Joel’s Speaking Topics:
- CAN WE FEED THE WORLD? This is hands down the most frequently asked question to Joel or anyone else who promotes localized, solar-driven, carbon-fertilized systems. Even most foodies and environmentalists have a deep-seated assumption that were it not for the petroleum-based fertilizer boom–the green revolution–we could not feed ourselves. Those massive Kansas wheat field and California almond groves, for most people, represent efficiency and abundance. Nothing could be further from the truth. Backyard gardens and multi-speciation are far more productive per acre. Modern scientific aerobic composting was not invented until 1943–about the same time as chemical fertilizer became widely used. In this performance, Joel will give you the tools to articulate a credible “feed the world” argument.
- HOW CAN WE AFFORD IT? This was always the second question Joel was asked after finishing a performance, so he decided to turn the answer into a full production. Sprinkled with satire poking fun at what Americans love to buy, Joel challenges the very assumptions of a cheap food policy. The answer to the question, of course, is a resounding yes. Joel examines the issue from many angles to arrive at this conclusion. Buying unprocessed to prepare, package, and preserve at home are one of the key answers to eating royalty food without the cost. Processed food is expensive. Cutting out frivolous stuff, from lottery tickets to Starbucks to $100 designer jeans with holes already in the knees releases precious dollars to patronize higher quality food. Joel blasts externalized unrecognized undocumented costs of industrial food and the unfair playing field created by subsidy programs. And what about the single mom with four children living in the middle of an urban food desert? You’ll have to hear the speech to get the answer.
- REDEEMING THE EARTH As the self-described Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic, Joel is finally being asked by more and more people in the faith community to articulate his down-to-earth understanding of how a Judeo-Christian belief system affects earth stewardship. Unlike a cerebral theological academic lecture, this performance explains the visceral function and appearance of a farm and ecosystem that acts as a visceral object lesson illustrating God’s attributes. Joel sprinkles Biblical precepts throughout to make the connection between the physical and spiritual. For example, the multi-speciated symbiosis used at Polyface Farm is a direct expression of how a diversity of gifts and talents should operate in a church setting. Building immune systems and water retentive capacity are physical manifestations of human stewardship. What are we here for? Among other things, we humans are here to massage God’s creation with our cleverness to stimulate more biomass generation from solar energy. Honoring the pigness of the pig creates a sacredness to the sacrifice necessary for life to spring from death. This presentation is as appropriate in a Sunday morning worship service as it is for a college ethics class.
- Folks, This Ain’t Normal Based on his book by the same title, this whimsical performance is filled with history, satire, and prophecy. While most Americans seem to think our techno-glitzy disconnected celebrity-worshipping culture will be the first to sail off into a Star Trek future unencumbered by ecological umbilicals, Salatin bets that the future will instead incorporate more tried and true realities from the past.
Ours is the first culture with no chores for children, cheap energy, heavy mechanization, computers, supermarkets, TV dinners and unpronounceable food. Although he doesn’t believe that we will return to horses and buggies, wash boards, and hoop skirts, Salatin believes we will go back in order to go forward, using technology to re-establish historical normalcy.That normalcy will include edible landscapes, domestic larders, pastured livestock, solar driven carbon cycling for fertility, and a visceral relationship with life’s fundamentals: food, energy, water, air, soil, fabric, shelter. We may as well get started enthusiastically than be dragged reluctantly into this more normal existence. Rather than being an abstract, cerebral, academic look at ecology, food systems, and soil development, this talk is based firmly on a lifetime spent communing with ecology, economics, and emotion in their full reality, as a farmer.
Both sobering and inspiring, this performance empowers people to tackle the seemingly impossibly large tasks that confront our generation. Historical contexts create jump-off points for the future–a future as bright as our imagination and as sure as the past.
