Chelsea Green Publishing

The New Livestock Farmer

Pages:336 pages
Size: 7.5 x 9.5 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603585538
Pub. Date June 09, 2015

The New Livestock Farmer

The Business of Raising and Selling Ethical Meat

By Rebecca Thistlethwaite and Jim Dunlop
Foreword by Nicolette Hahn Niman and Bill Niman

Availability: In Stock

Paperback

Available Date:
June 09, 2015

$29.95

Including information on cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, and goats, and exotics like bison, rabbits, elk, and deer

How can anyone from a backyard hobbyist to a large-scale rancher go about raising and selling ethically produced meats directly to consumers, restaurants, and butcher shops? With the rising consumer interest in grass-fed, pasture-raised, and antibiotic-free meats, how can farmers most effectively tap into those markets and become more profitable? The regulations and logistics can be daunting enough to turn away most would-be livestock farmers, and finding and keeping their customers challenges the rest.

Farmer, consultant, and author Rebecca Thistlethwaite (Farms with a Future) and her husband and coauthor, Jim Dunlop, both have extensive experience raising a variety of pastured livestock in California and now on their homestead farm in Oregon. The New Livestock Farmer provides pasture-based production essentials for a wide range of animals, from common farm animals (cattle, poultry, pigs, sheep, and goats) to more exotic species (bison, rabbits, elk, and deer).

Each species chapter discusses the unique requirements of that animal, then delves into the steps it takes to prepare and get them to market. Profiles of more than fifteen meat producers highlight some of the creative ways these innovative farmers are raising animals and direct-marketing superior-quality meats.

In addition, the book contains information on a variety of vital topics:

•    Governmental regulations and how they differ from state to state;

•    Slaughtering and butchering logistics, including on-farm and mobile processing options and sample cutting sheets;

•    Packaging, labeling, and cold-storage considerations;

•    Principled marketing practices; and

•    Financial management, pricing, and other business essentials.

This book is must reading for anyone who is serious about raising meat animals ethically, outside of the current consolidated, unsustainable CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) system.  It offers a clear, thorough, well-organized guide to a subject that will become increasingly important as the market demand for pasture-raised meat grows stronger.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

“If you’ve ever wanted to know what it takes to raise, market, and sell animal products, The New Livestock Farmer is the book for you. Rebecca Thistlethwaite and Jim Dunlop have put together a complete guide for raising everything from poultry to goats and rabbits to beef. The book provides a wealth of information about breeds, animal husbandry, processing, and the business side of livestock farming. It’s a valuable resource for anyone new to farming or curious about how to start.”--Carrie Balkcom, executive director, American Grassfed Association

“The real question for the reform of livestock agriculture in the US is whether we can move from a media saturated with images of what we can’t stomach—digestively or culturally—to a more sophisticated understanding of practical and ethical alternatives that make ecological and economic sense. As a farmer and a teacher, I have yet to find a guiding text that does it so well or so comprehensively. Thistlethwaite and Dunlop take us step by step from the open-ended question of breed selection to the finality of slaughter options, providing clear pathways of decision-making for farmers, students, consumers, and advocates.”--Philip Ackerman-Leist, professor, Green Mountain College, and author, Rebuilding the Foodshed

"The livestock farmer of today must master not only the vast skills necessary to be an ethical rancher but also marketing, sales, processing, packaging and so many others. Rebecca and Jim’s book is a humble and deeply informative guide from a couple that has been deep in the metaphorical and literal weeds of this challenging work. Without thriving agricultural-based communities, resources like this book are invaluable substitutes, creating a network of like-minded land stewards. Rebecca and Jim have done a good turn in sharing their knowledge in this straightforward and honest primer."-- Marissa Guggiana, co-founder, The Butcher’s Guild, and author, Primal Cuts: Cooking with America’s Best Butchers

