Tara Vander Dussen, a fifth-generation dairy farmer, and Natalie Kovarik, a former pharmacist who grew up on a ranch and is now a rancher herself, are two amazing women in the regenerative agriculture space.
What I love about them is that they’re coming at this in a completely different direction than most.
They’re challenging the notion that bigger is bad and smaller is better in farming, and they’re highlighting how regenerative agriculture practices can’t be a one size fits all approach and must be adjusted based on the region the farm resides in.
As Tara and Natalie share, since they live in drastically different regions, their regenerative ag practices differ in some ways, and so do their cows, which you’ll hear all about in the episode.
Despite the differences, they’re both focused on running sustainable farms that help mitigate climate change and educating people on what that looks like.
In this episode, you’ll learn about Natalie and Tara’s unique backgrounds, their struggles on their farms, how their cattle help the environment, and why they’re so passionate about what they do.We have to keep in mind the value that cattle bring to our food system — it’s a really high quality protein at an affordable price. Click To Tweet
You’ll also discover the current state and future projections for regenerative agriculture, why so many companies are already greenwashing in the space, what can be done about it, and where this powerful duo gets their own food.
Tara and Natalie offer an incredibly unique perspective, especially as women in farming, which is why I knew I had to get them on the show.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the topics we get into:
- Tara and Natalie share their backgrounds and how they found themselves in the regenerative agriculture space
- The current state of regenerative ag and how many companies are greenwashing and turning the term into a buzzword
- The spectrum of regenerative ag and why some practices work for some ranchers but won’t work for others
- The struggles Natalie and Tara have personally faced on their farms
- They also share their thoughts on scaling regenerative agriculture
- The difference between having a large versus a small regenerative ag herd
- Tara and Natalie also discuss their farm sizes and how big their operations are
- Tara shares her thoughts on consuming raw dairy
- How cattle bring value to our food system
- Can a commercial model work for poultry or pork to make it more sustainable?
- One possible solution to mitigate the effects of climate change
- The weird censorship happening on social media against beef and its true impact on climate change
- Where Tara and Natalie find the motivation to do the work they do
- What we need to do and change moving forward to make an impact on a larger scale
- Where Tara and Natalie get most of the foods they eat
Mentioned in This Episode
- Natalie Kovarik’s website
- Natalie’s Instagram
- Tara Vander Dussen’s website
- Tara’s Instagram
- Natalie and Tara’s podcast Discover Ag
- Discover Ag’s Instagram
- The Natural State Podcast Episode 095: Will Harris – Regenerative Agriculture and Why More Farms Should Switch to this Eco-Friendly Model
- The Meat Mafia Podcast
- Wendell Berry’s book, The Pleasures of Eating
- The Holy Earth: The Birth of a New Land Ethic, by Liberty Hyde Bailey, Wendell Berry, and John Linstrom
- The Natural State Podcast Episode 166: Dr. Bill Schindler – Learning How To Eat Like a Human
- The Natural State Podcast Episode 161: Taylor Collins – Using Regenerative Agriculture to Bring Ecosystems Back to Life
- The Natural State Podcast Episode 160: Kate Kavanaugh – Overcoming Fears Surrounding Death, The Sixth Mass Extinction, Becoming a Butcher and Farmer, and More
- The Natural State Podcast Episode 158: Dr. Stephan van Vliet – Comparing the Nutrient Density of Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed Meat