- The Sheer Ecstasy Of Being A Lunatic Farmer The expression that birthed Joel’s book by the same title, this performance describes, with hilarious stories and drama, the difference between Polyface and today’s average farm. If you’ve ever wondered how a local, pasture-based, relationally oriented farm differs from industrial commodity-based machine-driven farms, this presentation takes away the mystery. A wide ranging discussion, this performance ranges from ponds to people to politics. You’ll never think about food and farming the same way. You’ll be challenged, encouraged, and entertained on your way to learning from this self-described lunatic farmer.
- Ballet In The Pasture Polyface Farm’s choreographed plant-animal symbiosis heals the landscape, the community, and the eater. A theatrical performance mixing humor and bomb-shell food system analysis, Salatin’s stemwinder educates, entertains, and encourages. First rate pictures let the audience take a virtual tour around this grass-based multi-species livestock farm. Salatin’s passionate explanations offer up a veritable epiphany on food and farming. Life-changing and ultimately memorable, Ballet in the Pasture is Salatin’s signature performance.
- Food Emancipation Why can’t you buy raw milk, ice cream with eggs in it, or home-made sausage? America’s food system, enslaved by a global corporate bureaucratic fraternity, offers less choice amid the perception of abundance. The only reason the framers of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights did not guarantee citizens freedom of food choice was because they could not have conceived of a day when private treaty neighbor-to-neighbor food commerce would be demonized and criminalized. In this call to grass roots food activism, Salatin seeks a Food Emancipation Proclamation, freeing citizens to opt out of the industrial food fraternity.
- Dancing With Dinner Industrial food is aesthetically and aromatically unpleasant from production to supermarket. Although eating is arguably the most intimate thing humans do–next to the act of marriage–during the last few decades Americans have lost their dinner dance partner. Culinary skills and local food connections have been replaced with “No Trespassing” signs, bureaucratic paperwork, unpronounceable labels, bar codes, and beeping cash registers. The soul-satisfying act of eating is now a sterile, manufactured to-do item snarfed up on the run. Amidst this frenetic lifestyle, the neglected dinner dance partner beckons to return . . . at the farm, at farmers’ markets, Community Supported Agriculture drop points, and in the kitchen. In this eclectic presentation,Salatin links culture, agriculture, and a romantic dinner dance partner.
- Relationship Marketing For nearly half a century, Polyface Farm’s patron base has morphed and expanded with the culture and new food awareness. As a 10-year-old with a backyard flock of laying hens, Salatin pedaled eggs around his rural neighborhood in the basket of his bicycle. Mixing humorous stories with passionate “aha’s”, this presentation draws from a host of marketing venues to educate and entertain. Currently, Polyface supplies some 400 families from an on-farm store, 1,600 families in Metropolitan Buying Clubs, 30 restaurants, and 10 retail venues. Each has assets and liabilities, and Salatin freely discusses all the nuances. Heavy on hilarious stories, this talk empowers otherwise reluctant marketers to go for it.
- Holy Cows And Hog Heaven From field to fork, food carries a sacred dimension. The USDA mantra to grow it faster, fatter, bigger, cheaper views pigs as inanimate piles of protoplasmic structure to be manipulated however cleverly the egocentric human mind can conceive. Such disrespect and dishonor carries over toward people and other cultures. A moral, ethical thread connects the field to the plate, a soul-satisfying thread that connects both farmers and eaters in nobility and sacredness.
- Local Food To The Rescue Biosecurity, food borne pathogens, energy, integrity, humane husbandry: local food can correct it all. But to really be a credible percentage of the global food system, it must develop six integrated components: production, processing, marketing, accounting, distribution, and patrons. Building a local food system that works requires aromatic and aesthetic production models that reimbed the butcher, baker, and candlestick maker into the community. Economies of scale in collaborative foodshed distribution compete with corporate volume. And patrons must rediscover their kitchens, eating seasonally and relearning domestic culinary arts.
- Working With Your Kids So They Will Want To Work With You Most farms and family businesses lose continuity because parent and child never cultivated rewarding emotional and economic relationships. Centered around 10 commandments to make the kids love working with mom and dad, this challenging and far-reaching presentation offers techniques to eliminate dawdling, cultivate persistence, and stimulate innovation. It also includes structuring and scaling the farm to make room for the next generation.
