from another farm. Um, and that’s kind of what my wife and I have been doing to kind of add on enterprises to our farm and add profitability and also to, you know, really, it’s just a lot of fun to be able to connect [00:03:00] with consumers. It’s gosh, some of the, the relationships we’ve developed with our consumers has been a blast.
So. Um, yeah, that’s fun. And then in addition to the farm, which keeps me pretty busy, I also work for the sustainable farming association of Minnesota as their soil health lead. So I do a lot of consulting and networking with farmers all across the state of Minnesota to help educate farmers on soil health and, and how they can use and implement soil health principles within their own context and on their farm.
And then, uh, yeah, I think that’s most of it, our farm, our marketing enterprise, the podcast and the soil health or the soil health lead for the sustainable farming associate.

Trevor: So a little bit going on, it sounds like just a little bit.

Jared: Yeah. Yeah. We stay busy, but it’s all, it’s all, you know, the cool thing about it is that I love everything I do.
And there’s a lot of truth to the statement. I mean, it’s cliche, but if you work, if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. And so I definitely stay busy, but if I enjoy every bit of [00:04:00] it, then it’s pretty.

Trevor: Well, that’s good. And kind of going back to that soil health. I mean, if you’re, I feel like if you’re, um, doing like rotational grazing and just grass fed beef, I mean, your soil health is going to be like the most important thing you’ve got to pay attention to.

Yeah. And that’s a big reason why we kind of have been transitioning to the grass-based agriculture. Um, I, there in that long history of our farm, my dad went home. I’ll kind of briefly summarize it. My dad started a farm of his own, uh, doing a grazing dairy. And then in early 2000, when my grandpa was ready to back out of the home farm, we came to where we are now in the home farm.
And he stopped doing the grazing dairy. We still had beef cattle, but we started organic crop farming and. Over 20 years of doing that, our family, my dad taught my grandpa or my grandpa taught my dad. My dad taught me always. We want to leave the land in better condition than we found it. And with all of the tillage that was required to manage weeds in that organic cropping system, we didn’t feel that we were advancing our soil health [00:05:00] in the direction that we wanted to go.
And so that’s really in the. Five years we’ve started. And in the last two to three years, we’ve really started to accelerate this transition to a hundred percent perennial pasture based farm. Um, for that reason that you just mentioned of, you know, wanting to improve, improve our soil health and we’ve, while we’ve been.
For many decades. Anyway, it’s been kind of on the side, like on the grazing acres, not so much on the tillable acres, but we’ve seen the benefits of it. I mean, just production increases, erosion decreases, you know, just soil seems healthier, more green, lush, plants, more everything. And we wanted. Continue to grow that across our farm.
And so, yeah, we’ve made this transition now to where, with the exception of one farm that’s down the road, that we haven’t figured out how to get cattle there. Uh, we, we rent it and we’re not sure about installing the infrastructure to make it grazing with the exception of that. And now the whole farm.
Perennial pasture, [00:06:00] and we’re really excited about it and what it can do. It’s a lot of fun to it. It definitely, I always joke. It was kind of odd. I grew up wanting to be a crop farmer. I loved sitting in a tractor and when I was in high school, it was probably easier because when something broke down, I’d just be like, Hey dad, you know, I’m gonna head out with the friends you fix this.
Let me know when you want me to sit in the tractor again. But when I got home to farm full-time and then when something broke, it was no longer. I’d call him dad. And he would be like, well, fix it. You’re working for the farm. So fix it. And all of a sudden, uh, cattle seemed a little more appealing to me and that along with other reasons, we really do enjoy grazing in livestock.
And so it more aligned with all of our goals.

Trevor: That’s awesome. And so kind of, I guess this kind of involves your podcast a little bit, but kind of that enjoyment, I mean, with your podcast, herd quitter, you’re kind of talking with ranchers, um, That are at, they’re doing a really good job. It seems like of being both profitable [00:07:00] and enjoyment, like enjoying what they’re doing.
And so how hard is that? I mean, from, from your perspective, how hard is it to not only like turn a profit with. But also to enjoy it where you don’t get burned out. So how hard is that?

Jared: Yeah, no, that’s, that’s a good question. It is a challenge. Um, you know, it’s interesting because as we made this transition to more grazing, the problem that we saw was not that the income wasn’t there to sustain both my dad and myself on our farm.
The problem was there all sudden there wasn’t enough labor or there was enough work for the labor we had. We, we had. I like to joke that kit feral got me fired kind of in this philosophy of low input ranching, all of a sudden, Alison I wasn’t necessary anymore. So it increased our lifestyle to the point where we really, that didn’t really make sense for me to be around here.
Cause the life, you know, there wasn’t there wasn’t enough work and that’s kind of what led me off to do some of these other things, you know, the job and the podcast, uh, came have come since that transition. But it can be a challenge to, [00:08:00] to do so many things. And I would say that it’s, it’s a challenge that I fight with today yet is that I have this desire to always do more and do more that I enjoy.
Um, but especially since the birth of our baby boy, Colton, back in June, I’m realizing that there’s more to life than work and, and, and that the work side of, you know, this maybe isn’t the most sustainable long-term and that, uh, you need. And the limits, I guess I need to learn to say no better. So you’re right.
It’s a real challenge.

Trevor: Um, yeah, that’s awesome. I mean, not only you got the business, you got the job, the day job, the podcast, also a dad. So that’s, that’s probably a little bit hectic. I can imagine juggling all that stuff.

Jared: Yeah. Some days get wild, but I’ve got an amazing supportive wife. Who’s an amazing mother and partner in all of these things as well.
Uh, with the exception of the podcast, she helps in the farm. She helps in our she’s very, uh, vital in our marketing enterprise. So definitely not a solo act.

Trevor: No, I believe you. Yeah. And I mean, kind of relating to the whole podcast thing. I mean, I think it is definitely a struggle, like turning a profit and also enjoying it.
Like I started this podcast, I think, like I was telling you earlier, like two and a half years ago. And I think after two and a half years, we’re like $25. Profit this month so far, like, or no of the year, which isn’t bad. And so we’re getting there and I’m also like enjoying it, but I mean, sometimes you get burnt out and you like compare yourself to other podcasts out there.
And so I think you just gotta focus on like being better than you were last month and just kind of enjoying it. So, but, but I mean, again, this is just like a small, small hobby, I guess. So there’s not as much.

Jared: Yeah. And with the podcast, I don’t know how you, you know, how you started, but I started thinking this may or may never be profitable.
I don’t know. But I saw it almost the biggest part of it was like, Hey, this is a great excuse to call a lot of people that would have thought it was weird if I called them otherwise, you know, if I call up some of my kids [00:10:00] out of the blue and said, Hey, can I ask you some questions? Y, who are you? Why? No, by instead I say, Hey, I’ve got this podcast.
I’d love to interview you. And they’re like, oh, sure. Yeah, I’d be happy to do it. So it’s an excuse to get, to meet people and build a network that I wouldn’t have otherwise had, whether it was profitable or not. It was a heck of a lot better, more affordable education than I ever could have gotten through university and other things.

Trevor: that’s a good point. I mean, cause yeah, it is weird if you call them out of the blue and they’re like, first off, who are you a, why should I talk to you? And you’re like, Hey, I’ve got a podcast. Like I, as well as my listeners want to learn from you. So let’s chat a little bit. So that’s such a good point.

Jared: That’s funny. Yeah. I figured that, you know, for, for them it’s like, yeah, they get to share whatever they’re doing. And it’s probably like. I mean, like when you reached out and stuff, it’s like, yeah, I’d be honored to talk about what I’ve learned, whether I have anything to share really or not. You know what I mean?
So, yeah, it definitely makes a little bit easier. The approach to some of these pretty incredible people who have some pretty incredible.

Trevor: Yeah, that’s true. [00:11:00] So going off of that, your podcast heard quitter, um, your tagline is awesome. It’s about farmers and ranchers that do things differently that are going outside the norm, trying to turn a profit, trying to be different.
And so what I mean, what have been the biggest takeaway so far from doing your podcast? Like what have been the biggest lessons you’ve learned? And I mean, I know there’s a bunch. Um, so what are, what have kind of been the biggest takeaways?

