The “lunatic farmer” of Polyface Farm, Joel Salatin, came to town to address an audience of activists, aggies and foodies.
After warming up the audience with his down-on-the-farm humor, Salatin leaned into the microphone and, without the slightest twitch of doubt, said, “You can’t have small farms and big government!”
The raucous audience went stone cold silent.
That Salatin believes you can’t have small farms and big government is evident in the titles of books he has authored: Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal, Folks This Ain’t Normal, and The Sheer Ecstacy of Being Lunatic Farmer.
Though the Salatin-family’s Polyface Farm is a successful business, it was made so by going in the exact opposite direction of conventional agriculture. Where the convention is to confine animals and feed them grains shipped in from elsewhere, Polyface grazes its animals on the grasses of the farm’s pastures.
When it comes to government’s rules and regulations, Polyface Farm is, like most all successful small farms, the proverbial square peg in a round hole. Government has been designed to facilitate one kind of agriculture, Polyface Farm is the other kind.
The conviction with which Salatin delivered his assertion, and the response of his audience, leads us to ask...
Can we have small farms and big government?
Food Chain Radio & Forums #1,055 (Tags: Joel Salatin, Polyface Farm, Farm scale, government, economies of scale)