Joel Salatin, Polyface Farm and Editor, The Stockman Grass Farmer

Truth be told, meeting and spending some time with Joel Salatin is on my bucket list. Getting to spend an hour chatting with him is good but doing it in person would be better. Why? Because I know he is a character and because I would like to hear all the details about how William and Lucille Salatin moved their young family to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, purchasing the most worn-out, eroded, abused farm in the area near a place called Staunton and made it work. Using nature as a pattern, they and their children began the healing and innovation that now supports three generations. How did they do it? Disregarding conventional wisdom, the Salatins planted trees, built huge compost piles, dug ponds, moved cows daily with portable electric fencing, and invented portable sheltering systems to produce all their animals on perennial prairie polycultures. The result? Today the farm arguably represents America’s premier non-industrial food production oasis. Please join me to hear their inspiring story and learn how the Salatins continue to refine their models to push environmentally-friendly farming practices toward new levels of expertise. This show made possible due to the generous support of Tank’s Green Stuff.



  • The history of Polyface Farm is rich and deep, as well as what was happening in the world at the time the farm was founded – what a story of intention, history, international adventures and survival. If you lost “it” all in your 40s, would you have the courage to start all over again?
  • If Joel doesn’t grow it – he doesn’t eat it. The life experience that brought him to where he is today is quite remarkable – a multi-million dollar enterprise that services 5,000 families, 50 restaurants, farmer’s markets, etc…”life is no better but the footprint is bigger”
  • A sustainable farm needs to have two full time salaries from two different generations – if you don’t have this, the farm will follow the farmer’s physical trajectory.
  • How do we create a farm that is an economically strong, environmentally sustainable, abundant engine for the long haul – providing opportunity for all that wish to participate? You start with the end in mind.
  • Polyface Guiding Principles are dynamic and important – hear Joel explore these on this podcast.
  • How do you scale your business and not sell your soul in the process? You can go as far as your leadership team can take you….the people element is the key. The size of the team determines the size of your ability to scale.
  • Did you know that 500 years ago, what we know as the United States today, produced more nutrition than we do now? Joel dives into the history and the patterns of the “why” and how we got to where we are today, and what we can do to improve our current situation.
  • What is Joel’s take on meat consumption? It gives us something to really think about – listen to the show to take the deep dive with Mrs. Green.