Out to Pasture: The Future of Farming?

Out to Pasture: The Future of Farming?

Transcript of Out to Pasture: The Future of
Farming? Narrator (Margery McIver):
Almost all of the animals we eat in this country are raised in confinement operations – indoor
facilities that house thousands of chickens, cows or hogs. Unlike the diversified farms that once were
the norm, confinement operations tend to be highly specialized. Considering that humans have raised domesticated
animals for thousands of years, this style of production is a new experiment. There are rising concerns about the impact
of industrial farming on our health, the environment, local communities, and the welfare of the
animals. However, there are still farmers who raise
animals outdoors, in diversified operations. Some would call them backward, but these farmers
believe they are on the cutting edge of animal agriculture.  
David Whitman: They’re not wantin’ to leave the shade. Can’t say as I blame them. John Ikerd:
During the 1970s it was a boom time in agriculture. We’re opening up the export markets, farm
fencerow to fencerow. There’s gonna be prosperity for farmers
forever. But then during the 1980s, then we went into
a global recession, the export markets dried up, agricultural commodity prices dropped
like a rock. Farmers were caught with large loans at high
interest rates and were committing suicide when they lost the farm. And so I came to the realization, hey, this
kind of agriculture that I had been taught and that I had promoted wasn’t working. I began to realize that that kind of agriculture
– which I call industrial agriculture now – not only was degrading and eroding the
soil, but is polluting the natural environment. And that was destroying the ability of the
land to feed people of future generations. Robert Lawrence:
We’re now producing eight billion animals each year for human consumption. Unfortunately, a lot of the true costs of
doing business this way is externalized to the environment. By that we mean that the costs are in the
environment – pollution of water and air, degradation of soils, and general contamination
with the enormous amounts of animal waste that go along with industrial agriculture. We need to worry about the ability of our
farming system to produce food for our great grandchildren. How to do that is becoming more and more of
a challenge. Of the eight billion animals that we raise
and consume in the United States each year, over seven billion of them are poultry, mostly
chickens. John Ikerd:
Multinational corporations basically are controlling the production on farms, through comprehensive
production contracts with people that operate the large-scale confinement animal feeding
operations, or CAFO’s. Virgil Shockley:
You’re on my farm right now. We have about 125 acres. You’re in one of my chicken houses. It has 20,000 capacity chickens in this house. And the chickens are two weeks old. It’s considered a medium-size farm. Your big, big mega-farms, I call them, the
10- and 12-house farms – they have 200, 250,000 capacity. Those are the farms that have been built up
in the last five to six years. I wouldn’t own a farm that size. I think those people are very brave. You have to realize that it doesn’t matter
how good you are – at anything – the possibility does exist that you can get a disease. And the diseases in a 20,000 house versus
the disease on 250,000, that’s a huge loss for somebody. Kathy Phillips:
This is not your family farm behind me here. This is industrial-sized agriculture. And it needs to be regulated to preserve the
natural resources that we have here in the state. The biggest problem with poultry on the Eastern
Shore is the manure. There’s more and more of these large-scale
industrial operations coming in. Each of these houses behind me can hold almost
as many as 30,000 birds. And each chicken throughout its lifetime generates
three pounds to three and a half pounds of manure. So, now you’ve got a product that is full
of nitrogen, phosphorus, arsenic, other heavy metals. It’s being used as fertilizer on the fields
to grow the corn and the soybean to feed the chickens. And the corn and soybeans use up a lot of
the nitrogen, but the phosphorus is the big problem. This particular operation behind me is in
such an environmentally sensitive area. To my right is Dividing Creek, which is a
tributary of the Pocomoke River, and the Pocomoke feeds into the Chesapeake Bay. And literally within feet of such a very low,
wet, sensitive area, we have this high area of poultry operation. So, anything that’s on the ground, the rain
is gonna carry it down into Dividing Creek. Why do we have to wait for a crisis to happen? Why can’t everybody get together now, admit
that we’re all part of the problem. Don’t leave it on the backs of the poultry
growers to have to figure out what to do with it. Virgil Shockley:
Chicken is a very popular food. A lot of the meat that you see actually goes
to these fast-food places. If people don’t step back and say, look,
the farmers are doing everything they can. It’s more of a problem than just the farmers,
then we’re gonna have a poultry industry that won’t be on the Shore in five years. Carole Morison:
Cleckner Farms, owned by Duane and Sheila Cleckner, is an example that can be used for
farmers locally. He went from being an industrial chicken producer,
lost his contract, and had to find something to do with his farm. And, you know, out of need he started experimenting. Duane’s a risk taker in this operation of
his that he’s doing now. But I think Duane’s going to be successful. Duane Cleckner:
When I was a little kid, I remember my grandfather taking me out on the farm, and ridin’ me
around on his tractor. But he sold the farm in 1957. The only farming I had was the backyard garden. Our farm is 12 acres. I sort of feel like I rescued it from corporate
America, where they were polluting all the time, raising chickens that I was embarrassed
