American farmer and author Joel Salatin is coming to New
Zealand for a two-day workshop in Otago. Photo supplied.
Joel Salatin, described as an American biological farming
guru, is running a two-day workshop in Wanaka at the end of the
Mr Salatin hails from Polyface Farm in Virginia's Shenandoah
Valley, a family-owned, pasture-based, local-market farm
which produces beef, pork, poultry, rabbits and forestry
It has become internationally known for promoting the
importance of buying healthy, locally grown food. Initially,
the farm could not support one salary but now it has annual
sales of more than $US1 million.
He supplied his local area only, adhering to the principle
that if anyone else wanted his produce, they would travel to
him. It had been publicised that people travel up to 800km
across the US to support him.
Mr Salatin has written many books, the latest being The Sheer
Ecstasy of Being A Lunatic Farmer, and Folks This Ain't
The workshop, entitled ''Turning Common Sense to Dollars'',
will be held at Glendhu Station on February 27 and 28.
It will include practical demonstrations on topics such as
building broiler shelters, grazing management systems, farm
water supplies, cattle and sheep systems, soil management,
marketing, logistics and land access.
John McRae, of Glendhu Station, has implemented many of the
integrated animal systems used at Polyface Farm.
Mr Salatin is being hosted by Regen Ag New Zealand, which is
based at the Family Farm in Central Hawkes Bay where his
farming systems were also being put into practice. It is the
first time he has been in the South Island.
Greg Hart, of the Family Farm, said Mr Salatin's visit was
exciting and he was probably ''the best known farmer in the
He delivered a ''high-energy and highly entertaining''
pres-entation while also outlining what had made Polyface
Farm a highly profitable, regenerative, famous local food
producer, Mr Hart said.
''Joel's message is very timely as the need becomes obvious
to transition to a profitable, productive system of healthy
food production that builds soil and reinvigorates family
farms and the communities around them,'' he said.
Registrations had come from as far afield as Australia.