The #1 podcast in Eco-Agriculture. From your friends at Acres U.S.A., the Voice of Eco-Agriculture since 1971, Tractor Time is a conversation between farmers, authors, advocates and legendary voices in the world of eco-agriculture. Hosted by Ben Trollinger, editor of Acres U.S.A. magazine. Since it started in 2017, this podcast has been downloaded more than 120,000 times around the world.
Tractor Time #51: Journalist Tom Philpott on Our Perilous Food System
Tom Philpott is the food and ag correspondent for Mother Jones. Before that, he covered the food system for Grist. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek and the Guardian. He’s worked as a bona fide farmer and now splits his time between Austin, Texas, and North Carolina. He has a new book out from Bloomsbury Publishing. It’s called Perilous Bounty: The Looming Collapse of American Farming and How We Can Prevent It. The book is the culmination of an impressive career spent holding industry and government accountable. Perilous Journey tells the story of two U.S. farming powerhouses — California’s Central Valley and the Corn Belt of the Midwest. Through this lens, Philpott makes the case that current agricultural practices and policies are leading us down the road to environmental ruin. And yet, there’s still hope on the horizon.
To find out more about Tom Philpott visit www.tomphilpott.net/
Tractor Time is brought to you by Acres U.S.A. and Barn2Door. Subscribe to our channel on YouTube, iTunes or anywhere podcasts are available. Also, find us at acresusa.com, ecofarmingdaily.com, and don’t forget to subscribe to our monthly magazine.
Tractor Time Episode 50: Dr. Vandana Shiva on the Toxic Cartels
On this our 50th episode we welcome Dr. Vandana Shiva. A fearless advocate for peasant farmers throughout the world, Dr. Shiva is one of the most outspoken critics of industrial agriculture and its dire environmental and spiritual consequences. She is the founder of Navdanya, an India based organization that advocates for biodiversity, seed sovereignty and food independence. Navdanya runs an organic farm in the foothills of the Himalays and counts among its members millions of farmers across India, where the group has set up more than 100 seed banks. She is the recipient of many awards, including the Right Livelihood Award and the Sydney Peace Prize. She is also the author of several groundbreaking books, including Making Peace with the Earth, Soil Not Oil and Who Really Feeds the World?. Her latest book is called Oneness vs the 1%: Shattering Illusions, Seeding Freedom. In an age of growing economic inequality, globalization and relentless corporate propaganda, we need people like Dr. Shiva who are willing to stand up and speak the truth. Buy her books at acresusa.com. Use the coupon code FEBPOD for 10% off on all sales.
1 hour, 10 minutes
Tractor Time Episode 49: Chris Smaje on Our Peasant Farmer Future
On this episode we travel to the future — A Small Farm Future. That’s the title of a new book from farmer and social scientist Chris Smaje.
Let’s be honest, the future doesn’t look great. Our climate is changing rapidly, our soils are being depleted through industrial farming methods and deforestation, the global population is surging, our health is falling apart and despite some progress with renewable energy sources we’re still very much addicted to cheap fossil fuels.
It’s a bleak picture that Smaje paints in his new book. And while he doesn’t offer an optimistic Pollyanna vision for our future, Smaje does believe that humans can continue to thrive — if only we’re willing to radically reshape the way we think about communities and economies.
For the last 15 years, Smaje has run a small farm in Sommerset, England. Before that, he worked as a social scientist at University of Surrey and Goldsmiths College. His focus is the practice — and politics — of agroecology, and he’s written about that subject for publications such as The Land, Dark Mountain, Permaculture Magazine, Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and the Journal of Consumer Culture. Smaje writes the Small Farm Future blog and is a featured author at resilience.org. He has a new book out with Chelsea Green Publishing. It’s called A Small Farm Future: Making the Case for a Society Built Around Local Economies, Self-Provisioning, Agricultural Diversity and a Shared Earth. I was really impressed by the amount of thought Smaje has put into actually working out some of the ideas we in the regenerative agriculture world take for granted.
Tractor Time Episode 48: Doug Fine, American Hemp Farmer
On this episode — the return of Doug Fine. Operating out the Funky Butte Ranch in southern New Mexico, Doug is a hemp farmer by day, journalist by night, entrepreneurial dynamo 24/7. His writing has appeared in places like Washington Post, Wired and Outside Magazine. He’s traveled all over the world, including to places like Burma, Rwanda, Laos, Guatemala and Tajikistan. He’s given TED Talks. He’s appeared on late-night talk shows. And he’s written several books, including Not Really An Alaskan Mountain Man, Farewell My Subaru, Too High To Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution, and Hemp Bound: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution. His latest book, American Hemp Farmer, is a follow-up to Hemp Bound and it celebrates the men and women who are blazing a path in the regenerative, farmer-driven hemp industry. Doug also recently put out a brand new online course on growing and marketing regenerative hemp. For more on that, visit learn.acresusa.com.
This is Doug’s second time on the podcast and we’re grateful to have him back. This interview was recorded last year and it’s our first podcast of 2021. Doug’s a perfect guest to kick off a new season. He’s enthusiastic, he’s optimistic. He has a big vision for the future of regenerative hemp … and he’s in the trenches doing the work to bring it into reality.
Go buy Doug’s new book at the acresusa.com bookstore. Use the coupon code JANPOD for 10 % off on America Hemp Farmer and all other titles. And, if you’re interested in growing hemp yourself, Doug’s new course is a great place to start. Visit learn.acresusa.com to sign up.
1 hour, 40 minutes
Tractor Time Episode 47: Rodale CEO Jeff Moyer Talks No-Till
On this live edition of Tractor Time — recorded on November 12 — we are joined by Jeff Moyer, CEO of the Rodale Institute. Jeff has a new book out from Acres U.S.A. It’s called Roller/Crimper No-Till: Advancing No-Till Agriculture — Crops, Soil & Equipment.
For nearly 30 years, Jeff has worked at the Rodale Institute in Southeastern Pennsylvania, where he’s designed equipment and techniques for organic no-till farming systems. Just last year, he was named CEO of Rodale. In addition, he has served as the chairman of the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board and was a founding board member of Pennsylvania Certified Organic.
Tractor Time Episode 46: Ken Roseboro on GMOs
Ken Roseboro, the editor and publisher of The Organic and Non-GMO Report, has been called “the nation’s reporter on all issues surrounding genetically modified foods” by Acres USA magazine. Ken’s articles have appeared in leading food and agriculture publications and websites such as Civil Eats, Sustainable Food News, Prepared Foods, Natural Foods Merchandiser, Food Processing, and World Grain as well as Harvest Public Media, The Huffington Post, Yahoo News, Mother Earth News, and others. He is a contributing editor to EcoWatch, Organic Connections and New Hope 360. Ken is author of Genetically Altered Foods and Your Health and The Organic Food Handbook both published by Basic Health Publications. He has spoken at many conferences including Natural Products Expo West, All Things Organic, Acres USA Conference, The Organic Farming Conference, National Heirloom Seed Expo, and others. Ken is a member of the design team of the Non-GMO Supply Working Group and a founding member of the board of directors of the Iowa Organic Association. Ken also serves on the board of directors of Soil Technologies Corporation. He appears in the award-winning documentary film, GMO OMG. In 2006, Ken received an Award of Merit from Seed Savers Exchange for his efforts to preserve genetic diversity through his publications.
1 hour, 3 minutes