Don’t Feed 9 Billion People. Feed the Soil.

Here's an idea. Let's not do it any more. Let's not say "We have to feed 9 Billion people by 2050." That concept, weighing down farmers across the country and around the world, makes folks reach out for the quick and easy solution. Spray it on, inject it, high yields, quick, quick! We need to feed more people than I could count in my lifetime. (It takes 31 years, 251 days, 7 hours and change to count to a billion.) The answer isn't to let people starve, though. The answer is to change the way we farm, and the way we think about farming. Ok, maybe not you, because you're reading On Pasture. But a heck of a lot of farmers, smart, funny (good looking!) farmers, farm a certain way because it is all on their shoulders to "Feed 9 Billion People." Unshoulder that burden. This week, I talked to Ray Archuleta and Jeff Rasawehr, two really interesting guys who you'd probably enjoy meeting, if you haven't already. Ray is an NRCS soils guru, and Jeff is a farmer in Ohio who started the company Center Seeds to share his passion for cover crops.  They share this solution: Let's not try to do this. Instead, let's teach the world about soil, and how important it is. They think it works just like the principle of  teaching someone to fish, so they feed themselves for a lifetime. By sharing the story of soils with the world, maybe we can all appreciate what it means to raise food, and maybe more people will do it, even on a small scale. Make the goal healthy soil, that

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4 thoughts on “Don’t Feed 9 Billion People. Feed the Soil.

    1. Jeff and Ray are the real heroes here. We were so lucky to be able to pass along their valuable insights. We’re really glad you have enjoyed reading about this topic. Stay tuned for more next week…

  1. The Haney soil test (Ward Labs, inc) has alleviated much of my concern as to whether the soil in my pastures has the biological muscle to provide the roots of my grasses with enough nutrients to make up for the chemical fertilizer that I no longer buy..At least this test provides hard numbers by which one can track changes in fertility through time.. Until I found it I was just running on the seeming good sense and experience of other farmers who have been advocating “biological farming”. Now I can see whether their observations apply to my own soil.

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