to eat. So, right now I do it the way I’d like to,
which is no antibiotics, no hormones, no medications. I’m sort of raising chickens the way I thought
my grandfather would, with minimal inputs. I probably work just as hard or maybe just
a little bit harder now, but my quality of life is a little bit better because I’m
working for myself, instead of the man. But when I worked for them, THEY controlled
my destiny. It was like I was a serf working for the king,
whereas now I’m a duke working for myself. Robert Lawrence:
I don’t think there’s anything that captures the attention of the urban dweller in America
quite like a picture of a bucolic dairy farm. And, sadly, those dairy farms are rapidly
disappearing. Herd size of 40 to 60 cows, where the dairy
farmer had a name for every cow, where the cows spent most of the day out on pasture,
came in twice a day for milking, is being replaced by cows that spend their entire time
standing on concrete, inside a closed barn, never see a blade of green grass. Their entire lives is spent eating specially
prepared food that combines soy cake with corn and with various other things, with roughage
that sometimes includes bits of plastic rather than anything digestible. Kim Seeley:
I’m Kim Seeley and I live in north-central Pennsylvania, Bradford County, and our farm
goes back – it’s a fourth-generation farm now – and it goes back, my grandfather and
my grandmother bought this farm in 1928. We will see a resurgence in small family farms
milking anywhere from 10 to 30 cows, that sell their own cheeses, their own butters,
and that they regionalize and take back their co-ops. Before we quit using chemicals, the birds
weren’t fertile and didn’t reproduce, and the birds didn’t want to come to our
farm. Well, if the birds don’t return to the nest
every year, then pretty soon the ecosystem collapses. And if our young people, being the birds,
don’t return to the nest and return to the farms and wanna propagate the model, then
the model’s not good. We used to plant grain and rotated our pastureland
with our cropland, but we quit growing corn years ago, and so our pastures are blends
of native species. Shon Seeley:
As our farm develops, our seed bank grows every year, more and more. So, a lot of the weeds we’ve noticed – that
seem to be unpalatable to our mind-set – have turned out to be a very specific part of the
cow’s diet. Kim Seeley:
You just stand back and observe the cows. They can teach us more than maybe we can teach
them. Ron Holter:
You’re on Holterholm Farms in Jefferson, Maryland. We’re just at the foothills of the Allegheny
Mountain Range. And we have been farming this land since 1889,
the Holter family. We had been a confinement dairy until 1995,
and then in 1996 we converted to a pasture-based dairy, became certified organic in 2005 when
the market opened up in Maryland for organic milk. So, we’re now a seasonal, no-grain, pasture-based
dairy. We made that decision back in the fall of
’97, mainly because when you read the Bible, cows were not created to eat grain. Grain was created to feed people. And if He would have told me in 1996, when
He told me “I want you to graze your cows,” that by 2007 or 2008 you would be a seasonal,
pastured-based, organic, no-grain dairy with Jersey cows, my head would have exploded – NO
WAY! It can’t happen. I don’t work near as hard as I used to. Have all kinds of family time. I can see my children grow up. And that was a real blessing. Adam Holter:
When other young people hear that I’m gonna be a farmer, they’re not sure about that,
because what they’ve grown up seeing is the conventional farmer, the confinement farmer. I guess what made me want to come back is
when Dad did switch to organic in 2005. If we were a confinement farm, I definitely
would not have come back to the farm. I can guarantee you that. Ron Holter:
My entire life, we have been strictly a dairy farm. When we transitioned to grazing, and had time
to actually think again, rather than just chase our tail all the time, it kind of opened
up many, many possibilities for us. We have a tremendous amount of biology in
our soils now – now that it’s permanently vegetatively covered. We have earthworms and dung beetles, and all
kinds of bugs and critters down there that are beyond counting. It’s alive. The soil is alive. And that’s something I never saw until we
were pasturing. So, the smaller farms, if they are going to
stay in business, are going to have to move toward a pasture-based system. It would be my dream that all farms would
move to a pasture-based and we’d get rid of the big dairies, because they’re not
a sustainable, healthy type of a system, something permanent that can exist without government
subsidies. John Ikerd:
There’s a lot of people in all aspects of industrial agriculture today that don’t
really feel good about what they’re doing. They really feel caught in this system, and
they don’t know how to get out. And when people like myself or other people
talk about sustainability, and sustainable agriculture, and organic and local foods,
the so-called agricultural establishment kind of marginalizes that. Most of the people in conventional agriculture,
they’ve seen neighbor after neighbor after neighbor fail, and they know sooner or later
it’s going to be them. Joe Corby:
They claim to have 11 million hog population in the state of North Carolina. I’m Joe Corby. I’m a private pilot, and I fly for the Neuse
Riverkeeper Foundation. Okay, we’re flying over a hog farm in Duplin
County – probably population of 20,000 hogs here. A hog produces many times the sewage that
a human does. I mean, there is a factor of something in
the order of maybe five times what a human produces, or more. And no actual treatment plants to process
the stuff. It’s amazing. Devon Hall:
A lagoon is a waste pit, and it’s just a hole in the ground, clay-lined, where the