- Going Full Time With Your Part-Time Farm Too many wannabee farmers feel tapped in a farmer’s body paying bills with off-farm incomes. Scaling up with emotional, economic, and environmental integrity requires specific techniques like stacking, value adding, divesifying, and building multiple use infrastructures. You don’t need to own land to farm; all the infrastructure and customers are portable. Capital payback leases and other techniques can propel your farm to a white collar salary.
- Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal Despite all the hype about local or green food, the single biggest impediment to wider adoption is not research, programs, organizations, or networking. It is the demonizing and criminalizing of virtually all indigenous and heritage-based food practices. From zoning to labor to food safety to insurance, local food systems dailyi face a phalanx of regulatory hurdles designed and implemented to police industrial food models but which prejudicially wipe out the antidote: appropriate scaled local food systems. A call for guerrilla marketing, food choice freedom legislation, and empirical pathogen thresholds offers solutions to these bureaucratic hurdles.
- Pastured Poultry Profits Perhaps the most doable pastured-based livestock enterprise is poultry. The reasons are numerous: lowest up-front investment, quick cash turnaround, marketability, easily differentiated, child friendly, simple and portable infrastructure, and on-farm processing. In this mature Polyface model, Salatin walks you through broilers, egg layers, and turkeys. They all have distinctive needs for diet, shelter, marketing, and processing. This talk is hard core how-to, going into the intricate details from brooding to processing. This is still the centerpiece enterprise at Polyface Farm.
- Salad Bar Beef This is the term Salatin coined to describe his pasture-finished cattle: fresh daily paddocks and lots of forage species variety. A hard core how-to talk, this one walks the audience though electric fencing, water systems, breeding, movement logistics, forage growth and rest cycles, stockpiling for dormant seasons, and processing. A permutation on the theme is mob stocking herbivorous solar conversion lignified carbon sequestration fertilization. Whew! And it’s all here to see.
- Forgiveness Farming The ultimate responsibility of land stewards is to build resiliency into their farms and ranches. Like it or not, nature is not always a gentle spirit. Floods, droughts, disease, winds, sickness, low prices: these and more will strike at some time or another. Preparing for these crises requires that farm businesses insulate themselves from commodity price fluctuations. It means increasing animal and plant immunity, reducing population concentrations, and storing water. This talk ranges broadly into the many vulnerabilities farms experience but offers ways to make those crises less threatening.
- WE’RE THE ANTIDOTE FOR CULTURAL MALADIES In this broad cultural presentation, Salatin challenges the integrity farming movement to model principles for a floundering culture. Starting with the principle of healing soil and immune systems, this talk moves systematically through humility derived from children’s gardens, family businesses to leverage eldership, and concludes with beautiful landscapes from pasture-based farms. A total of ten cultural antidotes derive from a fundamentally different farm and foodscape paradigm. With national hand-wringing at a fever pitch, the antidote is practical and elegantly simple.
- YOUR SACRED CALLING: RESPECT, RESILIENCE, RECOMPENSE Some of Salatin’s best presentations develop by using conference themes as the title. This is one of those. Building off this three-part theme, the talk starts with how to respect plants and animals, eaters/consumers, and producers/farmers. It juxtaposes the way mechanical/industrial systems views these with a more respectful integrity approach. Then the talk moves into the resilience section, the ability of a foodscape to absorb shocks if it is not being assaulted with a Conquistador mentality. Finally, recompense is about valuing food and farmers. Good farmers leave this presentation knowing their vocation is noble and sacred.
- SCIENCE IS SUBJECTIVE Originally dubbed “The Limitations of Science,” Salatin changed the title to raise more eyebrows. Based on the two scientific pillars of observation and duplication, this talk uses true stories to illustrate how scientists manipulate data or refuse to account for things outside their paradigms. Science is not in agreement on a host of topics, from genetic modification to food safety to fertilizer. Ultimately, our belief systems–perhaps even faith systems–determine how we set up experiments and what our science determines. This presentation seeks to create a balance between philosophy (liberal arts) and hard science, realizing that none of us can see what our hearts cannot imagine seeing.
