Salatin is a third generation alternative farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The family’s Polyface Farm has been featured in Smithsonian, National Geographic and Gourmet magazines, as well as countless other radio, television and print media outlets. Profiled on the “Lives of the 21st Century” series with Peter Jennings on ABC World News, his after-broadcast chat room fielded more hits than any other segment to date. It achieved iconic status as the grass farm featured in the New York Times bestseller Omnivore’s Dilemma by food writer guru Michael Pollan and in the award-winning film documentary, FOOD INC.
Salatin has authored eight books himself, including EVERYTHING I WANT TO DO IS ILLEGAL: War stories from the local food front and FOLKS, THIS AIN’T NORMAL: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World.
Here are just a few of the guiding principles that made Polyface famous:
* TRANSPARENCY: Anyone is welcome to visit the farm anytime. No trade secrets, no locked doors, every corner is camera-accessible.
* GRASS-BASED: Pastured livestock and poultry, moved frequently to new “salad bars,” offer landscape healing and nutritional superiority.
* INDIVIDUALITY: Providing plants and animals with a habitat that allows them to express their physiological distinctiveness is a foundation for societal health.
* COMMUNITY: We do not ship food. We should all seek food closer to home, in our foodshed, our own bioregion. This means enjoying seasonality and reacquainting ourselves with our home kitchens.
* NATURE’S TEMPLATE: Mimicking natural patterns on a commercial domestic scale ensures moral and ethical boundaries to human cleverness. Cows are herbivores, not omnivores; therefore Polyface did not follow the United States Department of Agriculture’s suggestion to feed them dead cows (the alleged cause of “mad cows”).
A sought-after conference speaker whose speaking and writing reflect dirt-under-the-fingernails experience, Joel Salatin passionately defends small farms, local food systems and the right to opt out of the conventional food paradigm. His humorous and conviction-based speeches are akin to theatrical performances, often receiving standing ovations.
Obtaining free tickets to this landmark event is as easy as emailing bigbearlighthouse@
JOEL SALATIN, AMERICAN FARMER @ the Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center
Wednesday, 5/22/13, 6:30 p.m.