hog waste is flushed out of the confinement buildings into this holding pond. There’s some farms that will have as many
as 12 barns or confinement buildings itself. The waste that those animals are producing,
and it’s being flushed out into a hole in the ground called a lagoon. That same hog waste is being sprayed with
big guns that propels this waste hundreds of feet across fields. There’s been research to prove that these
particulate matters – dust from these CAFOs – can cause some severe respiratory problems. I believe that this industry is polluting
the water now. I wouldn’t want to drink water from a shallow
well. The one thing that we’ve always wanted is
clean water, clean air, and a clean environment. Come have a picnic in my backyard, and tell
me if that smells like bacon, or whether that smells like money, or if it smells like hog
waste and urine, you know. The contract grower owns the building, but
the industry owns the hogs, the feed, veterinarian supplies. So, I began to use the term that the contract
grower is caught between a rock and a hard place. But at the same time, I didn’t want to bash
the industry – still don’t – because I still want them to continue to raise hogs. Twenty-five years ago there was a lot of hogs
raised on the ground here in Duplin County, and I believe that there is still some people
that would like to go back to that. Jeremiah Jones:
My name’s Jeremiah Jones, from Duplin County. We’re in actually a little community called
Cedar Fork. I’ve been raising hogs for six years. I’ve been farming for 10. I started fresh out of college. I went to State. I was just turning 21 when I started farming. I ain’t ever been interested in contract
farming. To me all you do is you’re owning the buildings
and everybody else has to tell you what to do. And your contract reads you’re only guaranteeing
one flock. But you’re signing your name to all that
money for the barns, lagoon, all the responsibility and the environmental problems, and all they’re
guaranteed to do is put you one flock or one bunch of hogs in there. And they can cut you off at any time. It’s hard nowadays to have a bank lend you
money on anything like this. They want a contract, you know, hog houses
and stuff like that. That’s what they look for. I enjoy having a little bit more control about
everything I deal with. I got a buddy I went to college with. His family’s got 15 hog houses. We’ll go out to eat or something, but we
don’t go around each other’s farms. Us versus confinement? We’re not allowed to use antibiotics, growth
hormones or animal byproducts. We have to use basically all-natural feeds. David Whitman:
My name is David Whitman. We are standing in front of my boar, slash,
gestation pen. I have grown hogs down here, for the most
part, since I was 14, and I’m 49 now, so you do the math. Hogs on the ground, they’re easier to keep
’em healthy. They get iron out of the clay soil, which
is good for ’em. Minerals out of the roots, you know, from
trees and bushes and stuff. They’re healthier. We don’t get the volume that you get with
the indoor, commercial farms. In the hog houses, they’re more confined. They’re on cement. Cement is not a hog’s natural desire to
be on cement. They like dirt, they like mud. It’s just better for ‘em. It’s also better meat for us. I have many friends that grow hogs in the
larger facilities. I don’t discuss growing hogs with them very
much. They do it their way and I do it mine. I was walkin’ down the path one day and
all of a sudden a lid come up a little bit, and I was like, “What was that?” and there
was a pig in there. Hey, bud. What’s up? He’s chowin’ down. First and foremost, I treat my pigs in a humane
way. We cannot use hog shockers. We can’t kick ’em. We can’t shove ’em. We cannot mistreat ’em physically. We cannot use animal meat byproducts in their
food. We cannot use steroids or any other growth
hormones. We have to provide something they can graze
on, forage on. We have to have certain size pens to provide
so many square feet per pig. Hogs, in a lot of ways, are like people. One way, they have personalities. In about six to six and a half months of age,
these boys and girls is gonna be going to the slaughter market. You know, so, they’ve got such of a short
life. So, I do the best for ’em that I can while
they’re with us. It ain’t all about the money. This is a hog haven. Not a
worry in the world. Eliza MacLean:
I’m Eliza MacLean. We are at a combination farm. I own Cane Creek Farm, which has become nationally
known. So, I now own and run a large, multi-species
intensive grazing operation, and I raise four, five different species of poultry and four
or five different species of four-legged, red-meat animals for human consumption, which
is actually a bit of a shift for me. I was actually a vegetarian for a while, but
it just really became one of those things that I understood that boycotting that, for
me, was not going to be the answer. I needed to be the change I wanted to see. John Ikerd:
Well, the industrialization of the food system came about like the industrialization of agriculture. Agriculture, it was one farmer at a time deciding
to grow something different in a different way, deciding they were going to market it
a different place, buy different inputs. And, so, when we transform and change the
food system of the future, it’s gonna be one consumer at time, one person at a time,
saying rather than buying this product, I’m gonna buy this product because it’s more
consistent with my ethical, social, ecological values. Eliza MacLean:
I’ve seen such change in the seven years that I’ve been running this Cane Creek Farm. It’s gonna work. The food system is probably gonna be the first
thing that needs to change, for the health benefits of all of us, so that we become long-lived
again. Things are gonna taste better, things are
gonna cost more, but we’re gonna eat less of them. And we’re gonna savor life a little bit
more, you know?

