Fossil Fuel Free Farm
Team Member: Tabitha Coats
EVENT DATE Nov 01, 2017
Paul Ericson wrote -
Agriculture is responsible for roughly 1/3 of the climate change problem. Yet agriculture's impact on climate change is not currently being addressed by either the agricultural sector or the government. The main reason is there is little to no consumer demand because there is little to no fossil fuel free (F3) food on the market. 50% of consumers are concerned about climate change. If an F3 choice were available in the market place, consumers would buy it. To get this choice to market, farms have to be setup to produce it.
This project will start the process. The goal of this project is to prove to the world that a modern and productive farm can produce food without the use of fossil fuels and make a living wage for the farmer. This is possible when the farm produces it's own fuel, seed, fertilizer, electricity and doesn't use pesticides. To do all that, the crop rotation has to be changed from the conventional corn-soy rotation to a double cropping system using winter canola/barley, winter canola/grain sorghum, and pasture. The canola is processed into edible oil on the farm, rented to local restaurants, and taken back to be made into biodiesel in a process called "full-cycle farming". It eliminates the food-fuel competition problem. The oil cake by-product is a high protein direct replacement for soy meal in animal feed. Sorghum is a direct replacement for corn in animal feed and is more drought tolerant. Barley can be sprouted into "green mat" feed (think wheat grass tray) or grazed or made into hay or fed as grain. Pasture is managed using Management Intensive Rotational Grazing (MIRG) techniques. Pasture and crop brix are carefully monitored and kept as high as possible. MIRG can double the stocking rate without damaging the pasture and high brix feed can cut feed rates in half. Together these techniques can produce 4x the output per acre over conventional systems. In addition to changes in the cropping system, animals have to be brought back onto the farm. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are cruel, not sustainable and are a blight on the country side. Nature always has plants and animals together. Animals and plants are part of a nutrient cycle that benefits both.
When you fund this project, you are funding a prototype farm that will demonstrate to the world that this system is not only possible, but practical and both economically and ecologically sustainable. It will serve as the epicenter of F3 farming. It will train a new generation of farmers and collaborate with researchers and scientists.
When you fund this project, you are helping to empower consumer choice so they can vote with their dollars to end agriculture's contribution to climate change. You are helping to end the CAFO blight. You are helping to improve animal welfare. You are helping farmers earn a living wage. You are helping to protect our natural resources through top soil conservation, reduction of pesticide and nutrient run-off. You are helping to bring all this to a farm near you one day. You are helping future generations. Thank you for your support!