Food Security in Mississippi

joel dustin aliDustin & Ali with Joel Salatin

“… the way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world. Daily, our eating turns nature into culture, transforming the body of the world into our bodies and minds.”

~ Michael Pollen, author of Omnivore’s Dilemma

This post is for food lovers, locavores, regenerative agriculture buffs, and/or Mississippi residents!

Mississippi is ready for the growth and development of our chemical-free small farmers and food producers.  There is a groundswell of small-scale farmers and Farmer’s Markets brimming with new life across the state.  It is exciting to watch and, on a more somber note, it is imperative that we steward this new growth forward, not only for our families and future generations, but for the regeneration and health of the land.

The time is now to take action and chip in on a worthy development for a local couple (and dear friends of mine) who are both small-business owners and farming pioneers.  Dustin Pinion and Ali Fratesi of Beaverdam Farms of Cedar Bluff, MS have a dynamic little farm that uses a regenerative agriculture method of rotational grazing of cows, pigs, and poultry. Their work is inspired by the legendary Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms in Virgina (of whom Dustin interned with).

And, they don’t just produce food for Mississippians >>> they produce healthy soil for healthy forests and future generations.

“We look at ourselves at Beaverdarm Fresh Farms as soil farmers, with food being a byproduct of our soil building operations. We feel that without healthy soils, you cannot grow healthy plants or animals and without healthy plants or animals, you cannot have healthy people. Healthy soil = healthy plants, healthy animals, healthy people, healthy communities, healthy economies. . .”

~ Ali Fratesi, Beaverdam Fresh Farms

They are in need of our help to expand their operations and meet local regulations. Currently, their farm has grown to the limits of the current “1000 bird exemption” for MS state regulations. In order to sustain their farm, they will have to build a new on-site processing facility which will allow them to process up to 20,000 birds each year on their farm.

You can visit their Kickstarter campaign here. 

Even though small farms used to be the backbone of Mississippi many years ago, the knowledge and traditions have gone by the wayside. Small farms are the only sustainable way forward and Beaverdam Farms will help pave the way for small farms to follow in their footsteps in the state of Mississippi. Beaverdam Farms aims to create a replicable model for others and will hopefully increase the number of small pasture rotation farms in the South.

This next step is a big one, not only for them, but for the future of sustainable farming in Mississippi and the health of its families. Please SHARE this campaign on Facebook, PITCH IN what you can, and FORWARD this post, and let’s GROW!


2 thoughts on “Food Security in Mississippi

  1. I just love that picture of Dustin and Ali with Joel Salatin and I am so proud of them applying what they learned from him to our Mississippi landscape. If there was a “Farmer of South” award, they’d have my vote.

    • Yes, I agree Marion! They are both such an inspiration… And, they are trailblazers. I am so pleased to see them moving forward and with so much support!

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