Jared: Yeah. Yeah. So like, you kind of mentioned the name, the herd quitter podcast, and that phrase, it wasn’t my own.
It came from kit, uh, who we raised bulls for and stuff like, and I talked to him and. The idea of this herd quitter, for those of your listeners who have cattle, is we probably all, they’ve probably all moved this group of cows and there’s the one cow that’s fighting her way back, you know, trying to go the other direction and just drives you nuts.
Um, but she’s, she’s that herd quitter cow. And at first, at first glance, you think that’s pretty, just an annoying animal. You really don’t want her there, but if you really think that. Of this herd of [00:12:00] whatever 200 cows, 500, whatever it is, that is the only cow who’s thinking for themselves and like truly thinking for themselves and doing their own thing.
And you gotta respect that really. I mean, that’s, that’s pretty neat. And so that was my goal out of this is just to interview people. Are not afraid to be like that cow and think for themselves, even if the people pushing them in the other direction, don’t like it, even if all the cows are pushing by her, you know, pushing her the other direction, you know, they’re thinking for themselves.
And so your question of like, what have I learned? It’s been really like, just thinking of all the interviews, kind of a common thread that I would say with everyone is like true intentionality with every decision they make. I would say it’s probably one of the bigger ones. Like they’re not, they’re running their business.
They’re not letting their business run them. They’re not just doing what they’ve always done because they’ve always done it. They’re intentional about every decision does, does in the question, thinks they look at what their dad and grandfather didn’t say. Does this make [00:13:00] sense? Look, let’s look at current market conditions.
Look, look, let’s look at our context. What are our resources? What are our advantages and disadvantages and does doing that make sense? Not because the neighbor does it or my grandfather did it, but does it make sense today? A lot of them maybe found that certain things didn’t make sense. And then the thing that kind of goes along with that intentionality is then the ability to act, you know, the ability to, to do something different, to seek out something different.
And you know, I’d say, so it’s kind of an overarching theme mindset. I mean, it’s all over. Uh, very little of it has to do with what we’re doing day in and day out. It’s it’s the, the mental ballad battle to be willing to think differently and then act differently. If you find that maybe what you had been doing doesn’t make sense.
Trevor: Um, yeah, so I’ve heard from a lot of like old, old school farmers that, I mean, quote unquote, they do it just because this is kind of the way it’s always been done. So do you think that’s [00:14:00] kind of like an old school rationale?

Jared: Yeah. You know, and it’s so circle, you know, every, every farm probably does things for their own reasons. So I never liked don’t want to paint with a broad brush and say, everybody does it for one reason, but I do think there is, you know, there’s definitely something to tradition and doing, you know what, we’ve always what we’ve always done and maybe not even doing it intentionally because that’s what they’ve always done, but just not even recognizing that there’s a different way to do it.
Um, I mean, I think a lot of us in this. Like a credit to the industry are incredibly hard workers and they spend a lot of time working in the business day in and day out. And so they never have the time to think to work on the business. I think this is that’s kind of the work, what we versus what would be like working in the business versus working on the business, kind of goes through the ranching for profit, I think has kind of who came up with that.
But, um, If you don’t have time to really think about it at all, because you’re spending [00:15:00] all your time doing your job, your, your, the daily jobs and stuff, you’ll never be able to make a change. And so, you know, I can’t say if the true source or the root cause of, of not changing is because it’s just like a desire to do what we’ve always done, or just like a lack of time to think differently or something.
But, uh, you know, that’s, that’s a good question because if we could figure out what the, the, the challenge is, the reason why. We’ll never change or won’t change people don’t change. You know, we could address it and make some pretty big changes pretty quick. But the, the ag industry, they say changes one funeral at a time, which is kind of maybe the, a little bit of a sad statement and stuff is that a lot of times it takes a generation, the net, you know, passing to let the next generation have the ability to start doing things, to do.

Trevor: I haven’t heard that, but that does make a lot of sense. I quote, um, yeah, I mean, you brought up something like ranching is such a 24 7 job. I mean, if you find out that there is a different way of doing it, I mean, that’s going to be stressful. That’s going to take you so [00:16:00] much time to implement those changes.
I’m sure. And so, I mean, that’s, I mean, like you said, it’s probably a reason why a lot of people didn’t change. Like it was just so much that they had to do to get to that step.

Jared: Yeah. Yeah. You know, a lot of the things that. The w we talk about that the guests that I’ve had arm talk about are our ideas that just to a person who’s done it one way or more of the conventional way, their whole life.
And then for generations seem ridiculous. I mean, for one, for example, To Kevin May and June. We’ll just take that as an example, uh, CA calving in may and June is what we recommend for multiple reasons. I mean, you’re aligning your you’re calving season, w which is the time when a cow needs the highest nutrient requirement with when the environment produces the most, the highest availability of high quality nutritious feed.
In spring, we have the spring flush of grass and abundance of grass when the cow needs it, it makes sense to me, but a lot of people’s mindset is. Uh, we’re trying to sell pounds, total pounds [00:17:00] of meat. And the earlier that I can have a calf, the longer that a calf has to grow during the year, the more pounds I’ll have to sell them a fall when we sell meat.
Um, that, so for them to think I’m going to move my cabin back to three, four months. Is mind blowing. I mean, just, just, it’s just a challenging, a lot of these things, maybe aren’t even infrastructure changes or, you know, work changes. It’s, it’s mental barriers to thinking, you know? Okay. That maybe could make sense.
Um, that’s one example. There’s so many that could make sense to like another example. People, a lot of times will have their cattle and pastors spread all over the countryside. Or if they’ve got, you know, say a thousand acres, they’ll have them broken out into 150 200 acre paddocks and have a group of cattle.
Each paddock and they spend all day checking every group, checking every water. When in reality, they, they could just put them all in one group and move them daily. But the, the idea is if I had all these cattle in the group and I have to move, I have to move cattle every day. That sounds ridiculous. Why would I move cattle every day?
Instead they just [00:18:00] spend all day going and checking 10 different groups every day. And so not only then does that benefit end up reducing workload by moving them in one group, um, versus checking 10 groups. There’s tremendous land and soil and grasp, uh, production benefits that come along with moving cattle more regularly.
And so I do think that, you know, a big part of it is just that some of them, some of the practices that some of the folks that come on, my podcast that I’ve talked to, it’s just so contradictory or counterintuitive to the production model that they’ve been doing. That it’s almost the barriers, just, you know, mental, you know, we can’t do that. That doesn’t make any sense. It won’t work here.

Trevor: Hmm. That’s interesting. Yeah. Um, yeah. So talking about your guests and it, it was funny. I had no clue you’d bring them up, but actually listened to your episode with kit Pharaoh, talking about building a network, kind of the importance of that. And so, I mean, you you’ve interviewed a bunch of people around the U S around Australia and stuff like that. So when you’re talking to them, what are kind of some of the [00:19:00] biggest struggles that all of these ranchers are facing, whether it’s environmental factors, market factors would have kind of been. I guess the most common struggles that they faced.

Jared: Uh, that’s a, that’s a good question. It’s probably one that I need to focus more on. I’ll be honest. It’s as probably to the wrong side of my, my podcast is that I focus on the things that they’re doing well, and I need to focus more on their struggles. Cause that’s where we all need. We can learn from the most, um, you know, it, it seems like the majority of the things that they’re struggling with or.
Things that they were struggling with. I keep going back to this mental challenge for the longest time. A lot of these folks will just have thought that something different wasn’t possible and they find out after practicing or trying a little thing that it was. But as far as challenges for the whole, you know, the whole industry that a lot of these guests faced at one point probably a big one is the cost of production.
I mean, in agriculture, [00:20:00] I don’t know that. Like looked at the cost of a tractor recently or something or a combine. I mean, it’s skyrocketed, it’s wild. I mean, I was just watching a YouTube video the other day of a, and this is a grain farm. They had five S seven 90 combines and the person was talking about the value of it.
And I was just doing the math in that field. That farmer had three and a half million dollars tied up in just combines and corn. Alone, just in that, in that field. And that’s, you know, the cost of production is, is wild. And so if you are in a business model, which the majority of agriculture and the majority of ranchers are in have a high input system. Um, where you, your thought is based around selling as many pounds as possible. Um, the only way I can do that is by, you know, high inputs, high expenses, you know, that’s a tough game to win because you’re competing against people who have way more and kind of can, can compete on scales of efficiency that I can never dream of, you know, on my farm where now we got little over 200 cows and there are people.
20,010, 2000 cows for me to compete with them, you know, to own the same equipment, to feed my cows as them. It doesn’t make sense. Um, I, I shouldn’t try and compete with them on a cost of production, battle and stuff. So that’s kind of why a lot of my producer, the guests I have on are focusing more on low input, high profit, as opposed to high input high production, which may or may not lead to profit.
Um, So, yeah, that’s probably the biggest one and this model that we face or that we’re trying to implement in that most of my guests are trying to implement as mimicking nature with. It’s not it’s it’s dependent. Do you mean really your only cost of mimicking nature then is your land cost and your labor costs.
You don’t have to worry about, you know, any other equipment and stuff. And so when we just get out of the, the rat race of trying to compete with some of these other guys kind of, I guess [00:22:00] another challenge you could say would be that kind of keeping up with the Jones’s mindset, looking at the neighbors and what they have and what they.
They do and trying to compete. That’s that’s not worth it. Like you had mentioned about podcasts too. I mean, same thing. Looking at the next person’s podcast, I’ll never be a Joe Rogan. I know that. I don’t even know how many podcasts listeners he’s got, but, uh, I don’t even bother. It’s not worth it.

