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Joel Salatin on Imperialism and Farming

I recently came across these comments from Joel Salatin on imperialism and farming.  Sad insights into what our imperial leaders think.

Joel Salatin
Aug. 18, 2013

Why do we need more farmers? What is the driving force behind USDA policy? In an infuriating epiphany
I have yet to metabolize, I found out Wednesday in a private policy-generation meeting with Virginia Democratic
gubernatorial candidate Terry McCauliffe. I did and still do consider it a distinct honor for his staff to invite me as
one of the 25 dignitaries in Virginia Agriculture for this think-tank session in Richmond.

It was a who's who of Virginia agriculture: Farm Bureau, Va. Agribusiness Council, Va. Forestry Association,
Va. Poultry Federation, Va. Cattlemen's Ass., deans from Virginia Tech and Virginia State--you get the picture.
It was the first meeting of this kind I've ever attended that offered no water. The only thing to drink were soft drinks.
Lunch was served in styrofoam clam shells--Lay's potato chips, sandwiches, potato salad and chocolate chip cookie.
It didn't look very safe to me, so I didn't partake. But I'd have liked a drink of water. In another circumstance, I might
eat this stuff, but with these folks, felt it important to make a point. Why do they all assume nobody wants water,
nobody cares about styrofoam, everybody wants potato chips and we all want industrial meat-like slabs on white bread?

But I digress. The big surprise occurred a few minutes into the meeting: US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
walked in. He was in Terry McCauliffe love-in mode. And here is what he told us: for the first time--2012-- rural America
lost population in real numbers--not as a percentage but in real numbers. It's down to 16 percent of total population.

I'm sitting there thinking he's going to say that number needs to go up so we have more people to love and
steward the landscape. More people to care for earthworms. More people to grow food and fiber. Are you ready
for the shoe to drop? The epiphany? What could the US Secretary of Agriculture, at the highest strategic planning
sessions of our land, be challenged by other leaders to change this figure, to get more people in rural America, to
encourage farming and help more farms get started? What could be the driving reason to have more farmers?
Why does he go to bed at night trying to figure out how to increase farmers? How does the President and other
cabinet members view his role as the nation's farming czar? What could be the most important contribution that
increasing farmers could offer to the nation? Better food? Better soil development? Better care for animals?
Better care for plants?

Are you ready? Here's his answer: although rural America only has 16 percent of the population, it gives
40 percent of the personnel to the military. Say what? You mean when it's all said and done, at the end of the
day, the bottom line--you know all the cliches--the whole reason for increasing farms is to provide cannon
fodder for American imperial might. He said rural kids grow up with a sense of wanting to give something back,
and if we lose that value system, we'll lose our military might.

So folks, it all boils down to American military muscle. It's not about food, healing the land, stewarding
precious soil and resources; it's all about making sure we keep a steady stream of youngsters going into the
military. This puts an amazing twist on things. You see, I think we should have many more farmers, and have
spent a lifetime trying to encourage, empower, and educate young people to go into farming. It never occurred
to me that this agenda was the key to American military power.

Lest I be misread, I am not opposed to defending family. I am not opposed to fighting for sacred causes.
I am violently opposed to non-sacred fighting and meddling in foreign countries, and building empires. The
Romans already tried that and failed.

But to think that my agenda is key to building the American military--now that's a cause for pause. I will
redouble my efforts to help folks remember why we need more farmers. It's not to provide cannon fodder for
Wall Street imperialistic agendas. It's to grow food that nourishes, land that's aesthetically and aromatically
sensually romantic, build soil, hydrate raped landscapes, and convert more solar energy into biomass than
nature would in a static state. I can think of many, many righteous and noble reasons to have more farms.
Why couldn't he have mentioned any of these? Any?

No, the reason for more farms is to make sure we get people signing up at the recruitment office. That's
the way he sees me as a farmer. Not a food producer. When the president and his cabinet have their private
conflabs, they don't see farmers as food producers, as stewards of the landscape, as resource leveragers.
No, they view us as insurance for military muscle, for American empire building and soldier hubris. Is this
outrageous? Do I have a right to be angry? Like me, this raw and bold show of the government's farming
agenda should make us all feel betrayed, belittled, and our great nation besmirched.