100 thoughts on “Out to Pasture: The Future of Farming?

  1. I don't buy into the 
    Ross latitude in his belief of farming, for one thing the urban homestead is not for us all but I must consider the fact that Americans don't remember what it's like to be raised on the small farm, much less do they realize the fact that the veggies we buy at these giant stores is bunk and has little nutrition being picked early which turns fruit to starch. America can't feed itself @ this time nor can we afford war unless it's over less than 3 months. Page 56 the Art of War. America was the model of commerce and trade in the the 20th  century. What is GNP today? What better reason do we have to grow a sustainable life in the US than the fact that we could not feed our selves in a time of need such as War or crop failures, that we as Americans need not wait for War but be ready & the first thing in War is provisions. If we can't feed ourselves how can we make provisions of War? Ok bite the bullet! So everyone should try even in a small place to garden for a better life and security as well as nutrition for our family. All of us together one small urban hope after another could mean survival the outcome. I also suggest sharing food, trading through co op garden clubs and so on. Start to many tomatoes give some starts to your neighbors. One last thought in world war 2 our government pushed the idea to grow victory gardens; why would anyone in their right mind wait for war to start gardening. That's like buying a car with nice paint but no engine.

  2. This was very good But there are pig breeds that can only be pasture because they get fat on grains. One of the breed are "guinea hog" look them up ther critically endangered.

