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Could It Be So?

October 5, 2020

Good Morning and hello from your farmer,

I first meet Gabe Brown when the Grassfed Exchange Conference was at his farm in Bismark, North Dakota in 2013.

Gabe has numerous YouTube videos where he shares the lessons he has learned about building health of soil. For him, it came about from lessons learned the hard way when he lost cash crops several years in a row and then strict observation on what happened afterward to his soil.

Since then, he has spoken to farmers all over the world about how to improve soil health. And in 2018 he released his only book titled "Dirt to Soil". Consistent with the videos, he list FIVE Keys to Achieving a Healthy Soil. They are:

1) Least amount of mechanical disturbance possible-to protect soil structure
2) Armour on the soil surface-to prevent evaporation and wind erosion as well as inhibit weed growth
3) Plant diversity-that feeds the soil and attracts pollinators which eliminates the need for chemical inputs
4) Living root as long as possible throughout the year-to feed soil biology
5) Integration of livestock on the land

Gabe includes vivid pictures to show what you can expect when farming in sync with nature. He also is not shy about sharing what happens when farmers don't follow regenerative principles or pick and choose the easy or lest costly principles and then complain because they did not get the results expected. Details matter!

To be a successful regenerative farmer who works with nature requires a completely different mind set than industrial agriculture. Because, every action we take on our operation has compounding and cascading effects.

How can we expect to regenerate our soils and not be fully committed?

So, what about the email title - Could It Be So? Ponder the question - do you believe your health is directly related to the food and drink that you consume? For the masses today convenience drives most of their decisions. Fast food restaurants, convenience stores, and etc. line our streets. ​How many meals per day, week or month do you eat "clean" healthy food? For many folks, they would say convenience and price are concerns.

Gabe tells another story in 2013 in his county the average conventional corn farmer's input cost was $4.29 per bushel. Gabe stated that his cost was only $1.64 per bushel because his TOTAL input cost are lower. Gabe would say his cover crop cost would exceed the conventional farmer - however, the cover crop plant diversity was a key component to keeping his overall cost lower while also building his soil health. This allowed him to avoid chemical and other cost the conventional farmer spent.

I would suggest that regenerative farming principles are very similar to our human health. We should eat in sync with nature meaning clean healthy food and drink. Investing in key inputs that reduce our overall total cost is not only healthy, but smart. We all have "low hanging fruit" so to speak to choose from. For example, greatly reducing sugar and process foods. That's the best place to start.

Today, we will deliver over 2100 pounds of our beef, pork, chicken, and eggs to customers in Mobile, Ocean Springs, and Gulfport pickup locations. Many have bought from us for years while others have recently found our farm.

To each of you we want to say thank you for supporting our farm and we pledge to work hard to bring you clean, healthy beef, pork, chicken, and eggs.

On a side note, the chill in the air this morning reminded me that 44 years ago I arrived at Lackland Air Force Base to begin my AF career. WOW!

Ben Simmons

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