Reviving Rural Economies
A lot of the talk in agriculture is how to do more with less. But when it comes to rural economies, fewer people does not lead to progress. That’s why farmer and entrepreneur Zack Smith wants to explore systems that bring more farmers back onto the land, rather than replacing them with lowest cost producers.
Smith… “We've had a funnel of consolidation for the last 90 years, a hundred years, probably. You know, where we were just fewer and fewer participants in the game, and I was interested in coming up with a system that could maybe flip that funnel upside down and require more people to be out on the land doing things like we used to have. You know, we used to have every farm was 160 acres and, uh, I did some math, you know, where in my county there'd be potentially, you know, 1500 farm operations. And now we're down to, maybe we maybe have 150 farm operations.”
Smith has decided to focus on more of a regenerative approach, and is integrating livestock into his row crop farm through a new system he invented called the StockCropper.
Smith… “You know, I think when I was young, I just wanted to be big. That was my fantasy. And then when I saw kind of what the price of big is for rural areas and economies, and the fact that if you're passionate about soil health, it's really, really hard to farm 30,000 acres and implement practices that don't degrade soil systems. I just thought, you know, there's gotta be a better way to look at this. And that's kind of how we got to this point.”
Learn more about Smith’s system at www.TheStockCropper.com