Mar 13, 2023
Fifth-generation dairy farmer Tara Vander Dussen and former pharmacist turned rancher Natalie Kovarik are two amazing women in the regenerative agriculture space.
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 in this episode, 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.
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.
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.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the topics they get into with Dr. Anthony Gustin:
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
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Natalie Kovarik’s website
Tara Vander Dussen’s website
Natalie and Tara’s podcast Discover Ag
Discover Ag’s Instagram
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