To encapsulate the idea presented, I’ll borrow from a widely used TV commercial and say:
Beef, its what’s for climate
You can call me crazy for saying that after you watch this presentation. A BIG hattip to Mark Steward Young for bringing this to my attention.
“Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And terrifyingly, it’s happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes — and his work so far shows — that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.
See also here. Here’s a text version of some of the same information. The closed captioning on the video is not the worst I’ve ever seen, but it is far from perfect. His accent renders ‘grass’ as ‘cross’ in the closed captioning, and a marked tree becomes a ‘mocked’ tree.
I found particularly striking his account of his work on creating a natural preserve in Africa. He noticed that they removed the humans, the natives, from the land, and the land got worse, not better. But instead of noticing that connection, they did a careful scientific study and ‘proved’ that there were too many elephants, so they ‘culled’ their numbers to improve the situation. Only things got much, much worse, and they’d killed thousands of elephants because their careful science was horrendously wrong.
He then talks about similar desertification issues in North America, pointing to photographs of land that was once lush and green, and then when environmentalist minded government workers and scientists saw to it that cattle were removed from that land, drastic desertification of the formerly green land was the result. Scientists attributed this to ‘unknown causes.’
“Clearly,” Savory says, “We have never understood the processes of desertification.”
The solution is to return livestock to the land- grassfed livestock that you rotate through the land just like the migratory herds that lived there before.
He also points out how returning land to livestock reared this way saves lives- in much of the world, including the most violent regions the land is such that “only animals can feed people from about 95% of the land.”
He believes in manmade global warming, but he also believes that our desertification issues are a much larger contributor to the problem than all of our combined carbon emissions.
You may also be interested in some of Joel Salatin’s talks- there are many of them on youtube. Or maybe one of his books or CD’s:
Salad Bar Beef: In a day when beef is assailed by many environmental organizations and lauded by fast-food chains, a new paradigm to bring reason to this confusion is in order. With farmers leaving the land in droves and plows poised to “reclaim” set-aside acres, it is time to offer an alternative that is both land and farmer friendly.
Beyond that, the salad bar beef production model offers hope to rural communities, to struggling row-crop farmers, and to frustrated beef eaters who do not want to encourage desertification, air and water pollution, environmental degradation and inhumane animal treatment. Because this is a program weighted toward creativity, management, entrepreneurism and observation, it breathes fresh air into farm economics.
Tilling the Soil: Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Vision in Your Family:
In this engaging message, noted entrepreneur Joel Salatin shares his four-generation family story of entrepreneurship, sharing how his innovative father cast a vision for cultivating the Salatin family farm, an effort that has lead, by God’s grace, to their farming enterprise becoming world-renowned as a model for pastured poultry. Drawing from his failures and successes, Salatin emphasizes that godly entrepreneurs must uphold a biblical code, as he shares important lessons from his family’s journey that will help encourage and equip other families, whatever arena of business they pursue, to cultivate a long-term, entrepreneurial vision.
Getting Your Hands Dirty: How to Teach Your Children to Love Work
In this practical lecture, world-renowned entrepreneur Joel Salatin shares keen insights into getting your children to love work and to embrace your family s vision for entrepreneurship. Salatin explains that children tend to rise to the expectations set for them, and he encourages parents to integrate them into every aspect of the family business from the financial and business side, to the day-to-day implementation; to give them a personal stake in the process; to praise their successes; and to create a joyful atmosphere of family labor. Salatin offers great advice for parents to eliminate dawdling, cultivate persistence, and stimulate innovation in their children.
Or one of these other books:
In All Flesh Is Grass: The Pleasures and Promises of Pasture Farming, Gene Logsdon explains that well-managed pastures are nutritious and palatable—virtual salads for livestock. Leafy pastures also hold the soil, increase biodiversity, and create lovely landscapes. Grass farming may be the solution for a stressed agricultural system based on an industrial model and propped up by federal subsidies. The pasture farming that Gene Logsdon practices can also produce grains, fruits, herbs, mushrooms, and salad greens for human consumption. The book explains historically effective practices and new techniques that have blossomed in recent years for the care and sustenance of horses, cattle, sheep, hogs, and poultry on pasture. Logsdon’s warm profiles of successful grass farmers offer inspiration and ideas. His narrative is enriched by his experience as a “contrary farmer” on his own artisan-scale farm.The culmination of a lifetime’s experience, this book is vital for owners of small acreages, home food producers, horse enthusiasts, and sustainable commercial farmers.