Perhaps, just perhaps, really good farms don't feed this military personnel pipeline. I'd like to think our
kind of farming has more righteous goals and sacred objectives. Vilsack did not separate good farmers from
bad farmers. Since we have far more bad farmers than good ones, perhaps the statistic would not hold up
if we had more farmers who viewed the earth as something to heal instead of hurt, as a partner to caress
instead of rape. That America's farms are viewed by our leaders as just another artery leading into military
might is unspeakably demeaning and disheartening.

Tragically, I don't think this view would change with a different Democrat or Republican. It's entrenched
in the establishment fraternity. Thomas Jefferson, that iconic and quintessential agrarian intellectual, said
we should have a revolution about every half century just to keep the government on its toes. I'd say we're
long overdue.

Now when you see those great presidentially appointed cabinet members talking, I just want you to think
about how despicable it is that behind the facade, behind the hand shaking and white papers, in the private
by-invitation-only inner circles of our country, movers and shakers know axiomatically that farms are really
important to germinate more military personnel. That no one in that room with Terry McCauliffe, none of those
Virginia farm leaders, even blinked when he said that is still hard for me to grasp. They accepted it as truth,
probably saying "Amen, brother" in their hearts. True patriots, indeed.

It'll take me awhile to get over this, and believe me, I intend to shout this from the housetops. I'll incorporate
in as many public speeches as I can because I think it speaks to the heart of food and farming. It speaks to
the heart of strength and security; which according to our leaders comes from the end of a gun, not from the
alimentary canal of an earthworm. Here's to more healthy worms.

Episode – 124 Garden Planning

It is Spring time and with that comes gardening, or at least I hope so for most of you.  Before you get out there and plant some things it is important to plan first.  There are three questions you need to answer when planning your garden: 1. what to grow, 2. where to grow, 3. how to grow.  In this show I talk about the various things to consider in answering these questions.

Resources for Today's Show:


Gurneys is no longer an affiliate

Greetings everyone.  This is a quick post to let you know that Gurneys is no longer an affiliate.  I still consider them a good company and endorse their products and service but they have discontinued their affiliate program with everyone myself included.  Therefore you will no longer find their banner on the center right column of the website.  If any of you have a recommendation for a replacement let me know at  Thanks.

Episode-113 Principles of Permaculture

In this show you will hear my take on the principles of permaculture.  Most of the popular permaculturalists have their own set of principles.  Check out the recommended reading list for some of these authors.  David Holmgren has a pretty recognized list that I will use for this podcast.  Theses 12 principles with some notes are listed below.

1) Observe and interact: By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.

  • Observe energy flows
  • Observe flora and fauna
  • Observe processes
  • Mat 6:26 NKJV - "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
  • Pro 6:6 NKJV - Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise,

2) Catch and store energy: By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.

  • In plants
  • water
  • In tanks for water
  • In soil
  • In contours
  • In Photovoltaic panels
  • In food
  • God has provided abundance of energy if we can catch and store it.

3) Obtain a yield: Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.

  • It is not sustainable if you cannot produce a yield.  We are not actually looking at sustainability either but abundance.
  • Parable of the talents

4) Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.

  • Pro 12:1 NKJV - Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction [is] stupid.
  • Pro 25:28 NKJV - Whoever [has] no rule over his own spirit [Is like] a city broken down, without walls.

5) Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of nature's abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.

  • Pro 21:20 NKJV - [There is] desirable treasure, And oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man squanders it.

6) Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.

  • The perfect system there is not waste but everything is cycled back through.  This is true of the hydrological cycle and all natural cycles when not effected by the curse of the fall.
  • eg Grey water is recycled out to the fruit trees
  • eg. compost toilet
  • compost pile

7) Design from patterns to details: By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.