Trevor: Some of the millions, um, so going, going back to, um, your guests, so getting off of their struggles would have been like, what are some things that they’re succeeding at? I mean, what are some things that have been like super remarkable to learn that they’re doing that they’re doing differently that have maybe helped, I don’t know, maybe save their bids.

Jared: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Uh, so I mean, kind of the, and I don’t know how specific you want me to get into the ranching, you know, kind of business and stuff. They’re very simple changes that all stem back to a simple mindset change, first of all, but. You know, a big one calving window, like I [00:23:00] said, I mean the simple thing of changing their calving window back allows them to reduce their winter feed costs tremendously.
Um, it also reduces their labor inputs. I mean, when you can, in January and February, first of all, you need to have building infrastructure, especially up here in the Midwest, I’m in Minnesota. Uh, you have to have infrastructure to keep them warm and to keep those cabs warm. And, uh, and, and so that’s expensive.
Plus there’s more cabin troubles in barns and in winter and stuff than there is out in pasture when they can kind of cab naturally and everything. And so people check their cows for calving and their heifers for calves every couple hours. And that’s labor intensive and stressful. When I came home to farm, we were actually calving in March and I think it was.
Partially joking, mostly true, uh, that I would put on my winter weight all winter, and I would lose about 15 pounds in about six days of calving season, because it is so labor intensive and hard work. Um, you know, so that’s a big one. Um, another guest that, well, a couple of guests I’ve had on Wally Olson and Doug Ferguson have been their topic, uh, has been really popular with a lot of my listeners of sell by mark.
Which is kind of just a different view on marketing. A lot of people in, in agriculture, in the, in the feedlot business or in the cattle feeding business, focusing on, uh, buying at a certain time at a certain way and selling at a certain time at a certain weight, everything is a very calendar-based, you know, strict strategy.
It’s very systematic and the same thing happens every time. And what they’re doing is, is just. The opposite. They’re saying I’m not going to buy based on a certain desire if everybody’s buying on the same thing, that animal based on simple economics is going to be higher value overvalued. When more people are interested in something at the same time, it becomes overvalued.
And so what they’re saying is they buy the undervalued animal that not as many people want, bring them to, uh, you know, cheaply on grass, bring them to a weight that they’re all of a sudden overvalued and sell them. It doesn’t matter if it’s. Two weeks or two months later. And doesn’t matter if it’s January or March there, they’re always trading cattle [00:25:00] and just managing, buying the undervalued and selling the overvalued, as opposed to just buying and selling based on a calendar and a pre conceived plan or existing strategy.
And that, that philosophy I’m pretty excited to go. I’m going to be going to one of the classes of these folks here in a month or so to try and learn more about it because it, it really. Um, pretty unique and innovative thinking in this and it kind of goes, they both learned it from bud Williams is the kind of the originator of that idea.
Um, but that, you know, that’s a. Another thing. And then these things can also be applied to cow calf production as well. You know, with cows, each cow has a depreciation schedule. They’re worth more at certain times and certain ages than they are at other certain times at certain ages. And so being intentional again, back to that intentionality about buying cows at certain times when they might be undervalued and selling them at certain times when they’re overvalued, before they begin to go down in value again, There’s there’s just, you know, [00:26:00] I, I’m just fascinated when I talk to these people about how much they think about business in ways that I’ve never even thought about.
It’s like, I thought we’re just out here to move cows and build fence and they’re like, no, no, no. You mean, that’s the $15 an hour, $20 an hour jobs. The money is made in the desk at the desk, thinking about what you’re doing and being intentional and just, I’m just blown away by the intentionality of some of these folks thinking, you know, it’s, it’s.

Trevor: Yeah. I haven’t heard of methods like that before, but I mean, it seems so different, but I feel like things like this might be the future where you gotta be intentional about when you’re going to breed your cows, when they’re going to give birth, when you’re going to sell them. Instead of just kind of like, like you said earlier, kind of going with the flow and just doing what is normal and what’s expected really.
I mean, so it has a lot of that been successes of trial and error, or have there been like, I don’t know, some studies that people have been focusing on and practicing those studies and going.

Jared: Yeah. I mean, it’s cool because I get to talk to some of these people that are kind of coming up with some of these ideas, like kit feral, for example, is kind of the original herd quitter. As far as this whole cow calf philosophy of low input cows, smaller frame, moderate frame cows, and we get to talk to him. And so there’s some people who like I get to talk to who have suffered through the. Learning process those early stages of developing the philosophies in the first place. And they probably had more failures than a lot of us latecomers who get to benefit from the many years of experience, trial and error, uh, that, that those folks had.
So some of my guests are early. Early adopters. And, and some of them are people like myself who listened to a podcast and think that’s an awesome idea. I’m going to try it. And hopefully, you know, podcasts like mine can help them have some resources to try it in a way that won’t be a total failure, um, because they get to learn from somebody else’s failures.

Trevor: That’s awesome. Yeah. I mean, I feel like going back to the podcast thing, I feel like my. Lessons that I’ve learned have been from my own failures and then kind of learning from people along the way. I mean, and even so I taught high school ag for two years too. And I feel like some of the biggest lessons I had there were through my own failures and kind of learning them and fixing them.
So it kind of goes back to that like diagram, you always see where it’s like, oh, people think success is a straight line when your reality it’s like all over the place. So you’re failing, succeeding, failing, succeeding. And so you’re never actually like improving unless you’re tracking. And failing every now and then.
So, but I feel like that’s every industry or every discipline or every job, but I think it’s always interesting to watch people do it, um, in the farming and ranching industry, because I mean, they’re failing their businesses depending on it. And so hopefully those are going to be little failures along.
Jared: Yeah. And that’s, that’s a big, I think that’s a big part you asked about like w why some of these things don’t necessarily happen more something. And some of the challenges is there’s like this business is [00:29:00] very slim margin business, and there may not be a lot of room for error and trial and error. Um, so yeah, that, that’s a good point, but I don’t know who says it or how even the quote goes or something it’s like, but yeah, if, if a person never fails, they, they’re not someone to look up to.
It means they haven’t tried enough or something, you know, Yeah, paraphrasing or something like that. I don’t look to the people who’ve never failed. That doesn’t really say much to me. It just says they’re really good at staying comfortable,

Trevor: saying comfortable, being uncomfortable

Jared: and being failing and all that.
Yeah. I appreciate you being an ag teacher too. My wife and I just got back from national FFA convention and yeah. Ag ag programs were huge for us. Appreciate that. Oh, yeah, absolutely.

Trevor: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. I had a blast. I only taught for two years in Daytona and I mean, I was in an ag program in high school when I was a state officer down here in Florida.
And so went to, um, national convention twice, super fun. I was, I think, six rows away from Mike Rowe and he was giving like the, um, he was speaking at national. That was awesome. We

Jared: all went out whenever micro came out, I think at that convention, but I don’t, I don’t think I got that close.

Trevor: That’s awesome. Yeah. I don’t know if he’s been back. I hope he does, but I mean, I honestly can’t tell you how many ag classrooms I’ve been in, where the teacher’s out and they’re playing dirty jobs and it’s always like a good educational episode. Everybody loves it. I mean, it’s, it’s such a cool concept and

Jared: everybody loves one. Yeah, no doubt. No, that

Trevor: does it. So, all right. So some of your other episodes have talked about like ranchers kind of diversifying their operation, whether it’s with like agritourism or even like opening hunting leases on their ranch, which is such a good idea. And so what are some other, maybe some uncommon ways farmers are kind of