The Complete Guide to Grass-fed Cattle: How to Raise Your Cattle on Natural Grass for Fun and Profit (Back-To-Basics Farming):Raising cattle in the 21st century can be a complicated process. Starting with the way you feed your cattle, you need to know exactly what is best both for your animals and the milk and meat they produce. With the public conscious slowly turning more toward organic food choices (with as much as a 15 percent boost in organic beef sales since 2005 according to the USDA), there are numerous reasons why deciding to grass feed your animals can be not only an effective means of feeding your cattle, but also a way to make more money in the long run. This book will guide you through the process of knowing exactly how to switch your methods to effectively raise your cattle on grass feed. You will learn the essential basics of raising your cattle with natural feed and care sources, including how the farming shift in this millennium has changed how things are done. You will learn the various differences between raising cattle for milk and meat production and what you can expect from your cattle. You will learn how to improve your overall farm efficiency while ensuring natural feeding, and how to start analyzing your soil to better improve your livestock and their lifestyle. You will learn the basics of breeding, heredity, the environment you should raise your livestock, and what feed requirements your animals all require. Dozens of interviews have been conducted with top small farmers and cattle experts and their insight have been included here to help you learn how to properly house your cattle and rear their young, as well as the vital minerals, vitamins, and nutrients your cattle need to be healthy and produce high-quality meat and dairy. You will learn the basics of cattle health care and what you can expect from your livestock. Finally, you will learn some of the most common misconceptions about raising cattle and how you can overcome them. This book, for anyone seeking to raise cattle on grass, is ideal for getting a small farm started or renovating an existing farm.
Permaculture Chicken: Pasture Basics; Do you want to enjoy healthy eggs and meat from chickens raised on pasture? (only .99)
Permaculture Chicken: Pasture Basics starts at the beginning to help you design the best pasturing setup for your flock and for your homestead. Great grazing for chickens won’t be found in the perfect pasture for sheep or cows — you need to tweak your design to match a chicken’s unique behavior and stomach.
Included in this volume are an explanation of chicken digestion and behavior, pasture specifics like size and shape, a rundown on which traditional pasture plants chickens enjoy, tips on maximizing plant growth during rotation, and an explanation of how to establish new pastures and maintain existing grazing areas. Cut your feed costs by pasturing your chickens!
59 photos and diagrams.
Chicken Tractor: The Permaculture Guide to Happy Hens and Healthy Soil, Homestead (3rd) Edition: Chicken Tractor The Homestead (3rd) Edition This is the book that tells you how to integrate small flocks of poultry in with family food production. There is a back to the land movement happening across the world, and it’s happening in backyards and on small parcels of land. Chicken tractor systems have become so popular that the term chicken tractor; is a household word. This is the definitive book that leads the way. Learn how you can: Raise homestead flocks for eggs, meat and money. Use chickens to create super-rich soils that enable hyper-productive gardens. Easily, step-by-step, process poultry at home. Build custom chicken tractors for your homestead. Make a straw bale coop for your flock. Understand how to select, buy and raise the best chickens for your goals. Chicken Tractor is a revolutionary, practical, hands-on book that has helped tens of thousands of gardeners create better gardens. It has changed the lives of millions of chickens all across the planet.
Born-Again Dirt: Farming to the Glory of God
Do you desire to glorify God through the way you farm? Are you tired of reading books on farming and food production that ignore God as Creator? Have you ever wondered what agriculture would look like if it was based on the Bible instead of on evolution, Mother Nature, or the latest manipulations of life by science? In Born Again Dirt, Noah Sanders encourages Christian farmers to evaluate their farming methods in light of Scripture. This book looks at various Biblical principles related to agriculture and provides examples of practical application. Topics covered include: -Designing farms as beautiful, fruitful homes. -Honoring God’s design in farm production -Growing crops that honor the Lord -Marketing as ministry -The idolatry of modern agriculture -Advantages of the farming lifestyle -Starting a farm and making a living. Without claiming to have all the answers, Born Again Dirt seeks to inspire you to develop a vision for God-glorifying agriculture . This book is a must read for any Christian who is a full time farmer, backyard gardener, or for anyone who desires a more Biblical view of agriculture.
Start small- vermiculture!