  3. The missing link in the minds of many folks here is meat, milk and egg consumption. You will not be able to feed America, let alone anyone else, on small farms with the demand for these items being so high. What we need is to promote a diet that is rich in plant based foods and grains, with animal foods in small quantities. This way human beings are eating the grains and veggies that are being grown, while the animals are eating the grass that we can't eat. We take care of them, and we pay the true cost of having those foods so that everyone benefits, including our planet. See when people say small farms can't feed everyone, they're looking at it from the point of view of current consumption of animal foods. And they're right. But if we shift our diet from what is one way too heavy in meat, milks and eggs and processed foods, to one of whole foods supplemented by animal foods, well the way forward is much clearer and easier to imagine.

  4. Those last words of the program really nailed it, things are going to cost more, but we'll be eating less of it. That is exactly it. And that's the part the industry doesn't want to hear or talk about, because eating less animal based foods means less money for them. Well yes, it's going to cost some profits. But there are other costs we're paying that are far greater…loss of connection to the land, to the animals, loss of connection to our bodies and what we put in them, loss of natural habitat and good farming land because of poor land use and monocultures and pesticides. You have to weigh your costs, absolutely.

  5. Benefits of hogs raised in buildings:
    1. Hogs are one of the more destructive animals to the environment, through soil erosion. Anyone claiming to sell grass raised pork is lying. They turn grass/pasture into dirt/mud in just a few days.
    2. Hogs raised in buildings aren't full of parasites from the earth. Having butchered both kinds, I wouldn't eat a dirt raised pig if it was given to me. 
    3. Hogs raised in buildings usually have a much more balanced diet, therefore having better feed efficiency. Better feed efficiency means less resources to grow the animal, and less environmental impact.
    4. Hog buildings collect manure in pit beneath the animals, where it is then collected and spread over larger areas to grow the next years crop. It is put on in just the right amounts to soak into the ground and not run off. In outdoor hog pens, manure piles up, until the next big rain washes it down the ditch and into the water supply.

    The people who tell you hog buildings are bad for the animal and the environment are lying to you. Hogs raised indoors have heating and air conditioning, protection from the weather, a proper balanced diet, proper medical care, and unlimited fresh water. That is better than most people live. The manure is utilized in a controlled, efficient, and regulated manner. The environmental impact/pig in a building is far less than if the same pigs were raised in a pasture. 

  6.  So much of the US population can't afford to pay more, even if they wanted to eat foods that are better for them and their family.  They have spent the money the didn't spend while buying less expressive mass produced food on toys and entertainment. Their going to be unwilling to give  those up. They are going to support anything that will  force the "alternate" food producers featured  here surrender their operations to those who will go CAFO. By supporting regulation that curtails marketing directly to the consumer.  By environmental regulation that's more onerous to the alternate farmer, and favorable to the CAFO operations

  7. There aren't enough farmers in the US to be able to have multiple small 50-100 cow dairies.  The reason the small farms don't exist is because it is hard job, which is why many kids leave the farm.

  8. I'm a small farmer and this is the best video I've watched in forever. You people give me hope. My guy said things were way wrong several years ago. I'm glad I'm doing it my way. Long live small farmers! Vote with your money.

  9. Farming just has this terrifying quality to me.  That humans can so casually exploit and grow a being – a creature – with the plan to kill and eat it.  It isn't like hunting with rudimentary technology – more fair ground.  Humans are just so capable of exploitation and usure.  It's dreadful.  If I was born a pig… or with brown skin a couple centuries ago…or in my current job (to a much lesser degree, but is that just because of laws?  The underpinning of violence keeping people from being barbaric?)  Is it weird that I think about these things?

  10. All this talk about cost to the consumer.

    YES small farms cost more. They cost the true price of meat….an animal  body
    so pay for and don't buy meat every day.

    Its 20 times less costly for meat today then in 1910s….why is that…..tax subsidies, mass production and oil based fertilizers.  It all false savings, that costing the planet.

    .98 cents a pound for chicken?
    9.99 for steaks?

    Whats in them?

