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Watch > Episode > Joel Salatin - Folks, This Ain't Normal

Joel Salatin - Folks, This Ain't Normal


Joel Salatin calls himself a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer. Others who like him call him the most famous farmer in the world, the high priest of the pasture, and the most eclectic thinker from Virginia since Thomas Jefferson.

Those who don’t like him call him a bio-terrorist, Typhoid Mary, charlatan, and starvation advocate. With a room full of debate trophies from high school and college days, ten published books, and a thriving multi-generational family farm, he draws on a lifetime of food, farming and fantasy to entertain and inspire audiences around the world.

He’s as comfortable moving cows in a pasture as addressing CEOs in a Wall Street business conference, and in this compelling interview, he discusses his views on the politics of agriculture, how farming builds character and what he and Tai Lopez learned from each other.

Joel Salatin’s journey in sustainable farming began with the establishment of Polyface Farm in the Shenandoah Valley. Founded in 1961, Polyface Farm operates on a multi-species, rotational grazing model, emphasising the symbiotic relationships between animals and the land. Salatin’s farming philosophy is rooted in the belief that nature’s cycles should guide agricultural practices, promoting soil health, biodiversity, and a self-sustaining ecosystem.

At the heart of Joel Salatin’s farming practices is the concept of regenerative agriculture. Polyface Farm utilises rotational grazing methods, allowing livestock to mimic natural herd movements across the pasture. This approach not only improves soil fertility but also prevents overgrazing and fosters healthier, more contented animals. Salatin’s emphasis on regenerative practices extends to the use of cover crops, composting, and holistic management techniques that prioritise the long-term health of the land.

Joel Salatin is a staunch advocate for local food systems and community engagement. He believes that fostering connections between consumers and local farmers is essential for building resilient, sustainable communities. Polyface Farm operates on a direct-to-consumer model, selling its products locally and engaging with the community through on-farm events, tours, and educational programs. Salatin’s commitment to local food systems aligns with the broader movement encouraging consumers to know where their food comes from and support nearby farmers.

Polyface Farm serves as a living model for sustainable and regenerative agriculture. Joel Salatin’s integrated farming methods have garnered attention from farmers, environmentalists, and policymakers alike. His ability to demonstrate the viability of alternative farming practices challenges the conventional industrial agricultural model and offers a blueprint for a more sustainable future.

Joel Salatin is also a prolific author, sharing his expertise and philosophy through a series of books, including “You Can Farm” and “The Marvellous Pigness of Pigs.” In these writings, Salatin imparts practical advice and insights gained from his experiences at Polyface Farm, encouraging aspiring farmers to embrace regenerative practices and challenging the status quo in modern agriculture. Additionally, Salatin frequently participates in speaking engagements, workshops, and educational programs, contributing to the broader movement for sustainable and ethical farming.

Joel Salatin’s influence extends beyond the confines of Polyface Farm. His advocacy for sustainable, local food systems has played a crucial role in shaping the local food movement. Salatin’s ability to communicate the benefits of regenerative agriculture has inspired farmers, consumers, and policymakers to reevaluate their relationship with food and prioritise practices that promote environmental stewardship and community well-being.

Joel Salatin’s pioneering work in sustainable farming has left an indelible mark on the agricultural landscape. Through Polyface Farm, Salatin has demonstrated that regenerative practices can yield both ecological and economic benefits. His advocacy for local food systems and community engagement continues to inspire a shift towards more sustainable and mindful agricultural practices. Joel Salatin stands as a beacon for those seeking alternatives to conventional farming, offering a vision of agriculture that harmonises with nature, supports local communities, and supports the health of the land.


00:00 | Trailer
02:01 Brian’s thoughts on the episode
05:02 Brian’s Introduction
05:42 What Joel has deduced from his travels
08:04 The backlash from our conquistador attitude to nature
12:58 Joel’s constitutional amendment if Donald Trump appointed him Secretary of Agriculture
22:36 Eliminate all farm subsidies or crop insurance
28:51 Fundamentally revamp the school lunch programme to benefit children’s health
31:02 Battle between burgeoning local food awareness and mass food production innovation
34:16 Making an informed choice away from creators of toxic food borne illness
38:49 A realistically priced $12 Big Mac might lose its appeal
40:33 Joel’s thoughts on views promoted in “Cowspiracy” film
50:25 How farming builds character and gardening gives an appreciation of the cycle of life
57:43 A cultural stigma against an agrarian existence
1:00:26 Joel’s background and experiences encouraged his becoming an author and TEDx speaker
1:05:27 Tai Lopez, Joel’s mentee
1:14:36 What Tai and Joel learned from each other
1:21:17 Ideas for farmers to develop marketing and communication skills, or to access them
1:34:07 ‘The Pigness of Pigs’, Joel’s book is a challenge to the conservative religious right community
1:42:03 Success secrets
1:42:58 Phone call to the 20 year old Joel
1:44:34 Best advice ever received
1:45:17 Advice to the watching 20 year old who wants to make a difference in the food system
1:49:46 Brian’s summing up.


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