Episode #195

Cole Mannix

Vertically Integrating Pasture-To-Plate

Cole Mannix

Cole Mannix, President and Founder of Old Salt Co-op, brings together ranchers to support land stewardship, fix the local food system in Montana, and make regenerative more sustainable. We chat about creating a vertically integrated pasture-to-plate ecosystem.

We’re kidding ourselves if we think we’re going to solve sustainable, regenerative food production with an algorithm. Rather than trying to remake nature to fit our needs, we should be learning how to fit within and improve our living ecosystems. Click To Tweet

Though his family’s been ranching in Montana’s Blackfoot Valley since the 1880s, Cole holds degrees in biology, philosophy, and theology and worked in wildlife and natural resource conservation. 

Despite the pervasive plant-based narrative, entirely plant-based agriculture creates some of the deadest landscapes I’ve ever encountered. Removing animals means more chemicals, less wildlife, and worse soil health. Click To Tweet

He’s used his unique perspective to integrate everything from processing, sourcing, distribution, and marketing for ranchers to running the co-op’s own farm-to-table restaurants.

Tune into the episode to hear us discuss:

  • What inspired Cole to tackle this challenge
  • How the co-op works and whether it can be replicated
  • International food policies that harm US farmers and ranchers
  • Why it’s impossible to industrialize sustainable food production
  • The “impact” of cattle emissions on climate change
  • How solely plant-based farming devastates ecosystems 
  • Why international meat costs less than domestic
  • Creating the seed oil-free Old Salt Outpost, a burger joint sending out tallow-cooked french fries
  • The Old Salt Festival, Outside magazine’s #2 ranked climate-forward festival

Mentioned in This Episode 

More Resources