  11. If I had a wish I would use it to make small farms the only way to raise farm animals , not that factory shot where they treat the animals like shit

  12. So many posters are not mentioning anything about soil health.  We cannot keep putting toxic chemical inputs on the cropland forever.  Production practices have to change and the latest findings about the dangers of GMO's should hopefully enlighten the regulators and bring about changes in practices.  Hogs, chickens and cows are mainstays in consumption of protein for the majority of humans.  Having some moral cognizance of their quality of life seems mandatory…they all need grass, room to roam, sunlight and good water.

    Who ever came up with the idea of penning them up in masses was nothing other than a capitalistic pig!  We have a CAFO about 2500 ft from our house.  Biting flies, lots of mosquitoes and the constant putrid aroma are not very attractive when it comes to quality of life.  Money talks in this debate and it is highly unlikely that anything will happen in our life time…maybe the next generation.

  13. I know that they dont clean those big chicken houses and never let them out. Its not that great. There is nothing wrong with small farmers they are not evil. Big farms dont need to have the monopoly.

  14. Im done eating bacon and everthing from animals those little pigs only live for 10 to 12 months then get shipped to the skinning processand i seen a video they cut there tall and bang the head against the floor its sad when i get pigs i will have alot and not one will be killed all the little ones will grow big not have to worry about dying…..so fuckin sad how we live off little pigs who dont understand that they will die the next few months. Makes me sad. I stopped eating food from cows,pigs,chickens ashamed.

  15. Good piece, but the MOST IMPORTANT THING is that none of it STARTS WITH THE FARMER. IT STARTS WITH YOU, THE CONSUMER. I see a lot of comments applauding the animal welfare and respect, but how many are CHOOSING to pass by that drive-through window on their way to their local farmer's market? Every consumer dollar spent is a vote. How are you voting? Choosing to support your local farmers that produce on pasture and open range is the only way to be an advocate. Unfortunately, much easier said and fantasized about than done for most.

  16. I'm a farmer from IN and I grow nonGMO and GMO crops and raise cattle. This is NOT a documentary!! It is more false ridiculous fear mongering propaganda just like the other so called "documentaries" If you want information about agriculture get it were farmers do, not some stupid movie. Search Agweb, Hoosier Ag today or Ask the farmers.

  17. Organic farming is God's way that the modern dirt farmers haven't a clue…They only care about how much money they can make and to hell with how many people they kill or put in wheel chairs.   Farming is no longer a proud profession…

  18. Wow, I was shocked to hear Iker dismissing productivity, and crediting a real farm with being a way of life. The farmers existential satisfaction doesn't keep the people in the city from starving to death, their productivity does.

  19. I wish to do sustainable farm in US and not sure where to start… I am here in Birmingham AL and I want to start with a backyard farm and grow from there…

  20. So I live in Utah and am very interested in getting back to my farming heritage. Any advice or resources that I can leverage here in the west?

  21. Great video. As a person who does not have a multi-generation small farm to take over but dreams of a life commitment like this; what resources are out there to get started? I am close to middle aged, have a family, am a few years into my 2nd career and live in a mostly urban environment. With my little piece of ground I grow a garden and compost my vegetable waste either in backyard composters or with my basement vermicompost set-up. I would gladly trade this for a situation like any of these farms. I know I could do it if I had a successful plan to get started and it isn't some crazy idea that would hurt my family.

    If there are those resources that anyone knows of please pass it along.

    Again, great video.

  22. At 12:40 "Grass roots people voting with their food dollars every day". Mr. Kim Seeley is also a political prophet as well as a farmer. He describes the most powerful tool of the American people to set this country right. Let's do it !

  23. How about this; we all get 10 acres; those who don't want to don't have to, but then we can all become self-sustianed and then we can sell our surpluses! I love this idea, but I think everyone else will hate it!

  24. Damn I liked to crapped watching this that Jeremiah Jones I bought hogs from him when I was living on my land in beaulaville NC and David Whitman was in the hunting club that hunted the surrounding land and my farm too.