  • patterns in leaves
  • patterns in stacking of forests
  • patterns in progression from barren land to forest
  • pattern in spiral (sheep horn) herb spiral

8) Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.

  • Integration of species
    • rather than having a row of carrots and then a cor of tomatoes and then a row of peas, integrate them into the same area.
    • companion planting
    • integrate the animals with the plants. and animals with other animals
    • 7 levels of food forest (canopy, understory, bushes, herbacious, climbing, rizome (root), ground cover
  • Integration of time (more mature and less mature)
    • the principle applies in maturing children.  Integrate them with all other ages.
    • succession planting
    • nurse crop
  • Integration of systems
    • water catchment integrated with food forest on contours.

9) Use small and slow solutions: Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.

  • to increase fertility of the soil you don’t blast it with chemical NPK you use compost
  • to do away with weeds you don’t cake on the Roundup instead you use layers of mulch (sheet mulching)
  • Tortoise and the hair of Aesop’s Fables

10) Use and value diversity: Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.

  • Don’t be a lettuce farmer
  • Don’t be a cattle farmer

11) Use edges and value the marginal: The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.

  • Look at a river edge
  • Look at the edge between a forest and a pasture before the bush-hog
  • The more edge you can make the better

12) Creatively use and respond to change: We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.

Resources for Today's Show:

Introducing a new vendor for the Legacy Partners

Hey everyone.  I am excited to introduce to you Lee's Manufacturing Company.  They are the newest addition to the legacy partner vendors.  They are offering a 10% discount to all the legacy partners.  They provide unique, time-saving garden and kitchen related products.  Established in 1939, they are a family owned business and look forward to providing your family with corn cutters, pea shellers and nut crackers.  Check out their quality products at Lee's Manufacturing Company and then don't forget to get your 10% discount when you become a legacy partner.

Episode-107- Setting Goals and Plans for 2013

As 2013 approaches most people are thinking about what will happen during that year and what happened this past year.  The end of the year then is a great time to address the issue of goal setting and what is involved in that and how to achieve the best results from it.  There is a great book from which some of the subject matter of this podcast comes: Tommy Newberry's Success Is Not an Accident: Change Your Choices; Change Your Life.  Here are the Eight Rules to Effective Goal Settings:

  1. They must be written down
  2. They must be state in the present tense
  3. They must be stated positively
  4. They must be consistent with your core values and mission statement
  5. They must be specific and measurable
  6. They must be time-bound
  7. They must be balanced between reasonableness and challenge
  8. They must be thoroughly planned

 Resources for Today's Show:

Episode-105- Reflections on the Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary

In this episode you will hear a few of my thoughts about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school this last week.  Here is the outline of what I talk about.

First, it is an n Unspeakable Tragedy.

Second, it demonstrates the depravity of man

Third, it demonstrates the hypocrisy of public policy and outrage.

Fourth it is impossible to  entirely prevent evil and destruction.

Some thoughts about solutions:
1) Must take responsibility for yourself and your children
2) Preventing a means of defense is the opposite of a solution
3) More gun control is not the solution
4) We must not allow tragedies such as this to be used by the state to take away freedoms from the people.

Resources for Today's Show:

Episode-102- My Evaluation of Project Appleseed

In this show you will hear my evaluation of the Project Appleseed event I attended with my three oldest boys this last weekend near Richmond, VA.  If you have not yet attended one of these events you need to get one scheduled it was incredible.  There are eleven things that I thought were excellent about the marksmanship training.

  1. Safety
  2. 25 yard target simulating 100, 200, 300, and 400 yard.
  3. Teaching various positions
  4. Teach using the sling for stability
  5. Six aspects of marksmanship
  6. Great for beginners
  7. Great for skilled shooters
  8. Instructional schedule
  9. Price
  10. Quality and Quantity of instructors
  11. Skills to practice between Appleseed shoots.

