Conscious Company Magazine (CCM) recently profiled two women making a difference in Agriculture: Taber Ward of Mountain Flower Dairy Farm in Boulder, Colorado, and Andrea Davis-Cetina of Quarter Acre Farm in Sonoma, California. CCM is the first print and digital, nationally distributed publication in the US to focus solely on sustainable business.
You can view the full article here. Following is the excerpt of Taber’s profile.
CCM: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START A FARM?
Taber Ward: Our food system is more than broken – it produces pain, agony, pollution, and injustice for millions of people, animals, and ecosystems. The goal of Mountain Flower is to create an alternative to factory and industrial farming by connecting people to the means of production and by treating the land and our goats gently and with respect. We want to provide dairy products that people can trust.
Providing a transparent and accessible farm in the middle of the city helps connect people back to the land, back to animals, and back to their food. It is our goal to practice humane animal husbandry and educate the community about what it means, what it costs, and what it looks like to raise animals with respect. Every dollar spent on food is a vote for how we want our food system to look and how we want to treat our animals, the land, and our planet.
CCM: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO OPERATE IN A SUSTAINABLE WAY?
TW: There is no other way to do this. We may not be legally liable for abusing the land or animals when we farm, but we are morally liable. At the end of the day, we go home knowing that we did our best to create a positive product and happy environment for the creatures that we steward.
CCM: WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE THINKING OF BECOMING FARMERS OR STARTING THEIR OWN FARM?
TW: Collaborate! Farming was never meant to be a one-(wo)man-show. Reach out to folks who have similar values and work ethics. Reach out to folks who offer different skill sets from your own. Be ready to work all the time. There are no days off in farming. Dig in. Don’t give up. Believe in your vision – even when it’s falling apart, it will come back together.
CCM: DO YOU HAVE ANY PREDICTIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF THE FARMING INDUSTRY?
TW: I am hopeful for the future of local food and community food security – the movement has started already and we are taking bold steps as farmers, consumers, restaurants, grocers, and policymakers to strengthen and support this sector of food production.
Given the drought in California, I predict that the cry for local food and diversification will become stronger and more robust; not because it is trendy or because of the “foodie” movement – but because our breadbasket state is turning into a desert. This is not a “California problem” – this is a problem that will impact dinner plates and pocketbooks around the nation. California produces a sizable majority of American fruits, vegetables, and nuts: [almost all of our] artichokes, walnuts, kiwis, plums, celery, garlic, cauliflower, spinach, carrots, and the list goes on.