  25. I was going to build a business like this; Then gather homeless people to help me, so I don't have to pay for others lol! but it look so complicated, must be a billions of dollars to raise a big field, n not very much experience with a big huge farm anyway; if I did hire homeless ppl. I have 2 build, shelter for them, pick n choose who I hire, get security people for my protection, & maybe pay for for someone to teach them how to plant, feed & all of that, & if I did live there, I would rather move, because I don't want those homeless people, to come to my house and steal, break, disturb me, etc. & it's hard for me to tell them what to do because I'm tiny & small, but anyways I like what I'm watching, thanks for sharing this video

  26. I was going to build a business like this; Then gather homeless people to help me, so I don't have to pay for others lol! but it look so complicated, must be a billions of dollars to raise a big field, n not very much experience with a big huge farm anyway; if I did hire homeless ppl. I have 2 build, shelter for them, pick n choose who I hire, get security people for my protection, & maybe pay for for someone to teach them how to plant, feed & all of that, & if I did live there, I would rather move, because I don't want those homeless people, to come to my house and steal, break, disturb me, etc. & it's hard for me to tell them what to do because I'm tiny & small, but anyways I like what I'm watching, thanks for sharing this video

  27. I agree, small farms but more of them is the future. but even the cities and towns need to transform everyone helping to grow or manage the animals. people must learn to be sustainable farmers again. good documentary

  28. I don't know how I feel about this> I mean, certainly organics and small scale farming is better than conventional livestock. But what about verses a vegetable farm? When I look at a grazing land all I see is the opportunity for there to be a forest and real biodiversity. I think we should scrap animal agriculture.

  29. i grew up on a 30 cow dairy, when i turned 17 i went to work on an industrial size dairy, and i immediately could see that cows in confinement are not happy, nothing puts a truer smile on my face than when the cows follow me out to the far gate, then i open it and they run and kick and play like you wouldn't believe, it's beautiful

  30. And that's another problem, modern dairy cow breeds need grain or they'll die, if you can breed a cow that can live well on just grass, that will be a good breakthrough

  31. I truly believe livestock who were raised happy in a traditional farm set up taste better than the livestock who were raised in factory farms. I'm from a small town in Oklahoma we have cows everywhere and a couple smaller pig farms so I'm kinda familiar with the industry and I think the meat compared to what you get in the store is much better.

    I recall hearing animals who are stressed out before slaughter produce lactic acid in the meat and that causes the meat to be of leaser quality.

    I don't know if that's the truth but i can taste the difference.

  32. If you can produce a lot more milk with a little bit of grain applied with grass, then I would do that and the cows also loves it, but it can easily become to much grain.

  33. There's a lot of good info in this vid and a lot of truth but there's also some utter BS. Producers don't feed their cattle plastic that's undigestible and I don't believe arsenic is a problem with chicken manure. I don't agree with tight confinement of animals, feed lots are gross and should be outlawed.
    To make kids want to come back to the farm, there has to be profitability. Big corporate farming has almost guaranteed it a fact that it's damn hard to be profitable in a small operation and compete with commercial production. To compete holistically you have to go completely off the commercial grid, no fertilizer, chemicals and no commercial markets because those are all priced by commercial production and basically set the profit margins. The bad thing about all that is that it's hard to develop non commercial markets that pay a premium needed to be profitable on a small production/low production holistic operation. Without being able to work that problem out, kids will continue to leave the hardship racked life of farms to seek the proverbial greener pastures where they don't have to fight the weather, the EPA, the commodity markets and anti-ag consumer opinion.

  34. Feel good laws and regulations ….just another joke …. the whole system is run by $$$$$. Low priced food required and expected by the average American runs the economy….

  35. More like hog hell where they're going to get their throats slit and guts sliced open to turn into bacon. Hogwash bullshit!!

  36. So what your telling me is that the original way and letting Mother Nature take care of herself was the most healthy and sustainable for everyone….
    Such a grand fucking idea

  37. I'm vegan but I'm very glad to see improvements like these in animal agriculture, these farmers definitely deserve support.

  38. This almost brings tears to my eyes. Watching the care and love that many of these farmers show for their animals is beautiful and really highlights the difference between pastured animals and confinement animals.

  39. Those big farms, were at once small farms. They grew into big farms because of the law of Supply and Demand. When
    farmers were able to sell more food to more people further away. Such as other freakin countries… The farms had to grow to meet those demands.

    I'm not against small farms dotting all over the place. But you can't feed the large cities by ripping down a block in a
    neighborhood, and making a small farm… its just not realistic. A byproduct of feeding the world, as the world population is growing… 7.5 billion people as of may 2017, is more and bigger farms.