Jared: diversifying.
Yeah. Oh, that’s a, that’s a good question. This is one of my favorite interviews was Jerry . And I don’t know [00:31:00] if you’ve listened to that one or not. Uh, in North Dakota, his family, like he had three sons, I think that came home and this was one of my early ones. So I’m going to be, I may or may not be wrong on some of this, but he said, you know, each of them.
Come up with something, bring some value back to this because it brings some value value back to this ranch, because there may not be room for you otherwise, and stuff. And so, um, they, they came back in and he talked about how I think. The first son said, well, we’ve been giving away hunting in this ranch for years.
Let’s let’s, uh, let’s start selling this, you know, make some money on this. And so they started just leasing it out. Well, then they said, you know, rather than leasing out, let’s do a full like outfitting business. So they started doing that. And then they said, we’ve got all these houses that used to be employed.
But nobody wants to live in the rural country anymore. So they’re just sitting empty. Let’s turn these into like lodges and start leasing this out. And then another son came back and turned the barns into like an event center and another son made a brewery. And so they’re just doing so much stuff. And now they’re direct marketing meat.
They’re doing events, they’re doing lodging and outfitting and it’s just like mind blowing. And I think that’s so cool. You know, and his kind of key was like, come up with what your unfair advantages. And that’s what I’ve been trying to do here on our farm. And he said, you know, we’re, we’re our, our context, our resources. We’ve got this vast amount of open Prairie land. That’s great hunting ground. We’re 45 minutes from an airport and a big city, you know, this, this is something that we can tap into. And so they did, and we’re trying to figure out the same thing at our. You know, what can we use, but some other to answer your question, cool.
Diversifications that people have done that I’ve heard about is, um, there’s an individual in Northeast, Minnesota that, that. Just does kind of lodging as well. They built a year to actually at their place, uh, shout out to farm. Yeah. They built a, uh, and they have another house as well that they rent out and it’s like, that’s awesome.
I mean, they have a beautiful area. They’re in a very, like, they recognize that they’re up by Duluth and the north shore of lake superior, like a very tourist popular tourist location. They said, why not take advantage of this? And so they did, I mean, know your area, know your, your. W w what, what can you take advantage of in your region and stuff?
And, um, I mean, We’re just lucky on this in agriculture, kind of a land-based industry to have unique things, to be able to do with the resources. People can come up with creative ways to utilize the resources that, you know, a standard, you know, person who owns a downtown building may, may never be able to do with their real estate resource.
And so. You know, if we can think creatively it’s, there’s the opportunities out there are endless and I’ll have to think more intentionally on some of the, or think some more on what, uh, what some of the people have done on the guests, guests on the podcast. But that Jerry Dolan one jumps out to me immediately because they took, they didn’t, they weren’t settled with one, they just kept on going,

Trevor: oh, they hit the ground running.
I mean, a brewery, a lodging and [00:34:00] outfitting thing. I mean, that’s awesome. I mean, you, you don’t hear about that many. Um, I guess business ideas happening at a ranch, usually it’s like one or two, but I mean, that’s awesome. They kind of hit the ground running there.

Jared: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s like kind of a necessity too.
I mean, how many, fortunately. They were able to do that because a lot of ranches can’t sustain three children coming back and that’s a, that’s about true. That’s an awesome opportunity, but it’s also a pretty big challenge to make a ranch that’s profitable enough to sustain three separate families. Plus the older generation four separate families on one land base, they had to come up with something differently and prop to them for being able to.
Yeah, that’s not

Trevor: bad. And I’ve heard of so many, um, ranches going direct to consumers. There’s a ranch here that we’ve been, that we’ve had on the show, Boyd farms fresh, um, in Florida. And they have been selling direct to farmers a lot more, thanks to the pandemic. And it’s great. They go to all these farmer’s markets, they sell their meat right out of a refrigerator truck, and you can buy.
[00:35:00] High quality meat. Usually some of the best cuts on a cow that you usually can’t get for that sort of price. I mean, you go to like a Publix or Walmart or somewhere, you can’t get the kind of cuts that they have. And so it’s cool that a lot of ranches have started selling more than.

Jared: Yeah, I love it. I mean, yeah.
You kind of asked the question earlier about what are some of the challenges that some of these people are facing and a big one is like the commodity market. I mean, we’re competing against people. Even the commodity markets goal is to buy product as cheap as possible. And generally the big operations can produce product cheaper than we can.
And if we’re trying to compete with them on a commodity. Uh, you know, we really can’t. And so to your point about this awesome thing that’s happening in the last year, especially if more farmers doing direct marketing, that’s incredible. I love, I love seeing that because it’s, it’s people finding a way to adapt.
People thinking, you know, maybe this isn’t a good long-term solution for me to continue to try and compete with these big operations on a commodity market. How can I [00:36:00] adapt to that and still do what I love of raising livestock and they’re doing it by going direct to the consumer. There’s, they’re selling more than just meat.
They’re selling their name, they’re selling their relationship. They’re selling their farm. Uh, that’s what we do on our farm. Encourage and invite people to come visit it and experience it. It’s part of our kind of mission and goals of, we want people to have a connection to their food that they would never get by shopping at Walmart, you know?
And so I love that there are more people doing direct marketing it’s, it’s exciting to me, and it should be exciting to the consumer because they get to experience food and a whole new.

Trevor: Oh, yeah. I mean, you literally get to see like the people that are making your food, where it’s grown. I mean, especially if they visit your farm, like you’re talking about like doing, um, agritourism.
I mean, I think that’s so fun. Like you can literally go there and you can say, Hey, that guy was going to be a steak that I’m going to eat, and it’s a couple of months, like you can, you can connect them. And, and I think that the closer the farmer and the consumer are like the healthier both are going to be.
I mean, you can take out that middleman. So it’s going to be cheaper. It’s going to be healthier for [00:37:00] you. It’s you’re probably going to eat less processed stuff if you know where your farmer is and if you’re like, you know, buying produce or something from like a farmer’s market or something. I mean, I think it’s a winning idea.
So it’s kind of been this, I guess, a success thanks to the pandemic. Like, because there’s been this necessity of like pitch of pivoting a little bit. And so I think it’s been kind of like a win-win

Jared: for them. Yeah. Oh, totally. And I, like you said, like you could point out a cow and say, that’ll be a steak.
I’ll share just a brief story that I once made the mistake of not knowing my audience or my customer wants it. There was an animal that was just giving us trouble loading on a trailer for some reason, just it happens every now and then nothing uncommon or whatever. And I made the comment to the person.
Yeah. I said, Hey, your beef was dropped off at the butcher this morning. We barely got it on the trailer, but we got it on the trailer. And she was like, she knew, he knew like that. She was just like, and it was like heartbroken that she thought the animal knew what was happening and where it was going. And I was like, oh, I got to keep my mouth shut.
So yeah. I scared her a little bit broke her heart, I think. But yeah. Know your audience know who’s interested in knowing exactly what their stake will be. Cause some people don’t want to look at that cute calf and know there’ll be eating it next fall.

Trevor: Yeah. That’s true. That’s funny though. I mean, that’s one of those things where you’re like, oh my bad.

Yes. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah.

Trevor: That’s so funny. So I know, I know something going on now is like this whole push for sustainability. So like sustainability paying closer attention to our environment. So have you learned a whole lot of what ranchers are trying to do? And I know like crop rotation and there’s a bunch of stuff, ranchers that are doing the tech to kind of address sustainability that normal, like consumers don’t know about.
And so what have you noticed, like kind of interviewing all these people? Are there any. Very successful sustainability practices going on.

Jared: Yeah. So I could list practices all day. Cause like there’s so many ways that people are doing this. I’m not, but I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the [00:39:00] soil health principles, if you’ve ever heard of those or are not.
Um, gay brown is kind of an originator of this idea of the soil health principles. And I just was interviewing someone else earlier today for my podcast who rattled through them like a pro. And I told him whenever I try to rattle through them, I’ll butcher it completely. And I know I’ll forget what. But I’ll give it a shot.
Um, the principles are diversify, you know, as much diversification as possible diversification of plant species, animal species, wildlife species, maybe. Had diversity monocultures are not diversity, so increased diversity. That’s the number one soil health principle. And in any order of these might be, uh, minimize disturbance, disturbance, both tillage, chemically, you know, minimizing disturbance in, in, in any way that you can.
Um, because. Wasn’t disturbed by a big plow regularly or chemical and stuff, uh, green and growing plant as much of the year as possible. This one’s really cool because one of the best things that we can do for our soil is build carbon, build organic matter in the soil. And we build organic matter through [00:40:00] photosynthesis.
The more plants that are growing the longer they’re growing and photosynthesizing, they’re pumping carbon into the soil. That’s great. It’s advantageous, you know, let’s do as much of that as possible. So, so that’s, that’s one. Uh, now here’s where I, I know the fifth one livestock integration, because when you look back at nature and stuff, bison, elk, mule, deer birds were an integral part of nature and wildlife.
And so livestock integration was the other one. Um, and I knew the fourth one, I’m going to totally forget which I knew I would and stuff, but these principles. Uh, you, you kind of asked about print practices, uh, you know, a practice, like for example, no, till may or may not work on one farm versus another.
Um, but a principle like minimize disturbance, if that’s the principal, you know how we apply that in any farm can be different or integrate livestock can be different on every farm. And so all of these principles need to be applied within the context of an individual’s farm. Uh, if that makes sense, and these are kind of the things that I work with.
When I, when I, uh, go for my job for the soil health or the sustainable farming association, that soil health lead is I go to farms and I say, here’s these principles that are proven to improve soil. Um, let’s figure out within your, your context on your farm and your given environment, how we can apply these principles as best as possible.
Um, Yeah. And I, and I just looked up on my phone here to see what the other principal was. Cause it was bugging me and that’s just keeping the soil covered. Um, whenever there’s exposed soil, I mean, there’s research out there that shows when soil temperatures hit like a hundred, 120 degrees or something, biology starts dying and it’s dead.
Biology likes temperatures like we do in the seventies and eighties and stuff. And so we need to keep our soil covered to protect it from the sun and the heat, as well as from wind erosion and rain erosion. That’s pretty neat too. I have a little thermal thermometer kind of gun thing that they, you know, check your temperatures with and stuff, but, uh, uh, if you do.
Just pointed at the soil surface when it’s shaded [00:42:00] by grass or something growing, you know, if the air temperature is 80 degrees, that soil temperature might be 70 degrees. But even if the air temperature is 80 degrees exposed soil, the soil temperature might be 110 degrees. It can be way hotter than air temperature.
And so we it’s so important to keep soil covered. Those are the five soil health principles and how people are applying them all across the farmer or across the country are different everywhere. You know, people are playing, doing no till strip till in wetter areas so that they can still do a little bit of tillage to dry out the soil.
But they’re using that, uh, in, in agriculture and grazing, you know, rotational grazing as a way of keeping soil covered and keeping plants growing and integrating livestock. I mean, cover crops. There there’s ton of different ways that we’re practicing, implementing these principles, but those five prints.
Applied within your context is the main way that we can build soil. And it is pretty cool to see some of the impacts. I mean, in our farm, on our farm and in our state here in Minnesota this year, we had one of the driest years, since a lot of people talk about 1988, the drought of [00:43:00] 1988. And. I was fortunate to be able to get out on farms all around the state and see people who are implementing certain principles that by no means made us, you know, immune to drought, but made resilience to drought.
And we, a lot of individuals fared better than their neighbors because of certain management practices that they’ve had. And it was really, you know, an awful. Experience. I mean, it was depressing sometimes to see this drought impact people. I mean, it was pretty sad, but then to see at least that some people fared a little better than others by implementing different practices.
It was really.

