How did we get here?
All plants, animals, and fungi are the result of billions of years of co-evolution. They have been shaped by the realities of our planet, both inanimate and animate. The elemental makeup of our oceans, soils and atmosphere has shaped all life as we know it. But even more interesting is how each species has shaped and is shaped by the others. The grasses shape the bison, the bison shape the grasses, and both shape the fungi in the soil.
This is an absolutely incredible fact of life! Modern humans are the way they are due to the complex interplay between our ancestors and their ecological realities. We think there's a lot of wisdom to be gleaned from these observations. One key takeaway for us is that animals should live in species-appropriate ecological contexts.
Each species has a role to play. And they're rapidly vanishing.
This means cows should live on grass. It's the food and environment appropriate to their species, and it's the one they would choose, given the choice. It means pigs should have soil to root around in. And birds should have insects to hunt. But raising animals in fields instead of factories goes against the grain of modern industrial agriculture because it's more expensive.
This dogma of the dollar and disregard for ecological realities has lead us to an extraordinarily fragile ecological position. The fabric of life on this planet is currently unraveling at the rate of about 200 species per day, and humans are responsible. The implications of this massive blunder are staggering.
The UN estimates that we've got less than 60 harvests left at the rate of top soil loss we are experiencing due to the extractive farming practices employed by industrial agriculture. Yes, we've made dramatic strides in technology and efficiency, but many of these technologies and efficiencies are only serving to accelerate the decline of the natural systems our species depends on.
We operate agricultural systems that mimic nature.
Top soil forms in ecosystems that contain animals and perennial plants. So we raise grass-eating animals on perennial grasslands, and we move them daily like they would in nature. And behind them we raise birds, and move them daily like they would in nature. And our pigs roam pastures and forests, and we move their cute wiggly butts every few days too!
All this munching and manuring, mooing and moving, closes the fertility loop and allows soil to becoming teeming with beneficial microorganisms. This creates an ecological context for the perennial grasses to flourish and become packed full of nutrients. These nutrients then cascade up the food chain and foster health at all trophic levels - from the fungi and nematodes to the grasses and herbivores, all the way on up to the humans!
And when we eat food from healthy ecosystems an incredible thing happens. We become healthy!
We're growing more than food!
Yes, we produce delicious foods raised with care for the animals, environment, and nutritional value. But as members of the species that has evolved the capacity to think deeply and broadly about our impact on our planet, we are setting our sights higher.
We measure success in year-over-year increases in top soil, soil fertility, biomass production and biodiversity. We're converting sunlight into food in ways that enhance the ecological inheritance of future generations. We want our customers to become robust human individuals with reduced dependence on Western medicine. And we want our communities to be connected to the landscapes that sustain them.