“My husband and I have farmed for a living all of our adult lives, and farmed with our parents before that. So we had the good fortune of being surrounded by people with deep generational knowledge when we started out. I can’t imagine how new farmers are making it today without that kind of support. Recently we added Large Black hogs to our small farm in north-central Kentucky. The New Livestock Farmer came to us just when we needed it. It is what my father Wendell Berry would call the best of books because it is a tool. It fills a cultural need, and will give beginning farmers just the information they need, just the way they need it.”--Mary Berry, executive director, The Berry Center

“Great practical advice on choosing the species to raise, humane treatment, and marketing. Informative chapters on processing, regulations, and starting a business.”--Temple Grandin, author of Humane Livestock Handling and Improving Animal Welfare: A Practical Approach

“When it comes to raising healthy livestock in harmony with the land and the local community, this book shows why the old ways are new again… and why they work better than the industrial methods that are all too popular today. The detailed instructions in these pages are all you need to start raising livestock ethically and sustainably. In fact, I’d say it’s a better investment than an agricultural degree from a land grant university.”--Mike Callicrate, owner, Callicrate Cattle Co. and Ranch Foods Direct

“Responsible and healthful meat consumption starts on the farm, literally from the ground up, with solid and ethical animal husbandry practices. The New Livestock Farmer provides a clear understanding of how to achieve fulfilling and delicious results. The authors share their proven wisdom to help small-scale, grass-based farmers avoid the pitfalls of an often confusing and intimidating agricultural landscape.”--Adam Danforth, author of Butchering Beef and Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Thistlethwaite

Rebecca Thistlethwaite is the author of Farms with a Future (Chelsea Green, 2012). She runs Sustain Consulting, which specializes in food and farm issues, working with both nongovernmental organizations and for-profit businesses. Her website is http://rebeccathistlethwaite.com.

Rebecca also operates a small farm and a community farm stand in Oregon with her husband and coauthor, Jim Dunlop, and their daughter, Fiona. They previously owned TLC Ranch in Watsonville, California, where they raised organic, pastured livestock and poultry, selling to direct markets across Northern California.

Jim Dunlop

Jim Dunlop works as a horticultural research manager for a progressive fruit orchard in the Columbia River Gorge.

Jim also operates a small farm and a community farm stand in Oregon with his wife and coauthor, Rebecca Thistlethwaite, and their daughter, Fiona. They previously owned TLC Ranch in Watsonville, California, where they raised organic, pastured livestock and poultry, selling to direct markets across Northern California. 

ALSO BY THIS AUTHOR

Farms with a Future

Farms with a Future

By Rebecca Thistlethwaite

What makes a farm sustainable and successful? And what special qualities and skills are needed for someone to become a successful farmer?

Rebecca Thistlethwaite addresses these and other crucial questions in this uniquely important book, which is a must-read for anyone who aspires to get into farming, or who wants to make their farm business more dynamic, profitable, and, above all, sustainable. Over an entire year, the author and her husband-experienced farmers themselves-took a sabbatical and traveled the length and breadth of the United States to live and work alongside some of the nation's most innovative farmers. Along the way they learned about best practices, and a whole lot about what doesn't work.

Farms with a Future shares this collective wisdom in an inspirational yet practical manner; it will help beginners avoid many of the common mistakes that first-time farmers make. Just as importantly, it discusses positive ideas that can help make any farm enterprise vibrant and financially profitable. Profiles of more than a dozen representative farms help round out the invaluable information and encourage farmers to embrace their inner entrepreneur. Younger growers, in particular, will benefit by learning about "the right stuff" from both their peers and longtime experts.This book provides a useful reference for beginning and experienced farmers alike. While many other books address agricultural production, there are very few that talk about business management for long-term sustainability. Farms with a Future offers an approachable, colorful take on building a triple-bottom-line farming business.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Farms with a Future

Rebecca Thistlethwaite, Richard Wiswall

Paperback $29.95

Defending Beef

Defending Beef

By Nicolette Hahn Niman

For decades it has been nearly universal dogma among environmentalists and health advocates that cattle and beef are public enemy number one.