Evaluation of American Heritage Focus

  1. Engaging
  2. Simple but detailed
  3. Reference resources
  4. Passionate teachers
  5. Inspiring and motivating
  6. Interspersed with shooting

Resources for Today's Show:


Episode-100- Introduction to Permaculture from a Biblical World View

This show is an evaluation of the the Prime Directive and three Ethics of Permaculture from a Biblical perspective.  I discuss the relationship between the Prime Directive (which is to take responsibility for oneself and ones children) and building a mult-generational legacy of abundance.  In evaluating the first ethic, which is Earth Care, I relate it to the original mandate in the garden of Eden as well as the true nature of nature or creation and man's involvement in it.  Regarding the second ethic, which is People Care, I mainly focus on the balance between people care and earth care and the balance needed between self reliance and community.  The third ethic has probably had the most controversy over its interpretation and application and I discuss this third ethic from the standpoint of a steward.

Resources for the Show:


Episode-98- Cultural Capital

In this show we complete the series on the varies forms of capital.  This last type of capital is Cultural Capital.  First I review the eight different types or capital discussed.

Social Capital
Material Capital
Financial Capital
Living Capital
Intellectual Capital
Experiential (Human) Capital
Spiritual Capital
Cultural Capital

I then discuss what Cultural Capital is.

Then I discuss the uniqueness of Cultural Capital

This is followed by looking at several different examples of groups that form their own unique cultural capital, including:

  • Family
  • In a business
  • In community
  • In an ethnic group
  • In a nation
  • Pop culture

Why is learning about and working at building more of the various kinds of capital important?
We want to build a legacy of abundance.  Abundance comes from obtaining and developing your capital.
Go back through and review the 8 forms and what you can do to develop the various forms of capital in your life.  Set some goals for each form of capital for 2013 and a plan to achieve it.

Resources for Today's Show:

Episode-92- Spiritual Capital

In today's show I discuss the concept of Spiritual Capital as we continue our series on the eight forms of capital described by Ethan C. Roland of Appleseed Permaculture. I will probably be taking a little different direction than most who comment on the concept.  First, I discuss what it is not.  Second, I discuss briefly the idea that spiritual capital can be looked at as a subset of Social Capital.  Third I look at spiritual capital and its acquisition from an eternal perspective as indicated by Matt. 6:19-21 and highlighted from three other Scripture texts (2John 1:8, John 4:36, 1Cor. 3:8, 14). When taken from this perspective it encourages us to be involved in sound doctrine, evangelism, and discipleship.

Resources for Today's Show:

Episode-88- Experiential or Human Capital

In this show I discuss the 6th form of capital identified by Ethan C. Roland of Appleseed Permaculture which is Experiential or Human Capital.  This form of capital is the acquired experiences of individuals that are used as assets.  Join me as I discuss:

  • What is Experiential or Human Capital
  • Two ways to look at this form of capital
  • Some benefits of Human or Experiential Capital
  • What to do to acquire more experiential capital or leverage the experiential capital you already have.
  • Relationship between experiential capital and wisdom

Resources for this Show:

Episode-83- Intellectual Capital

In this show we discuss the 6th of 8 forms of capital first discussed by Ethan C. Roland of Appleseed Permaculture
which is intellectual capital.  Here is an outline of what is discussed.

What is Intellectual Capital: The knowledge that you have on any particular subject specifically and all things combined generally.

Some benefits of intellectual capital

Cannot be taken away

A tornado can wipe out your material capital
An economic depression can wipe out financial capital
A drought or plague can wipe our your living capital
But unless you have an accident and get amnesia or acquire alzheimers at your old age you will not loose you intellectual capital

Can be acquired readily today by use of the internet

There is so much information available today through the internet.
There are whole courses on subjects
There classics online in audio and eBook form
YouTube how to..

Can bring leverage to all the other assets

For example, the knowledge on how to increase your rabbit yield will help your living capital
The knowledge of economic cycles can help increase your financial capital.

Some things to consider

  • Intellectual capital must be applied to be most valuable
  • A PhD with our experience and application is simply a piece of paper.
  • Investing in intellectual capital is one of the few forms of capital that is concentrated on one own self development which results in a exponential benefit.
    • For example, if you invest some financial capital to acquire some living capital like some fruit trees that is a trade of one thing for another of personal property.
    • Where as if you invest some financial capital into some books that you read and apply what is learned in those books you and that to which you apply the knowledge benefits.