- EXPANDING YOUR MARKET The audience for this talk is primarily farmers interested in direct marketing but either afraid or unclear about how to reach more customers. Based on Polyface experience, Salatin encourages farmers to embrace additional team players, electronic technology, symbiotic production, and value adding. But lest this seem too hard, the whole tenor of the presentation is a gentle refrain: “all the gifts necessary to expand your market don’t grow on one pair of legs. You don’t have to do it all; all you need to do is realize what needs to be done.” This performance is ultimately encouraging for discouraged farm marketers.
- THOMAS JEFFERSON’S PROBLEMS . . . AND SOLUTIONS Developed for the annual Heritage Harvest Festival held every year at Jefferson’s Monticello, this presentation begins with the question: “Would Jefferson build a Tyson chicken house?” The answer: “Yes.” For all of his attributes, Jefferson illustrated the very pillars of today’s industrial farming system: exports, annuals (tillage), out-sourced fertility, and cheap labor. After challenging the audience with such a critical look at their beloved icon, Salatin turns to lighter and inspiring fare. Using Jefferson’s Farm Book as a reference, the rest of the talk centers around those colonial-era frustrations, from fertility to fencing, transportation to water, portability to seasonality to energy, and shows how today’s technological advances have answered each one. In light-hearted refrains, Salatin says: “TJ, let me show you this.” From one struggling farmer to another struggling farmer, this talk leaves the audience appreciative of Jefferson’s practical problems and enthusiastic about today’s possibilities.
- WHAT DOES AN ECOLOGICAL ENERGY SYSTEM LOOK LIKE? Developed for the Modern Energy Forum, Salatin stretches his natural template of movement/action/life to combustion/decomposition/digestion, noting that fundamentally energy must be an integrated cycle of life and death, inhaling and exhaling. From this, he draws numerous conclusions. Nature keeps these procedures localized, integrated, highly participatory. Nature generates no waste, is based on perennials and uses real time energy. Nature is dynamic, decentralized, diversified, and loves human massage. The talk concludes with the observation that the most powerful energy in the world is human creativity.
- WHAT CAN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS DO? The national and to a lesser extent state governmental food, farming, energy, housing policy morass often seems insurmountable. Local leaders often feel helpless in the face of such large-scale insanity. In this extremely creative and practical policy brainstorm, Salatin offers can-do options for local officials who want to transition to a more earth-friendly, diversified, decentralized, community-empowered culture. Zoning, tax policy, school funding, edible horticulture for green spaces–it’s all here to stimulate creative juices.
- URBAN MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT FARMING Farms have not always been stinky, ugly nuisances that destroy the landscape. The “not in my backyard” mentality toward farms is counterproductive and unnecessary . . . IF farming practices are beautiful to see and smell. This presentation, given first at a local foods conference on Long Island, New York, is directed toward urbanites who think farming is inherently incompatible with progressive municipal living. From economics to ecology to emotion, this talk takes every urban anti-farming assumption and shows why it is not inherently true. What is does not have to be. And what can be, what should be, is far more luxuriant than what is.
- CREATING A GARDEN-MIMICRY FOOD SYSTEM Although this talk was designed originally for the Virginia annual garden club consortium, it is applicable to any garden-centric group interested in a garden-type food and farming system. An even dozen points grow out of garden-as-model. Gardeners smile and nod throughout as the principles they work with every day become an epiphany for integrity food. Often hard hitting toward current U.S. food and farm policy, this talk helps gardeners see what a beautiful and productive food system needs to look like. And it’s not Monsanto or Cargill. It’s not fewer farmers and factory pigs. It’s roseness of roses, vibrant color, carbon cycling, transparent and unprocessed.