    Farms are not exclusively self substantial, they require products from other business to operate. A farm is a business, they produce a product for profit, and require substantial supplies from other business, especially the larger they get.

    Sure the small 40 cow, 50 chicken farm is very picturesque, and such a wonderful thought, I do not disagree.
    However they cannot produce enough product to feed everyone.

  40. I really liked this video, one thing they failed to mention though is suburban sprawl. To much farm land is being paved over. I really think if we spent our taxes in a more logical way, we could revitalize the cities and get more people into farming especially the young. I also believe when we do this we can bring back the butcher shops. This would also have the added bonus of bridging the communication gap between rural and urban populations. Just my thoughts on this would like to know what you fine people think.

  41. 16:55 And that is real treasure. Spending time with family and people you love. Many people people don't understand it any more it is not all about money.

  42. I want to own a dairy farm someday. What will I do with the cows after 8-10 years ( 7-9 for sheep)? I'll send to place where they can live another happy life. What about bulls and rams? Same thing. Will I take the calves away from the mothers? I hate to say this, but yes. Now vegans do your research on why farmers do this before you call out animal abuse. Not all farmers do it to be cruel. A quick Google search can give you the answer, and besides it will only be for a month or two and mothers can still visit their calves.

  43. This is good. Sorry vegans but some people won't go vegan, so we need stronger animal welfare for farm animals. Also there have been people who went vegan, did the diet right and still end up feeling worse. Can't wait for lab grown meat. I also hope that they come out with indoor crops. Why indoor crops? With indoor crops no larger herbivores can eat them. What about the animals who finds their way in? A nontoxic spray will do the trick or should. I also suggest robots to take the slaves place. I'm suggest this because animals will still be suffering even if everybody went vegan. The vegan diet is not more humane>https://farmingtruth.weebly.com/why-veganism-is-not-more-humane.html
    Farm factories should change their ways. Give the cows, sheep and goats their natural food. Give them more room.

  44. Those chickens in the large scale house look much cleaner, healthier and happier than the red hens with their feathers plucked out running around a delapadated old chicken house.

  45. Arsenic? In chicken manure? If there is arsenic in the manure, then there was arsenic in the feed. So why didn't it kill the chickens? Sorry, but I call BS on this!

  46. Just an amazing wonderful video! It's so supportive for us people who want to be that back to the Earth Farmer. Thank you for this video! )))

  47. Just an amazing wonderful video! It's so supportive for us people who want to be that back to the Earth Farmer. Thank you for this video! )))

  48. Why don't they bag the chicken poop and sell it in different areas of the country so it is not contained in the same area?

  49. Die in hell you disgusting monsters we are not even in the food chain! now the planet is getting destroyed because you

  50. Again a bunch of bla bla from people that have not to much knowledge of agriculture. Sure there is a market for pigs and poultry that is kept outside. It would however be a huge environmental disaster if all livestock would be kept outside 24-7-365 without controlling nutrient runoff. Manure lagoons may not be pretty but they provide containment for just that.

  51. When I was a girl being raised on a farm in eastern North Carolina some 55 years ago, pigs got a few acres of mixed pasture, forest/wood lot with lots of nut trees including oak and pecan trees, a mudhole on one of the low sections where we had a spigot we could turn on for them in the heat of summer and no shelter at all except for the pigging house where the sows pigged. Pigs can take care of themselves. The trick is to make sure your fencing can keep them in…pigs are escape artists. Winters they got feed in addition to forage and when the sows pigged we got the pigs separated and got in there with needle nosed pliers and picked the tusks from the front of each little jaw, upper and lower. They ain't got roots yet, at that age…can save a farmer a nasty hog cut later if you flip those tusks out within three days or so of birth. That's also when you introduce them to the vet.

  52. Do a Google and YouTube search for " Polyface Farms , Joel Salatin " runs a permaculture style farm rotating pigs, cows, chickens and a few other things on sections of pasture the organic way! It helps the animals, soil and plant life and the people eating it. YouTube search Justin Rhodes also. He learned a lot from Joel Salatin.

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