I included this quote in one of my posts last week, and it inspired a call from John Marble. He agreed with the sentiment, but thought we should remember that some people have bigger hands than others. Here’s what he told me:
“I really like talking to people who live in little apartments in town because they are so anxious to do good. They want to do something good for the planet. And when you ask them what that is, that good thing, they may talk about candidates to vote for and causes they support. But when it comes to what they can do personally, they all say, “I recycle.”
“That is a good thing to do. But recycling won’t save the planet. Consumption is a vastly bigger thing in terms of danger and damage. Recycling is a small band-aid on a giant laceration.”
He went on to say, in very emotional terms, how thankful he is to be in agriculture because his opportunity to do good is so much bigger than it is for most people. “I get to manage 500 acres of grass and trees and soil and water!”
“So the really bright side of this discussion,” he said, “Is that the people that On Pasture is addressing, those are the very people who have this huge opportunity in front of them because they already have the land. Making change on the land – compare the scale of that with the person in the little apartment whose biggest opportunity to do good is to recycle.”
John finished with this, “People who have it in their heart to do good for the world, well, we have the opportunity to make a huge change on a 1,000,000 to 1 scale. Our tremendous opportunity actually approaches the level of obligation. I mean, if we have a chance to do this good work and we choose not to, well, what does that say about who we are? And who the heck else is going to do it?”
My friend John Wick, would agree with him I think. As we were talking about his compost research project and all the work he’s done to help people adopt and adapt it to their landscapes and operations, he told me:
“Agriculture is the only system large enough on earth to make all this work. The outcome can be everything that farmers and ranchers want and more.
We have enough science and insight and actual demonstrations to show there is a version of earth where we can create resources through growing food!”
I introduced the simple first step you can take last week in the Graziers Focus of the Month: Spread compost. This week, we’ll look at some of the challenges we’re facing, like reduced forage quality and CO2 uptake, and how becoming a carbon farmer can be good for you and the planet as a whole. I’ve also included information on what John Wick and all his partners did to scale this beneficial practice into something that could be implemented more broadly. It’s a way for you, working with your local community and government agencies, to get more hands working on a really bright future for all of us.
Thanks for all you do. And thanks for reading!