Author: Everyone could use a few chickens in backyard - Western

Author: Everyone could use a few chickens in backyard - Western

Author: Everyone could use a few chickens in backyard By Hannah Sutton For The News Herald PHOTO CONTRIBUTED Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin of Virgini...

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Author: Everyone could use a few chickens in backyard By Hannah Sutton For The News Herald


Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin of Virginia visits with Western Piedmont Community College students in Morganton during a speaker's forum where Salatin promoted sustainable agriculture. Pictured are Sam Lane (left), Doris Duffy, Salatin, La'Meshia Whittington, Karla Fuentes and Jeremiah Safford. <

MORGANTON — Ever since Joel Salatin took over the family farm, he has struggled against government interference from what he calls "the food police." They have come often to his farm to enforce regulations that go against his natural way of farming. Salatin, a third-generation alternative farmer and author of "Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal," opened the 2009 Fall Speakers Forum, entitled "Food For Thought: Reinventing Our Food System for a Healthier World" in November at Western Piedmont Community College. His family founded the farm in 1961 and, in 1982, Salatin took over and created Polyface Farms. This multi-generational family farm is organic and pasture-based, located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Salatin said the "food police" once told him that his farm, an open-air facility, was unsanitary. Salatin would not settle

for what he was told. He had scientists study the culture of grocery-store poultry versus his poultry. The scientists found that Salatin's poultry was 2,500 percent cleaner than .commercially produced poultry. Salatin said he still wonders if our government is really concerned with sanitation. A few years later Salatin was accused by the "food police" of selling illegal beef. Salatin was selling organically raised — no steroids, no antibiotics — grass-fed cattle to individual consumers. Salatin had to engage the help of his elected representatives in order to keep his farm running the natural way. As Salatin continues the battle with the government's control over the food industry, he finds* lighthearted ways to catch others' interest in what is really going on with the nation's food supply. The audience laughed as Salatin said such1 things as, "It's not normal to eat food you can't pronounce." SEE AUTHOR, A7

Sunday, January 24, 2010



one could use a few chickens in the backyard! In addition to being a farmer, he has also written six books including "Pastured Poultry Profit$," "You Can Farm," "Family Friendly Farming," "Salad Bar BeeF and "Holy Cows & Hog Heaven."

Salatin encouraged the audience to opt out of fast-food, restaurants and industrially processed food. He encouraged the audience to buy locally grown food and even be- Hannah Sutton is a student at gin small gardens of their Western Piedmont Community own. He suggested every- College.