Trevor: I bet it was. And I think that point that livestock management is a part of the solution is really important that a lot of people aren’t paying attention to. Um, I saw a study a few years ago. I can’t remember what it was, but I’ll have to look it up, but basically I think he was in the UK. Um, they compared grassland, that was just grasping. At, with grassland that had livestock on it, it was like rotationally graze. The livestock grassland captured countless, like so much more carbon than the regular grassland. And they’re like, this is obvious. Like we need to kind of have livestock working in.
W with the soil to help produce or to help combat sustainability and stuff like that. But you have a lot of these people that are like anti livestock and they say livestock is causing it when they are literally part of the solution. I mean, you look back. I think like 100 years of robot, like 3 billion bison in the United States or something like
Jared: that.

Trevor: They were never the cause of climate change. I mean, nobody ever said that. I mean, but I think to say that livestock needs to be stopped, which w like a lot of opponents are saying is absurd because they are definitely part of the solution, which I think is very, very interesting. And I think more and more people need to realize.

Jared: Exactly. I mean, you’re so right. And I just kind of a neat thing that we’ve seen on our farm as we’ve [00:45:00] solely picked up, you know, another farm or something in 2014, we got an 80 acre farm down the road that was in CRP for 15 years conservation reserve program. It sat idle in grass for 15 years, essentially.
Biologically dead. I mean, that soil was, there was nothing there. Grass would hardly grow once we got in livestock on it and started implementing some of these, you know, these, these, uh, practices and principles, um, that farm is now way more productive. I mean, so it’s awesome. And to your point about like being able to sequester more carbon when grass is just, it grows up, I mean, cool.
Season grass is the done. Grass species now in the upper Midwest and stuff way up here. There’s a lot of cool season grasses that grow really fast in may and June. And if you don’t do anything with it, they’ll grow up. They’ll go to seed, they’ll get mature and they’ll die. And then they’ll lay flat and smother out future growth.
So there’s really no more. Growing green and growing plants the rest of the year. And those green and growing plants are what’s photosynthesizing and [00:46:00] capturing carbon. And so an animal comes through and kind of acts as like a pruning tool, sets it back and keeps it vegetative and keeps it growing and allows that plant to continue to photosynthesize throughout the whole summer.
And you can, you can have a plant photosynthesizing. Pretty much, as soon as the ground thaws out, it’s amazing how quick some of this grass starts to bring it up and growing until well into the fall. We’re still photosynthesizing today out at our farm and stuff here, even though the, you know, the nights are cold and, and so, yeah, livestock are incredibly important to that process.
Yeah. Appreciate you saying that, sharing that if you knew where that study was, you should, I’d be curious to read it.

Trevor: Yeah, I need to find it. Um, there’s an author that has a book out. I think it’s called. Oh gosh. What is it? Sustainable dish, sacred cow, sacred cows. Name of the book.

Jared: I have listened to part of the audio book, but I’ve not finished it.
Okay. Yeah.

Trevor: I mean, not that put you on the spot. So I bought it months ago. I still have not read it. I really need to read it because I want to have her on the podcast. Um, but she really talks about it. How like livestock and ranching [00:47:00] cows are literally the answer to help the food system to help the planet.
And it’s not the main cause. And so I think that’s super. Important and, um, yeah, I mean, she had, there’s a, there’s a documentary out and I think almost had Ron Swanson, but the guy that plays Ron Swanson in parks and recreation narrated it, Nick Offerman, he narrated it. Oh, that’s nice. Yeah. That’s why I want to watch it just to hear his voice.

Jared: Yeah. Yeah. Right. I, uh, I haven’t, I think, yeah, there was supposed to be a documentary that went along with the book and I have not seen it, so I’ll have to look for it.

Trevor: I haven’t, I don’t know what it’s not, I don’t think it’s on Amazon or Netflix or it’s probably on one of those obscure documentary places or something.

Jared: Yeah.

Trevor: awesome. So what’s the future of the podcast? What’s the future of herd quitter? I mean, obviously you wanna interview more ranchers out there to kind of see how they’re quote unquote quitting the, her and doing something different. So it’s.

Jared: Yeah. I mean, it kind of just like you saying, carrying on hope, hope to keep interviewing more people.
What I would like to do that, I mean, challenged I’m [00:48:00] challenged in the amount of time that I have is, is build a more engaged following listening. You know, I I’d like to get more engaged on social media, start getting more. Listener questions, stuff like that. So that I can ask specifically, you know, if I have a guest lined up for two weeks from now, I’ll put out what do you want to hear from them?
Kind of a thing or something like that. I’ve just been so limited in time that I haven’t been able to really do that. I’m not sure if that’s something you do or not, but yeah. I struggle with that, but that, that for sure, I want to get more of what my listeners want. I like to joke sometimes that this is my podcast.
I’m asking the questions I want to learn, but it is important to me too, for the listeners that we get, get them, uh, the, in their questions answered as well. And hopefully just continue to grow it and have more people learning. I mean really what the goal of it was is to share what I mean, these people I’m interviewing are finding extreme success in their businesses, by doing some of these things.
I mean, really big success and the story of ranching across the country. Right now, there’s a lot of pretty [00:49:00] gloomy stories and stuff that people, people need, some something to change. And I’m just hoping that this gets out there. It gets in front of them. They can take a listen to some people and maybe learn something different and change, turn their story around.
And so that. They have a better life and future generations on their ranch might have a better life that, that maybe wouldn’t have been possible if they didn’t. So that’s, that’s the goal. We’ll see where, where it goes.

Trevor: Well, so spring boarding off of that a little bit, I mean, obviously if somebody wants to learn more about ranching and how to diversify their operation, I mean, obviously listen to their herd quitter podcast.
Um, but what are some other resources out there that you might recommend? Um, maybe somebody like somebody like kit Farrow or somebody else, what are some resources you would advise people to use?

Jared: Yeah. So the podcast or kit Pharaoh, Pharaoh cattle.com is a great resource. There’s blogs and things out there that that kit Feroz shares all the time.
It’s Farrow cattle.com. He’s got a newsletter that goes out once a week. And if you buy a bull, you get on his discussion group, which is an [00:50:00] amazing resource of thousands of people across the country who have bought bulls, who are just constantly cheering. Asking questions, sharing ideas from a wealth of knowledge of ranchers all around the country.
So that’s, that’s one. Um, as far as books and things like two books come to my mind is my favorite books. And one of them is dirt to soil. By gay brown, gay brown has an amazing story. Uh, in North Dakota of going through four years of total failure, crop failure and things that forced him to look at things differently.
I mean, he had hail, hail drought hail or something like that. And just right after he bought a farm, total crop failures and stuff, and it forced him to do things differently. And he is now one of the biggest names and kind of regenerative ag and sustainability. And it talks more about those soil health principles that I addressed earlier.
And then my favorite book now, after reading it is the turnaround a ranchers story by. Dave Pratt. That’s like a business book that has so much great knowledge packed into a book. That’s just totally [00:51:00] readable. I mean, I, I read through that love and it tells it and kind of a story format of a ranch family.
Learn this at helping another family who’s needing the help. And so it tells it in a format that’s very readable, but it’s great content and a, and a great book. So I would check out those books for sure. Um, podcast, the working cows podcast is a great one. Um, I love clay Connery and what he’s doing in his podcast.
He’s kind of one of the big reasons that got me to do a podcast in the first place. So, uh, I would recommend that as well.

