Lincoln to Cape Girardeau

The 10th and final screening of our Missouri screening series was hosted by Dr. Bruce Shanks at Lincoln University. 

About 60 people joined us for a somewhat impromptu screening, as Dr. Shanks was kind enough to host us with only a few days notice. Considering the short noticed we were excited by the turnout. We lost a decent amount of people when the class period transitioned mid-film, but still had about 40 for the post-screening conversation. 

Bruce, who has a good calm energy, talked modestly about his farm, which is a cow calf operation that exclusively sells cows into pasture-based grass finishing operations. He's also got some sheep.

Lincoln has a renowned program with goat and sheep production, which led one person to question why goats hadn't been included in the story, to which it was responded that we decided to focus on chicken, hog and cattle production, being the 3 most commonly raised animals for meat in America. 

The audience got to learn a good deal about the Jefferson City Farmers Market, and some of the cattle raisers were there, and talked about the difficulty of both farming and marketing their own products. One fellow asked about the effect of drought on grass-based systems, as well as the effect of predation, with animals being unprotected outside. 

Another person asked about the cost of energy, and I talked about how in 2008 the increase in energy costs led to an implosion of global markets and conventional production with Pilgrim's Pride declaring bankruptcy and Smithfield contracting by 20%. 

We ended the conversation by talking about how local distribution models may well reshape this generation's agriculture. 

After lunch, we headed South and East to Cape Girardeau in preparation for tomorrow morning's shoot with Peter Whisnant of Rain Crow Ranch. 

Do you like this post?

Showing 1 reaction

published this page in Ruminations 2012-10-19 22:45:00 -0400