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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Re: Organic!

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01-14-2014 12:31:17

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Actually there is a lot of "sustainable" beef out there. It's more or less pasture raised animals. No restriction on grain inputs but the cows can roam and graze too. I know a lot of guys in our area that raise beef that way. Very few feed lots in our area and a lot of land that's only good for pasture. Now a lot of sustainable farmers do rotational grazing to try to keep their pastures in better shape.

As far as the "fad followers" are concerned, there are more and more each day as people become more educated as to what they are stuffing into their mouths.

I'm way out in west MN. I raise pastured pigs every year that I buy as 40-50 pound feeders. I DO NOT advertise. This is mostly for meat for the family. I have people from as far away as the Twin Cities contacting me about pigs. I didn't sell any this past year because of corn prices. Just didn't pencil out. Now if I have people contacting me like out here in the middle of nowhere it's more than just a fad. This past spring I had at least 20 different people wanting to know if I was going to be selling any.

Colin from the N forum sells organic. He's a little closer to the cities than I am but he has customers buying produce and chickens from the cities. Now if folks from the Twin Cities are coming out this far to buy pasture raised animals and organic produce it's more than just a fad. I'm still a little shocked by it. I had your attitude about it several years ago. I'm not organic and will not be. But I am trying to sustain my land for following generations.


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01-14-2014 14:12:26

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 Re: Organic! in reply to oldtanker, 01-14-2014 12:31:17  
I get the farm fresh, or farm market, or grass fed, or what have you, type of marketing. It ebbs and flows in popularity, and I like it.

But I don't see how it is different as far as 'sustainable' one way or the other?

I'm certainly not against it. Just don't get how one way of farming is more sustainable than the other somehow.

Its like advertising some meat or gain as 'chemical free'. Well. Everything is made of chemicals, including the most purest organic pork...... It seems to be some sort of false advertising.

Again, most certainly not opposed to it, its the cool hands on segment of farming, should be more of it!

But - then we get into these buzz words of sustainable or chemical free, and it kinda makes a person mad, when it is clearly such false advertising. Unfortunately.

If you haul a pig to town, you need to either haul that same amount of nutrient back to your farm, or you need to rob your soil of the nutrients you hauled away.

Just like any conventional farmer. Got to be one way or another.

Nothing especially sustainable one way over the other? If you need to haul in manure to keep your farm in good shape, where does that manure come from? You are robbing someone. If you use fish broth or kelp, it has to come from somewhere - you take away from someone else. That is no more sustainable than hauling in commercial fertilizer to keep your soil healthy and well for decades to come......

Again, I'm for what it is you are doing. Not against te market farms at all, wish there were more!

Just don't care for the false advertising is all.


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01-14-2014 12:47:08

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 Re: Organic! in reply to oldtanker, 01-14-2014 12:31:17  
I think you're confusing "sustainable" and grass fed. I pasture my cow/calf herd too,but I creep feed grain to the calves then put them on silage and grain to finish them after I wean them at 5-600 pounds. Again,if it's grass fed that Ronald McDonald wants,good luck and they'd better take a look at what happened to Coca Cola when they changed their formula.

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01-14-2014 13:04:57

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 Re: Organic! in reply to rrlund, 01-14-2014 12:47:08  
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Sustainable has become a useless word when it comes to food, just like "natural" and "fat free". There's no teeth behind it. My definition of sustainable is gonna be different than your definition.

Perhaps one person's version is to stick 10,000 head in dry lots in Kansas, keep them on an antibiotic-heavy all-corn & milo ration, slaughter them as fast as you can administer the pneumatic kill pin, and sell the beef cheap. Perhaps my version is to put that animal on grass (which it evolved to eat), not use any antibiotics, have the animal processed in a local, small abattoir, and sell the meat within 100 miles of where it was raised and butchered for more money. Perhaps another's version is to only eat wild game that they shot and processed themselves. Any of these can be justified as "sustainable".

McDonalds isn't gonna go grassfed unless they can find a way to still make a buck per burger AND I doubt they're gonna double the price of the burger.

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