But is the matter really so clear cut? Hardly, argues environmental lawyer turned rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman in her new book, Defending Beef.

The public has long been led to believe that livestock, especially cattle, erode soils, pollute air and water, damage riparian areas, and decimate wildlife populations.

In Defending Beef, Hahn Niman argues that cattle are not inherently bad for either the Earth or our own nutritional health. In fact, properly managed livestock play an essential role in maintaining grassland ecosystems by functioning as surrogates for herds of wild ruminants that once covered the globe. Hahn Niman argues that dispersed, grass-fed, small-scale farms can and should become the basis for American food production, replacing the factory farms that harm animals and the environment.

The author—a longtime vegetarian—goes on to dispel popular myths about how eating beef is bad for our bodies. She methodically evaluates health claims made against beef, demonstrating that such claims have proven false.  She shows how foods from cattle—milk and meat, particularly when raised entirely on grass—are healthful, extremely nutritious, and an irreplaceable part of the world’s food system.

Grounded in empirical scientific data and with living examples from around the world, Defending Beef builds a comprehensive argument that cattle can help to build carbon-sequestering soils to mitigate climate change, enhance biodiversity, help prevent desertification, and provide invaluable nutrition.

Defending Beef is simultaneously a book about big ideas and the author’s own personal tale—she starts out as a skeptical vegetarian and eventually becomes an enthusiastic participant in environmentally sustainable ranching.

While no single book can definitively answer the thorny question of how to feed the Earth’s growing population, Defending Beef makes the case that, whatever the world’s future food system looks like, cattle and beef can and must be part of the solution.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Defending Beef

Nicolette Hahn Niman

Paperback $19.95

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Top-Bar Beekeeping

Top-Bar Beekeeping

By Les Crowder and Heather Harrell

In recent years beekeepers have had to face tremendous challenges, from pests such as varroa and tracheal mites and from the mysterious but even more devastating phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Yet in backyards and on rooftops all over the world, bees are being raised successfully, even without antibiotics, miticides, or other chemical inputs.More and more organically minded beekeepers are now using top-bar hives, in which the shape of the interior resembles a hollow log. Long lasting and completely biodegradable, a topbar hive made of untreated wood allows bees to build comb naturally rather than simply filling prefabricated foundation frames in a typical box hive with added supers.

Top-bar hives yield slightly less honey but produce more beeswax than a typical Langstroth box hive. Regular hive inspection and the removal of old combs helps to keep bees healthier and naturally disease-free.

Top-Bar Beekeeping provides complete information on hive management and other aspects of using these innovative hives. All home and hobbyist beekeepers who have the time and interest in keeping bees intensively should consider the natural, low-stress methods outlined in this book. It will also appeal to home orchardists, gardeners, and permaculture practitioners who look to bees for pollination as well as honey or beeswax.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Top-Bar Beekeeping

Les Crowder, Heather Harrell

Paperback $24.95

Sepp Holzer's Permaculture

Sepp Holzer's Permaculture

By Sepp Holzer

Sepp Holzer farms steep mountainsides in Austria 1,500 meters above sea level. His farm is an intricate network of terraces, raised beds, ponds, waterways and tracks, well covered with productive fruit trees and other vegetation, with the farmhouse neatly nestling amongst them. This is in dramatic contrast to his neighbors' spruce monocultures.In this book, Holzer shares the skill and knowledge acquired over his lifetime. He covers every aspect of his farming methods, not just how to create a holistic system on the farm itself, but how to make a living from it. Holzer writes about everything from the overall concepts, down to the practical details.In Sepp Holzer's Permaculturereaders will learn:

  • How he sets up a permaculture system
  • The fruit varieties he has found best for permaculture growing
  • How to construct terraces, ponds, and waterways
  • How to build shelters for animals and how to work with them on the land
  • How to cultivate edible mushrooms in the garden and on the farm
  • and much more!