How to acquire more intellectual capital

The Traditional route

  • school
  • trade school
  • college
  • university
  • take advantage of these opportunities to learn something. Do not consider what you are doing as meaningless, consider it as building your intellectual captial.

Non Traditional route

    • Internet
    • E-books
    • Audios
    • Online courses
      • For example Liberty classroom
    • ie. podcasts
    • ie. audio books
    • ie. online articles

What to do?

  • Consider where you have areas of expertise
  • Consider where you would want to learn more
  • Evaluate where and how you intend to acquire the needed intellectual capital.

Resources for Today's Show

Episode-80- Living Capital

In this show you will hear about one of the eight forms of capital namely, Living Capital.  These were originally described in Ethan C. Roland of Appleseed Permaculture.  Living capital is resources and assets that are alive in some way.  Obviously, most people are familiar with some forms of living capital such as livestock but there are others forms you may not consider.  Join in learning about some different kinds of living capital, some things to think about living capital, how to acquire more living capital, and what can you to today in light of living capital.

Resources for Today's Show


Episode-78- Financial Capital

In this show  I talk about the third of eight forms of capital identified by Ethan C. Roland of Appleseed Permaculture which is Financial Capital.  Join me as I talk about:

  • What is Financial Capital?
  • What are some examples Financial Capital?
  • Why is it important to have Financial Capital?
  • How do we acquire more Financial Capital?
  • What steps should we take?

Resources for Today's Show:

Episode-76-Material Capital

In this show  I talk about the second of eight forms of capital identified by Ethan C. Roland of Appleseed Permaculture which is Material Capital.  Join me as I talk about:

  • What is Material Capital?
  • What are some examples Material Capital?
  • Why is it important to have Material Capital?
  • How do we acquire more Material Capital?
  • What steps should we take?

Resources for Today's Show:

Episode-75-Social Capital

In this show  I talk about the first of eight forms of capital identified by Ethan C. Roland of Appleseed Permaculture which is Social Capital.  Join me as I talk about:

  • What is Social Capital?
  • What are some examples of people with lots of Social Capital?
  • Why is it important to have Social Capital?
  • How do we acquire more positive Social Capital?
  • What should we do?

Resources for Today's Show:

Episode-74- Nine Things We Need to Bring Home


The typical American family buys a huge house but spends little time in it.  This is because we have gradually delegated away and outsourced many of the activities that are suppose to be done in the home.  In this show I discuss nine of these activities that need to be brought home.  Join me as a discuss the following:

  • Work
  • Education
  • Cooking
  • Food Production
  • Hospitality
  • Church
  • Outreach
  • Exercise
  • Care for the Aged

Resources for today's show:

Episode-70- The Nitrogen Cycle

In this show I discuss some of the aspects of the Nitrogen Cycle that are important for us to understand so that we can take advantage of it by working with it and not against it as a source of God's abundance for multiple generations.  The Nitrogen Cycle is illustrated in the diagram below.

Join me as I answer the following questions:

  • What is the nitrogen cycle?
  • What are the four elements of the nitrogen cycle?
  • What is so important about nitrogen and the nitrogen cycle?
  • How can we make the most of this cycle?
  • What are the three things that available nitrogen in the soil can do?
  • What can weeds tell you about the nitrogen cycle on your property?

Resources for today's show

Episode-65- Discussion about Farmageddon with my Son

In this show I am pleased to have my son Graham with me as we discuss the movie Farmageddon.  You will want to watch this movie if you are at all interested in farming and or freedom.  The show is about the government authorities effort to execute the law on various small farmers.  Join TLP for today's show as Graham and I talk about what we learned, what was most disturbing about the movie and what is the real problem and solution that the movie addresses.

Resources for today's show:

Contact The Legacy Podcast

Steve @ thelegacypodcast dot com