- BUILDING AN ECOLOGICAL ECONOMY Too often people assume that in order to have a thriving economy we must sacrifice the ecology, or to have a thriving ecology, we must sacrifice the economy. Nothing could be further from the truth. To have both, we must start with ecological patterns, which are always more productive and efficient than anything else. A vibrant regenerative economy inherently grows out of massaging those ecological patterns. Whether it’s feeding ourselves, housing ourselves with local lumber and re-imbedding the butcher, baker, and candlestick maker, how nature works is the best template for how economies work. And for the record, nature is not just bipartisan; it’s multi-partisan.
- BUILDING A HEALTHY SOCIETY With the refrain “No society can be . . .” this hard-hitting presentation looks at six components necessary for vibrant societies. Soil, ecology, freedom, responsibility, transparency, and resource use–it’s all here in practical and do-able explanations. Currently, western nations like the U.S. measure societal health by gross domestic product and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But are those things more important than earthworms, water cycles, and health? What if the national health care policy were focused on keeping people well instead of treating people sickened by subsidized and concessionized public policy? In this broad-ranging presentation, Salatin flips almost everything worshipped in Washington on its head and dares to imagine a society of alternate values.
- THE SELF-CONTAINED HOME Generally our homes require massive infusions of cash to maintain, energize, feed, and hydrate. What if instead of being familial economic drains our homes became economic engines? What if our homes produced more than they cost? Developed originally for home school audiences, this presentation has broad appeal for audiences wishing to become more self-reliant in their domestic living. Solariums, kitchen chickens, roof-top honey bees, grey water systems, cisterns–you name it; we can do a lot to wean ourselves from corporate and municipal dependency.
- CHILD FRIENDLY FOOD PRODUCTION From backyard chickens to vermi-composting and vegetable production, children can produce copious amounts of food for the family. Small animals and garden beds offer appropriate-sized production models where children can learn and thrive. Re-connecting to our ecological umbilical cultivates a respect and awe for creation. A passion for earthworms is certainly as valuable as a passion for soccer. This presentation addresses how to set up clear boundaries, incentives, and development for child-friendly domestic food production.
- HEALING THE PLANET ONE PLATE AT A TIME In seven broad points, Salatin addresses the link between what we eat and the landscape legacy we bequeath to our unborn children. Soil, people, energy, economics, plants and animals, soul, and scalability are the seven discussion topics. Rather than a paranoid discussion of scarcity and universal deprivation, this talk leaves folks grateful, hopeful, and feeling abundant. Though it seems simplistic to think that a bite of food can have such a big effect on the future, the fact is that we are where we are because of the kinds of food bites people have been taking for a long time. We can change our trajectory only when we appreciate the launch pad–our plates.
- PALEOING OUR FOODSCAPE: Beavers, Fire, and Predators According to food analysts, 1 percent of the U.S. population is following the paleo diet and cross-fitness program. Based on historical normalcy, practicing paleos testify to increasing health and vibrancy. That’s all well and good, but what does a farming system based on the paleo idea look like? To close the loop both practically and philosophically, food should come from paleo-centric agricultural systems. Can we produce food in such a way? Salatin answers with a resounding yes, and shows in extremely practical terms what such a farmscape would look like. It won’t look like national parks. It won’t look like protected wetlands. It won’t look like culverts in the valley under a road cut. Challenging engineers and environmentalists, this talk is both an expose and an epiphany.
- CREATING A BIO-MIMICRY FOOD SYSTEM In the first part of this talk, Salatin explains why our current food system is anti-biological. Not only is it fundamentally mechanical, it is foundationally pathogen-encouraging, sickness-inducing, nutrient-diminishing and animal abusive. That’s a pretty heavy indictment. In the second half, he tackles the opposite side of the argument: a bio-mimicry system. It is integrated, participatory, and encourages investment and a commitment to domestic culinary arts.
