Miller's to Wayne to OSU

We got up at around dawn and filmed with Aaron Miller of Miller Livestock. All the pigs and cattle were in the barn, because it is cold outside, and because the pasture gets so much snow, with out much freezing of the ground. The result is that if animals are out on pasture, they'll rip up the sod. 

Aaron took care to provide alfalfa for the animals, using a pitchfork to move the feed in front of the animals. He spread some straw, which is used as bedding, around for the pigs, the gentle steam of warm bodies perspiring into crisp late-winter air. 
Melissa arrived as we were in mid-shoot, and started cooking up breakfast in the large spacious farm-kitchen. 
Meanwhile, Aaron, Andy and I flipped over three 5-gallon buckets, sat down and did the interview. Aaron has been raising animals since 4-H, which was a few decades back. He talked about the importance of diversity on the farm, diversity of the species, and diversity of markets. In 1999, they stopped spraying pesticides when they realized that they would be eating the vegetables themselves, and decided they'd rather find other ways to ward off bugs and pests, then to spray future food that him and his kids would be eating that had warning labels about being hazardous to health. 
In the kitchen, ham, eggs and potatoes awaited. Truly phenomenal food, from the farm, from the kitchen of the skilled hands of Melissa. We ate and talked about birds, and farming and any number of things. 
We said goodbyes and thankyous and headed out to University of Akron in Wayne County, Wayne College. We drove on back roads when possible and got there in plenty of time. About 60 people gathered into a classroom, where we were hosted by Stephanie and Carol of the Global Green club. The conversation after was good, a young entrepreneur talking about a website he's launching or something like that, that connects people with farmers. A woman who farms and sells her and her family's produce into a co-op in Wooster, OH. 
A professor spoke about soil, how without soil, there's no farms, and no food. 
We headed South and West to Columbus where we were hosted by Katie Wilkinson of Chipotle, as well as Brittney and Caitlin of the Food Science Club at OSU. We were in a beautiful new theater, the Gateway, where about 150 people filed in for free burritos, a film, and a conversation following. 
The conversation covered the topics of global exports, transitioning agricultural systems and the viability of local and regional food systems. There were a number of different positions as to the solutions that will work, and a shared passion to support agriculture, and to arrive at the best system of food production for our country's heartland. 
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