Trevor: Nice. I am going to add them on here. Making some notes, those sound like really good books. I have heard of the working cows podcast. I haven’t listened to it, but I’ve heard a lot

Jared: of really good things.
Okay. Yeah, totally great. One clay does a great job. Um, and yeah, it was funny when I first learned what podcasts were I remember is at a wedding and somebody said, oh, you can do the podcasts. You should listen to podcasts. Like from that, that day, I just like searched. I got a podcast app and I started searching [00:52:00] cows, cattle, ranches, like trying to get as much cattle podcasts and working cows is one of the first ones I found.
I’ve been listening to it ever since. Just, just great, great podcasts. That’s awesome.

Trevor: I’ve found it. There’s a lot of, um, there’s a lot of great ag and farming podcasts out there, but a lot of them are super focused on one particular topic. And that’s phenomenal. I mean, like if you’re a dairy ranch or if you’re a dairy farmer or, um, like a beef cattle ranger, like there are numerous podcasts out there specifically for you.

Jared: It’s cool. Cause I didn’t know, like, I didn’t know how many listens I’d have no idea how many listeners, the working cows podcasts get and stuff, but he’s doing it still after a few years. So I was just like, you know, I dunno. I mean, if I get 10 listeners, is it worth it? I mean, is it a hundred lists? I don’t know how many listeners I have to make a do worth, but it’s pretty actually cool.
How many people out there, you know, will listen to such a specific podcast? Like you say, cause they are very specific. I mean, my audience is very limited. I’m not going to get someone from the city other than my aunt in Rochester. Shout out to [00:53:00] Cindy. She still listens to these. I appreciate that. Uh, yeah.
Uh, not many folks are going to listen to this who aren’t involved in the industry. That’s. Um,

Trevor: yeah, I mean, and that’s just the way it is. I mean, I feel like there’s a lot of people that, I mean, they find the podcast, they hook onto it and they just want to listen to it over and over again, like learn some stuff about ranching or about farming or about networking or whatever.
I mean, yeah. I feel like only few people can pull off the broad podcast ones like a Joe Rogan, but because they already know. That exposure really? And so they don’t have to be super focused. I mean, they can cover basically whatever they want and they’ll get

Jared: millions of downloads. But yeah, that is what it is.

Trevor: t’s been the weirdest thing like the past year. I think our downloads have been down just a little bit, but word of mouth and feedback from friends and family and random people on the internet has gone up. And so I’m like, this is weird, but I like, I like it. Like, this is good. Like we were getting like a decent number of downloads and we weren’t getting like any feedback or anything, but now I’m like, this is weird, unexpected, but great. So you never know what to expect on this. Podcast world journey

Jared: for sure. Well, I don’t know where you were before versus now in your skill, but you’re very talented guests or interviewer so far.
So probably quality has gotten to the point where you get lots of good comments. So keep it up. Well, thank you.

Trevor: I appreciate it. Yeah. I, in the beginning, I would always like, after a guest would say something, I would always be like, oh, that’s really cool. That was like my word filler. And so now anytime I do an interview, I have like notes pulled up and I have it highlighted, do not say that’s really.
And so it’s all I guess, adapting and learning to do the good things and not to do the bad things, but you definitely learned through doing.

Jared: Yeah. And that’s the beauty of editing is I edit out a lot of my filler words. I ended up the guests as much as I can to it, but I ended out my own. So I don’t sound like I’m saying the same thing over and over again, because I’m the same boat, same boat here.

Trevor: do you, do you find it painful to listen to [00:55:00] yourself while you’re editing? Because I, I can never listen to myself in the edit. I’m like, God, just, just keep talking. Like it’s, it’s not painful, but it’s just like

Jared: annoying. I would say the only reason it’s not as, because I’m listening, like, did I make myself sound stupid in this statement?
Like, that’s what I’m listening for. I try to try to do my best to pull that out. So

Trevor: Hey, there go. I mean, every, usually during an interview, if I’m interviewing somebody that’s not on podcasts a lot, I’m like, Hey, the, the podcast is made in the edit. Don’t worry. If you mess up, I can edit it out. I will probably mess up.
Um, but yeah, the worst edit though, I had to do, I, it was like the first one of the first 10 episodes. I think I had this farmer in south Florida. Um, and he was starting a tractor mid-sentence and I love sharing the story because he was starting it. And I couldn’t hear a word that he said, and I was like, dude, can you redo that please?
And so I had to go back and edit it out.

Jared:Cause it was, it was hilarious or like not do field work while we’re doing a podcast, please.It was so funny.

Trevor: I had, I mean, it’s funny what you’ll get, you’ll hear dogs in the background and sometimes, or you’ll hear people in the background, you’ll hear a fan or phones going off all the time.
You just, you honestly never know what you’re going to get. It’s it’s pretty bad. Have you had any, any happenings

Jared: like that? Just earlier today? I was my wife and I. Yeah in the hospital, actually the last couple of days for my, my son and we were out late and I ran to my mom’s house to do this podcast recording with somebody that I’ve been really excited to interview, but had been putting out, trying to been struggled to get scheduled for months.
And so I was like not missing this random, my mom’s house. And then in the middle of that, my stepdad came home and his dogs were barking and he walked in and like started tromping through the living room and started doing dishes. And it was like, you could hear it all on my end. Luckily I can edit out my style.
Yeah. So. 39 episodes or whatever. And I, I still can’t, uh, instill can’t do unwell yet, I guess, but I did get home for this one. So you don’t have to deal with those issues. There you go. Hey,

Trevor: it happens. It’s all struggle. All struggle. I mean, [00:57:00] that always just makes the episodes

Jared: more. You. Yeah. Yeah. I agree.
Hopefully the listeners agree.

Trevor: I mean, as long as I listen to a degree, that’s good. If they don’t, then that could be no bueno we’re there. This has been awesome, man. Chatting with you learn about all that you do about the herd quitter podcast. Um, if people want to follow you follow the podcast, obviously it’s herd quitter.
It’s on, um, apple podcasts. It’s on Google. It’s on Spotify and a bunch of other podcasts
Jared: players. Yup, yup. Yup. It should be everywhere. Most people listen. So. It’s like, well,

Trevor: where, where else can they go to kind of follow you guys and see what you guys are

Jared: doing? Yeah. I heard quitter podcast.com or heard quitter podcast on Facebook, Instagram, or you can follow me Jared lumen on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.
Um, I kind of link through all those things as well, but yeah.

Trevor: Deal. All right. Well, Jared, I appreciate it, man. Good luck with the podcast. Oh, and also I forgot to mention this. I absolutely love your logo. I think it’s awesome. The bowl, the very simple [00:58:00] text herd quitter with the microphone in it. It’s, it’s a beautiful, simplistic logo.
And I think there aren’t nearly as many podcasts out there with a really good logo

Jared: and here’s just one of them. So I appreciate that. Thanks so much. I had a great, great person put that together and stuff, but thank you. Thank you so much,

Trevor. Really appreciate being on.

Ep 126: Moomers Homemade Ice Cream

Moomers Handmade Ice Cream is home to the best ice cream in Michigan and I can attest to that! It’s also approved by the President of the United States! Today on the show, I chat with Jon Plummer about his family dairy business, how it started, and how they do everything on-site in terms of milking cows, processing the milk, and selling it or turning it into some great ice cream.

Jon (Left) and POTUS (right) with the ice cream.

Check them out at the links below:


Click here to subsrcibe to the show

Show Notes

  • Background of Moomers
  • Start of the dairy and ice cream
  • Why Holstein cows? Volume of milk!
  • Processing milk on site.
  • What goes into creating flavors?
  • Thoughts on farmer/consumer relationship
  • Traverse City is the Cherry capital of the world!
  • President Biden’s visit

Be sure to follow us on social media!




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coming soon!

Ep 124: Day in the life of a Canadian Chicken Farmer

Peter Dyck is a self-described Chicken farmer, tractor driver, Ag fanboy. Not a bad background. Peter, also known as Pete, married into the chicken business and raises pullets, which are young female chickens destined for egg-laying. In our interview, Pete and I chat about that Canadian chicken farming looks like, what makes “free-range chickens” actually free-range, and how he got into drone filming, which has resulted in some awesome videos.

Check them out at the links below:

Peter on Instagram

Alberta on a plate interview featuring Peter

Click here to subsrcibe to the show

Show Notes

  • Peter’s Background
  • Basics of chicken farming
  • Life of a chicken
  • Egg laying birds and meat birds (broilers)
  • What are pullet chickens?
  • How are chicken vaccines given
  • Are chickens given anti-biotics and growth hormones?
  • Health benefits of eggs
  • What are free range chickens?
  • Canada agriculture
  • How Pete got into drone filming
  • Thoughts on farmer/consumer relationship

Be sure to follow us on social media!