- DON’T BE SCARED; BE STRANGE Timeless and true, hilarious and hard-hitting, this presentation keynoted the Mother Earth News fairs during 2013. Salatin popped the question: “What is holding you back? What do you fear? Why can’t you turn your homestead into a full-time business?” Seven fears followed by seven solutions form the framework for this performance that received a standing ovation after each delivery. “One of the best talks I ever put together,” he said. Ultimately inspiring and empowering, it addresses the fear of not having enough knowledge, acquiring land, having enough money, having enough labor, developing a market, developing a business, and finally, the fear of being optimistic. “We’re supposed to believe everything is going to the pits. Pessimism is fun,” Salatin quips. Faith eventually trumps fear.
- WHAT WE KNOW THAT JUST AIN’T SO With apologies to Mark Twain’s original similar ditty, Salatin uses the humorist’s idea to drive home encouraging truths. The first point: eating meat is bad for the environment. The second point: safe food requires government regulation. Third point: nature is best when left alone. Fourth point: we can’t afford local high quality food. Fifth point: the U.S. needs to feed the world. Sixth point: science is objective. Seventh point: government is more trustworthy than private business. Eighth point: ain’t no money in farming. Clearly, this talk takes on some of the biggest, most imbedded truisms of our day. With characteristic wit and practical experience, Salatin takes on this laundry list of axioms and leaves the audience not only laughing at our culture and ourselves, but ready to view things differently.
- THE FOOD INQUISITION Many Americans don’t realize that we are in the center of a massive food inquisition, pitting government/industrial orthodoxy against heritage heretics. Delivered with evangelistic fervor, this presentation takes on the orthodoxy of our age and explains, simply and practically, why the heretics know the truth. Every time someone asks for governmental remedies, whether it be food safety, environmentally damaging farms, chemical usage or genetically modified organisms, the orthodoxy rears its ugly head and creates a strong inquisition. Ultimately about food freedom, this talk wakes people up like none other because it exposes the underlying paradigms of today’s power brokers. It isn’t pretty. But knowing the enemy is the first step to winning. Folks will exit this talk ready to engage and win.
- YOU CAN FARM Most aspiring farmers face a litany of objections from well-meaning family and friends. From “it’s demeaning” to “it’s impossible,” naysayers rule. Based on his iconic book by the same title, Salatin rebuffs the naysayers with practical advice and a can-do spirit. Not only can you farm, many people are doing it. Using his own Polyface Farm story as an example, he takes the audience through a journey of principle, character, discovery, and relationship that yields success on the other end.
- FIELDS OF FARMERS The actuarials are in: the average farmer is nearly 60 years old; half of America’s farmland will change hands in the next 20 years; medium-sized farms are being squeezed out faster than either small or large farms. Abandoned farmland now accounts for more converted acreage than developed farmland. All of this reflects a basic principle: when impediments to entry in any economic sector keep young people from entering–if young people can’t get in–then old people can’t get out. And yet we see a tsunami of interest in local food, young people ready to farm. How do we transition with working cross-generational successional farming enterprises? Bearing the same title as his 2013 book, in this talk Salatin bears his soul in practical and heart-felt stories to provide templates of success.
- SUSTAINABLE ABUNDANCE Many people in our culture fear the future’s resource scarcity and political intransigence. Veering off this orthodox paranoia, Salatin offers a different possibility with a visceral template that is both attractive and pragmatic. A fundamentally solar-driven, participatory, historically-normal localized, integrated foodscape can bless the whole world with sustainable abundance. The earth is not a reluctant partner that must be wrestled into production, but a benevolent friend rewarding humble human massage. After this performance, you’ll never look at farmland or policy solutions the same way. In fact, you’ll look at the future with inspiration and faith, healing the land one bite at a time.
FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
- POLYFACE MASTERCLASS–Using Ballet in the Pasture as a jumping off point, this seminar typically takes two days but can be compressed to one day or extended to three days. Using power point pictures from the farm, Salatin takes students through the farm enterprises in as much detail as time allows. After the pictures, he presents a Relationship Marketing session that gives the principles of farm direct marketing, from collaborations to distribution. Finally, this seminar concludes with partnerships through memorandums of understanding, apprentices, interns, and family business dynamics. Ultimately empowering, this is the seminar that has inspired countless would-be farmers around the world to be successful.
