Thank you to our presenting sponsor Merck Animal Health Ventures! https://www.merck-animal-health.com/animal-health-ventures/ StockCropper website: https://thestockcropper.com/
StockCropper YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheStockCropper
Zack Smith Twitter: https://twitter.com/zebulousprime
Today’s episode really speaks to the core of what this podcast is all about. We look at the current trajectory of where agriculture is headed, identify some of the negative outcomes associated with that trajectory, and explore how people and technology can play a role in creating a better future. I’m excited to share with you today’s conversation with farmer and Stockcropper co-founder Zack Smith.
If you’ve listened to the episode with Joe Bassett, or the recent episode with Paul Greive of Pasturebird, or if you spend any time on ag twitter or ag youtube, you probably have an idea of what the StockCropper is all about. But today’s episode goes deeper into why these types of innovations are important. We talk about consolidation in ag and its impact on rural communities. Zack shares about his journey into soil health and how that’s changed his operation and led him to the point that he felt it was critical that he find a way to incorporate animals onto his crop land. And we talk about these two diverging paths of being the low cost producer vs being a value added producer. A lot of great stuff in today’s episode.
It used to be common practice for farmers to raise a diverse mix of animals and crops in a somewhat integrated system. Over the years through technological and policy changes, most farmers became more specialized, and today the majority of our crops and livestock are produced separate from each other. However, this creates other challenges that Zack will talk more about, and there is a growing push to try to integrate crops and livestock more for the sake of soil, the environment, and rural economies. StockCropper is creating a system to help with this. Their first product is the world’s first multi-species, solar-powered, electrically-driven, autonomous mobile grazing system, called the ClusterCluck. Zack’s going to talk a lot more about the system and what it represents for the future of agriculture.