Holzer offers a wealth of information for the gardener, smallholder or alternative farmer yet the book's greatest value is the attitudes it teaches. He reveals the thinking processes based on principles found in nature that create his productive systems. These can be applied anywhere.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Sepp Holzer's Permaculture

Sepp Holzer, Patrick Whitefield, Anna Sapsford-Francis

Paperback $29.95

Street Farm

Street Farm

By Michael Ableman

Street Farm is the inspirational account of residents in the notorious Low Track in Vancouver, British Columbia—one of the worst urban slums in North America—who joined together to create an urban farm as a means of addressing the chronic problems in their neighborhood. It is a story of recovery, of land and food, of people, and of the power of farming and nourishing others as a way to heal our world and ourselves.

During the past seven years, Sole Food Street Farms—now North America’s largest urban farm project—has transformed acres of vacant and contaminated urban land into street farms that grow artisan-quality fruits and vegetables. By providing jobs, agricultural training, and inclusion in a community of farmers and food lovers, the Sole Food project has empowered dozens of individuals with limited resources who are managing addiction and chronic mental health problems.

Sole Food’s mission is to encourage small farms in every urban neighborhood so that good food can be accessible to all, and to do so in a manner that allows everyone to participate in the process. In Street Farm, author-photographer-farmer Michael Ableman chronicles the challenges, growth, and success of this groundbreaking project and presents compelling portraits of the neighborhood residents-turned-farmers whose lives have been touched by it. Throughout, he also weaves his philosophy and insights about food and farming, as well as the fundamentals that are the underpinnings of success for both rural farms and urban farms. Street Farm will inspire individuals and communities everywhere by providing a clear vision for combining innovative farming methods with concrete social goals, all of which aim to create healthier and more resilient communities.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Street Farm

Michael Ableman

Paperback $29.95

The Resilient Gardener

The Resilient Gardener

By Carol Deppe

Scientist/gardener Carol Deppe combines her passion for organic gardening with newly emerging scientific information from many fields — resilience science, climatology, climate change, ecology, anthropology, paleontology, sustainable agriculture, nutrition, health, and medicine. In the last half of The Resilient Gardener, Deppe extends and illustrates these principles with detailed information about growing and using five key crops: potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs.

In this book you’ll learn how to:

•Garden in an era of unpredictable weather and climate change

•Grow, store, and use more of your own staple crops

•Garden efficiently and comfortably (even if you have a bad back)

•Grow, store, and cook different varieties of potatoes and save your own potato seed

•Grow the right varieties of corn to make your own gourmet-quality fast-cooking polenta, cornbread, parched corn, corn cakes, pancakes and even savory corn gravy

•Make whole-grain, corn-based breads and cakes using the author’s original gluten-free recipes involving no other grains, artificial binders, or dairy products

•Grow and use popbeans and other grain legumes

•Grow, store, and use summer, winter, and drying squash

•Keep a home laying flock of ducks or chickens; integrate them with your gardening, and grow most of their feed.

The Resilient Gardener is both a conceptual and a hands-on organic gardening book, and is suitable for vegetable gardeners at all levels of experience. Resilience here is broadly conceived and encompasses a full range of problems, from personal hard times such as injuries, family crises, financial problems, health problems, and special dietary needs (gluten intolerance, food allergies, carbohydrate sensitivity, and a need for weight control) to serious regional and global disasters and climate change. It is a supremely optimistic as well as realistic book about how resilient gardeners and their vegetable gardens can flourish even in challenging times and help their communities to survive and thrive through everything that comes their way — from tomorrow through the next thousand years. Organic gardening, vegetable gardening, self-sufficiency, subsistence gardening, gluten-free living.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

The Resilient Gardener

Carol Deppe

Paperback $29.95