Subscribe here:


Call to Action

Want to stay up to date on the show, consider following our newsletter.  As a thank you for signing up, you’ll receive a FREE guide on 5 simple steps you can do to support farmers.  Sign Up HERE!


coming soon!

Ep 123: Can Regenerative Farming Feed the World? – The Ecology Center

Can agriculture and the environment FINALLY live in harmony? I believe they can and so do many experts. One such way is by agroecology which is combining the knowledge of ecology with the science of agriculture. Our guest today is Evan Marks from The Ecology Center in California. Evan has an expansive background in agroecology and permaculture and he has spent time working in California, Hawaii, Mexico, and Nigeria in learning and developing agroecology practices. In our interview, Evan explains the background of agroecology, how regenerative agriculture is the future, and how farming can build better relationships with farmers, consumers, chefs, and communities.

Check them out at the links below:

The Ecology Center Website

Click here to subsrcibe to the show

Show Notes

  • Mark’s background
  • Taking classes on marine biology in high school
  • Studying agroecology
  • Working extensively in permaculture and agroecology in California, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, Ghana, and Nigeria
  • What are Permaculture and Agroecology?
  • Ecological experiences: berry picking classes, farm stand and CSA program (which also donates 100 CSA boxes per week to food-insecure folks in the area), as well as a new six-month Apprentice Program for young adults to learn about regenerative agriculture.
  • Current food systems and policy, and his vision for
  • How to expand regenerative farming on a mass scale
  • How do we minimize our industrialization and harm to the planet, and therefore take better care of each other, either as farmers or as consumers?
  • How to implement regenerative agriculture practices
  • What about your biggest win?
  • Thoughts on farmer/consumer relationship.

Be sure to follow us on social media!




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Want to stay up to date on the show, consider following our newsletter.  As a thank you for signing up, you’ll receive a FREE guide on 5 simple steps you can do to support farmers.  Sign Up HERE!


coming soon!

Podcast Ep 30: Local produce delivered straight to your door – Shaun Lee of Farmhouse Delivery

Shuan (1)

Shaun Lee is the President and Co-Founder of Farmhouse Delivery in Austin, Texas.  Farmhouse Delivery is a food delivery service that offers a wide range produce, meats, and meal kits to their customers.  Farmhouse currently focuses their efforts on the Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and Waco markets with hopes to grow across the Lone Star state.  In our interview, Shaun will talk to us about the start of Farmhouse, how they partner with local farmers, how they come up with recipes for meal kits, and much more!

Connect with Farmhouse Delivery:

Farmhouse Delivery Website

Farmhouse Instagram

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • Start of Farmhouse Delivery
  • Farmhouses 3 types of deliveries
  • Making food from local farmers more accessible
  • Food Delivery Kits
  • How to ship food across the country
  • Working with local farmers
  • Maintaining food quality
  • Food standards
  • Sustainable Farming/Sustainable Agriculture
  • Organic Farming
  • Certified Organic
  • Free Range beef
  • Merging with Truckin’ Tomato

Podcast Ep 29: Dairy farming, Tillamook, and fighting internet trolls with Derrick Josi


Our guest today is Derrick Josi, but you might know him best as tdf_honest_farming on Facebook and Instagram.  Derrick is a fourth generation dairy farmer in Tillamook County, Oregon.  Derrick is super active on social media showcasing the life of a dairy farmer and constantly fighting misinformation surrounding dairy production.  Check out our great conversation and be sure to check out Derrick’s content at the links below.

Connect with Derrick:

Derrick’s Facebook Page

Derrick on Instagram

Derrick’s website: Tillamook Dairy Farmer

AG Daily: 5 Best videos from Derrick of TDF_Honest_Farming

Additional Episode Links:

itunes  spotify  1200x630wa  app-icons-youtube   red-sushi-logo.png

Talking Points:

  • Oregon dairy industry
  • Current state of the U.S. dairy industry
  • Tillamook dairy
  • Tillamook County Creamery Association
  • Fighting animal rights activists on social media
  • Fighting false information in animal ag
  • Ag Industry helping farmers fight the good fight

The farm of the future

If you’re a lover of history, you’ve probably heard of the name, Nostradamus.  Nostradamus was a 16th-century French philosopher that is most famous for making scary accurate predictions about the future.  Some of those predictions include Napoleon, the Fire of London, the French Revolution, and even the JFK assassination.  For kicks, giggles, and as a good example, allow me to put on my Nostradamus Prediction Hat.  

Be it foretold that soon will come a day where the farmland becometh scarce.  Long gone will be the days of vast fields of crops.  In their wake will be warehouses as tall as the sky, filled with metal frames and metal robots.  However, these spaces will not only be filled with metal but also with greenery.  Greenery from crops and plants and money along this metal landscape.   

Ok, off with that hat.

As cities grow and more land is developed for houses, shopping centers, and amusement parks, farmland will slowly become a rare commodity.  Especially near large cities where fewer and fewer acres will be devoted to growing crops.  A shift is currently happening that is well ahead of the curb and is supplying urban areas with fresh produce that is locally grown.  That shift is warehouse farms.  These facilities are either new or old factory buildings, shipping containers, or unused space that is converted to an indoor urban farm.  These farms are built to use vertical space efficiently in order to grow as much as possible.  Most grow their produce using hydroponic systems that save 70% more water than regular crops and LED lights that give off the light waves that are specifically needed for plant growth.  Being indoors, crops aren’t affected by outside weather or pests and can grow year round no matter where the farm is located.

Take the video below for example.  In it, Bloomberg shares the story of an urban farmer and her role in creating the future of agriculture.  The growing process is just as scientific as growing regular crops and sometimes even more so.  The upfront costs are high, but once established, the steady year-round profits are well worth the initial investment.

There will always be a place for traditional farms and traditional agriculture.  Even if one day we are 3D printing steaks from home, I guarantee there will always be a market for regular beef or regular crops that are grown out in nature.  But in order for agriculture to continue into the future, it has to evolve with technology.

So what do you think?  Are you in a city that has some operations like this?  Or do you live in a rural community and don’t want to see cities encroach on your land?  Personally, I think even rural communities can and should have operations like the one above.

Now all I’ve got to do is see if Nostradamus said anything about agriculture.  And maybe even if he said anything about the decline of Justin Bieber.

Thanks and see you next time.

– Trevor

Launch of the Farm Traveler Podcast

The Farm Traveler Podcast is now live! 

Image result for excited

We are so excited to bring you interviews with farmers, ranchers, extension agents, teachers, and countless other people involved in the agriculture industry.  We hope this podcast not only better informs consumers but that it also gives individuals in the ag industry a chance to share their knowledge as well as their experiences.

Starting today, you can search for the Farm Traveler Podcast in iTunesSpotify or your favorite podcast app.




You can even listen to the podcasts on our website on the Podcasts page and follow the link to the podcast player.

Each week we will bring you a new episode, rotating between production agriculturalists one week and people working in the ag industry in supporting roles the next week.  Just a few examples of upcoming episodes: vegetable farmers in South Florida, extension agents from Texas and Maryland, dairy farmers, hop farmers, honey producers, and more!

Thank you for joining us on this venture.  If you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe and rate the podcast and of course, share it!  Or if you’d like to be on an episode, please email us at farmtravelerseries@gmail.com.

Thanks for stopping by!


The future Farm Traveler Podcast

A few weeks ago we decided to dabble with the idea of starting a Farm Traveler podcast.  There’s got to be a million podcasts out there right?  So why start another one?  But the more we thought about it, the more practical it seemed.  I sat down and scrolled through my Facebook friends list and the Farm Traveler Instagram page and messaged as many people as I could that might be willing to be on the show.  I was hopeful but also doubtful that anyone would say yes.  Much to my surprise, we’ve got a boatload of guests who were willing and eager to be on the show!  After three weeks of planning, we already have 10 episodes finished and another 5 set for the next two weeks.  How crazy is that?!  So far we’ve covered cheese making, the olive industry in Texas, and Ag Ed programs in Georgia, just to name a few!

Now the point of this podcast is two-fold:

  1. Teach consumers about food production
  2. Provide a resource for farmers and individuals in the ag industry to share their stories

We all have a story to tell.  Farmers especially have countless stories of success, failure, and loss that are often overlooked.  I want to bring those stories to light so we can see who they really are and learn what we can do to better support American Agriculture.  I also think it’s best for consumers to learn about food production straight from the source and not a soccer-mom blog, a reality star doctor, or a friend they know that once stepped foot on a farm in middle school and claims they know everything about agriculture.  Let’s learn straight from the people in the Ag industry that are doing their part in bringing you the safest, most abundant food supply in the world.