Corporate Presentations by Joel Salatin:
- Scaling Up Without Selling Your Soul Using Polyface Farm as an object lesson, this presentation offers a passionate values-based business alternative to the Wall-Streetified numerical growth, growth, growth objective. Daring to take on the very foundations of western business icons like market goals, no IPOs, and incentivized work forces. Many successful entrepreneurial start-ups morph into mercenary empires that lose their distinctives. Intuitively we all know that the most valuable things in life never get put on a balance sheet or business plan: healthy salamanders, dancing earthworms, adoring spouses. First given at the Innovation Immersion conference in 2008, this talk focuses on an alternative business philosophy that preserves the nobility of business.
- Worthy Work: Meet Me In The Pasture Using beautiful pictures of Polyface Farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, this evangelical-style motivational talk seeks to empower and elevate every person in the organization to a new state of sacredness. The alliterated outline includes 7 major points:
- Discover Your Parameters
- Determine Your Protocol
- Develop Your Partners
- Define Your Product
- Diversify Your Portfolio
- Demand Your Performance
- Demonstrate Your Priorities
A totally unique motivational approach, Salatin’s agrarian background coupled with his dynamic theatrical style bring fresh insight and perspectives to corporate gatherings. Guaranteed to be a presentation your people will talk about for many days. His many days working alone with land and livestock brings an integrity and salt-of-the-earth strength to any audience.
- Watch Where You Step This hilariously entertaining dramatic presentation pokes whimsical fun at communication and language confusion. All work environments suffer from technical jargon, generational misunderstandings, and assumed knowledge. Light hearted but smattered with communication insights, this presentation is great fun for any gathering. Playing off the many miscommunications in a family farming enterprise, Salatin both entertains and instructs. The simple instruction “Check pigs” doesn’t mean slow down to 40 miles an hour as you go sailing by the pasture. A great talk for after dinner or anytime you want laughs with a point.
ESPECIALLY FOR SCHOOLS (INCLUDING COMMENCEMENT)
- THE RHETORIC OF INTEGRITY FOODS Using the classical logos (logic), ethos (emotion), and pathos (credibility) template for Aristotelian rhetoric, Salatin explains how to market the local food imperative from an ancient perspective. Classical thought bolsters the integrity food movement. At the same time, the global/industrial food paradigm doesn’t fit. For conservatives, this can be quite a revelation, and Salatin’s debate style brings to life a broad modern application of these classical thought processes.
- MY FARM TEACHER First delivered at a commencement for Sterling College, this whimsical address challenges and entertains. It’s not dry like most, but full of personal farm stories and realities that teach life lessons of humility, balance, forgiveness, relationships, patience and other success requirements. It concludes the principles with opportunity, illustrated by the number of acorns that sprout, but how few capitalize on their place and grow into dominant oaks. As a farmer, Salatin sees his mandate to create opportunity for productivity from the plants and animals. The farm is an object lesson of principles for life success.
- WEATHERED HANDS, WEALTHY MINDS Especially for schools with a farm program, Salatin created this talk as an inspiration and tribute to Camino de Paz school in New Mexico, a middle school that uses food and farming as the basis of its curriculum. Hand work and hand craft create wonderful life lessons in humility, self-worth, visceral ecological connections, self-reliance, regeneration cycle, unconditional love, respect, gratitude, integration, and curiosity. This presentation applauds a less institutional, computer-based, academics-only education and explains why ultimately incorporating production and kitchen-based craft actually leverages cerebral development.
- YOUR GARDEN LEGACY Many private college-prep schools grew out of yester-year’s boarding schools in which the students grew their own food on campus. With today’s sophistication-oriented society and condescension toward farming, these schools generally segregate their land and farm, leasing it out to neighbors, and contracting their food services to large institutional providers who buy from industrial food sources. Salatin developed this talk for just such a setting, using a garden as the object lesson. Beautifully alliterated to encourage students: purpose, place, plan, preparation, planting, persistence, picking, preserving, primal, perpetual.