On April 6th, the Farm Traveler Podcast will officially launch on iTunes and Spotify.  Simply search on those platforms for ‘Farm Traveler Podcast’ or check our website.  On launch day, you will be able to listen to our first three episodes with the first being a detailed account of why we are doing the podcast and what you can expect over the course of the series.  We have interviewed vegetable producers, dairy farmers, cheese makers, Ag Ed professors, extension agents, and people working for a wide variety of companies in the ag industry.  Every week we will bring you a new episode in hopes of learning more about the ag industry and the people in it.

Stayed tuned to Farm Traveler for news and updates on the podcast.  Each week we will post who our guest is and what topics we will be discussing.  Now if you could…Tell EVERYONE you know about this podcast!  This isn’t a typical podcast, this is important!  Get the word out so we can crash Apple Podcasts because we have so much traffic for the podcast.  Seriously…if this happens I promise I’ll buy everyone a Chick-fil-A gift card.  No lie.

Thanks for stopping by and we can’t wait for you to listen to the Farm Traveler Podcast.


Robo Milkers

A recent podcast interview with a dairy farmer from Tennessee brought up a very interesting topic that I’ve totally forgotten about: robotic milking.

Imagine a future where farmers no longer have to spend hour after hour milking cows, sometimes up to for times a day.  Imagine a future where a cow can go and get milked whenever she felt like it and as often as she needed.  That future might not be that far off.  As a matter of fact, that future is now.

Currently, there are several types of robotic milking machines that take human labor almost entirely out of the equation.  Let’s go through exactly how this process works.

A Lely Astronaut robotic milking machine in operation. “There’s been a major increase in demand in the last eight to 10 years in Ireland and sales have grown exponentially since,” said Lely’s sales manager Aidan Fallon.

Robot milking machines allow cows the convenience to get milked whenever they need.  Once trained on where to go, a cow can enter the robot milker on her own and a dispenser drops down which allows the cow to eat while she’s getting milked.  A robotic arm then scans for the cows utter, cleans off the teats, and then attaches the milking unit to begin collecting milk.  Once done, the cow exits the machine and the milking unit is cleaned for the next cow.  The process continues whenever a cow feels like she needs to get milked.  Convenience for the cow and convenience for the farmer, a win/win.

Image result for lely robot milkers

The robot milker also helps keep track of vital data of each cow as they are milked.  Each cow is fitted with a collar that has a sensor which is picked up by the robot milker.  It is able to track the amount of milk produced, times milked, and other data related to the health of the cow.  This helps farmers learn about the milk production cycle for each cow as well as the ability to monitor the milk quality.

Most of us know that dairy farming is by no means a super lucrative business, as many dairy farms across the U.S. are going under due to the ever-plummeting price of milk.  While this robot milker is quite costly, it does save labor costs as well as freeing up time for dairy farmers to accomplish other tasks around the farm.

As the ag industry continues to advance in means to save labor and time, these robotic milking machines will continue to grow in popularity.  However, I’m not sure if robotic milking has caught on to the almond milk industry.  I’ve heard that almond teats are almost too small to find.


That’s all for today.  Thanks for stopping by.

– Trevor


Stardew Valley. A perfect farming game?

Two of my favorite things are agriculture and video games (and please don’t mention the later to my wife).  Agriculture is a topic I grew fond of back in high school and have stuck with it ever since.  It’s a subject I’m very passionate about and am determined to better inform people about the industry that impacts them every single day.  Video games got my attention at an early age when I got my first console, a Play Station 1.  Countless weekends and sleepovers were spent playing racing games and even Halo once my friend Max got his first Xbox in middle school.  A few months ago I found quite possibly the best combination of agriculture and video games.  And that is Stardew Valley.

I won’t get into the specifics of how video games are made, but usually, they incorporate hundreds of employees at multimillion-dollar companies.  This game, however, was made by one guy.  Eric Barone wrote the story as well as the code for the game, designed quests, animations, all the artwork, soundtrack, and every other feature in the game.  This is something pretty rare in the gaming community, especially given the detail in this game.  His attention to detail has resulted in a cult following for this game.  I’ve been enjoying it for quite some time and as someone who loves agriculture, the farming aspects of the game are very accurate.  Which furthermore highlights Eric’s dedication to his craft.


Stardew Valley is a beautiful farming simulator game where you take over your grandfather’s farm.  Once you arrive, you get to grow whatever you choose on your quaint little farm in the town of Stardew Valley.  The game includes seasons, holiday events, weather, crafting, and a plethora of other features that you can get lost in.  Only specific crops growing in particular seasons, you can over water or under water your crops, crows and other critters can kill some of your plants, and you can use fertilizers to help create bigger and better crops.  You can even raise farm animals like cows, goats, chickens, and pigs.  If you don’t milk the cows or goats every day they get grumpy, much like they do in real life!

This game has been a treat to play and is extremely relaxing after a busy day.  So, if you love agriculture, want a pleasant game to play every now and then, and have a spare $7, be sure to buy Stardew Valley on PC, Xbox, or on your iPhone.

Thanks for checking this article out and stay tuned for more.







Farm Traveler Podcast

As we refocus on Farm Traveler this year, a possible avenue we might venture down is a podcast.  Specifically, a podcast focused on interviewing farmers, ranchers, and anyone directly involved in the agriculture industry and hearing their stories.  Stories of success and stories of failure.  We hope to gain a better understanding of these individuals roles in agriculture, hardships they have faced, and what drives them.  We hope to help give you a glimpse of the people behind our food industry.

This is where we need your help.  If you or someone you might know might be interested, please contact us at farmtravelerseries@gmail.com.  We are looking for anyone involved in the indsutry agriculture, no matter if its past or present experience.  Feel free to pass on to anyone and everyone!

More to come soon!

Should non-milk be labeled ‘milk’?

In a world with ever-increasing food choices for consumers, the names of those food items are starting to become a real issue.  An example being milk and it’s non-dairy milk varieties.

We can talk about the differences between dairy and non-dairy milk in a future article.  For now, let’s debate whether or not milk not from cows should be labeled as ‘milk’.

Milk is defined as an opaque white fluid rich in fat and protein, created by female mammals for the nourishment of their young.  Now obviously, almonds, rice, soy, coconut, and the like aren’t from mammals.  But they can be made into (or like coconuts contain) a fat and protein-rich white liquid.  Dairy milk is about 87% water, 5% lactose, 3% fat, 3% protein, and about 1% vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B1, C, D.  Of course, this varies on the species of cow (or goat, or camel, etc), and the type of milk (whole, 2%, skim, etc).

Almond milk, we will use Silk Almond as an example, is “ALMONDMILK (FILTERED WATER, ALMONDS), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF VITAMIN & MINERAL BLEND (CALCIUM CARBONATE, VITAMIN E ACETATE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, VITAMIN D2), SEA SALT, NATURAL FLAVOR, LOCUST BEAN GUM, GELLAN GUM, ASCORBIC ACID (TO PROTECT FRESHNESS)” (1).  But it is hard to come across any information as to the exact percentages of those ingredients.  Addintally, some lawsuits involving other almond milk companies, Blue Diamond, in particular, say that the almond milk only contains less 2% of actual almond milk.  This milk and other forms of alternative milk are great for people who have lactose allergies (like yours truly), vegan consumers, etc.  While the taste and digestion factors are the key reasons behind consumer choice, some supporters claim non-dairy milk as better for the environment.

Supporters of alternative forms of milk claim that dairy milk has a harmful effect on the environment while almond milk and the like use significantly fewer resources.  A 2016 study found some evidence that might

“Based on our research, cow milk generates nearly 10 times more greenhouse gases per liter than almond milk does. However, almond milk production uses approximately 17 times more water than cow milk production does per liter. When comparing by daily nutritional values, almond milk still uses more water than does cow’s milk, and cow’s milk emits more greenhouse gases than almond milk, so it is difficult to make a clear­cut decision as to which is more sustainable to consume. (2)”

So both have their fair share of impact on the environment, which almost any crop can have.  Animal welfare is also a key component of dairy milk.  I can assure you, dairy farmers care for their cows.  Dairy farming is not a get-rich-quick industry, many dairy operations have been closing over the past few years due to extremely low profits.  Dairy farmers know that any cow that isn’t cared for will not produce quality milk.  They care for those animals deeply and ensure they are producing the freshest, highest quality milk.

In the future, we will cover milk production as well as animal welfare issues, but for now, let’s put our thinking cap on milk vs. non-dairy milk.

All that being said, food labels matter.  Should only dairy milk be labeled milk?  Or can non-dairy milk share that title?  Let us know your thoughts and we will keep this discussion going.


Thanks for stopping by


1 – https://silk.com/products/unsweetened-almondmilk

2 – Jacqueline Ho, Ingrid Maradiaga, Jamika Martin, Huyen Nguyen, Linh Trinh (2016). Almond Milk vs. Cow Milk – Life Cycle Assessment.