Talking Wildly Successful Farming

In fall 2018, University of Wisconsin Press will be publishing Wildly Successful Farming: Sustainability Imageand the New Agricultural Land Ethic, by Land Stewardship Letter editor Brian DeVore. Wildly Successful Farming tells the stories of farmers across the American Midwest who are balancing profitability and food production with environmental sustainability and a passion for all things wild. They are using innovative techniques and strategies to develop their “wildly” successful farms as working ecosystems. Whether producing grain, vegetables, fruit, meat, or milk, these next-generation agrarians look beyond the bottom line of the spreadsheet to the biological activity on the land as key measures of success.

This page features Ear to the Ground podcast interviews with some of the farmers, natural resource professionals and scientists who are featured in Wildly Successful Farming:

Episode 25: Loretta and Martin Jaus and the farm as natural habitat. (Chapters 1, 10 & 11)

Episode 32: Tex Hawkins and the Monitoring Team's agroecological legacy. (Chapter 7)

Episode 70: Jan Libbey and Tim Landgraf describe how their CSA strives to become a social change agent by farming with the wild. (Chapter 2)

Episode 82: Phil Specht talks about how profitable farming and good bird habitat aren't mutually exclusive. (Chapter 4)

Episode 83: How the Chippewa 10% Project could produce perennial profits. (Chapter 3)

Episode 84: What a perennial-based farming system may look like in the Chippewa. (Chapter 3)

Episode 121: Burleigh County's Soil Health Team and how farmers, scientists and conservationists have teamed up to revolutionize the relationship between ag and soil health. (Chapter 5)

Episode 151: Using conservation grazing to keep wildlife refuges, prairies and other natural areas healthy. (Chapter 3)

Episode 173: How Indiana became the king of cover cropping (part 1 of 3). (Chapter 6)

Episode 174: A soil scientist compares Indiana's "bottom up" approach to advancing soil health to Maryland's "top down" system (part 2 of 3). (Chapter 6)

Episode 175: An Indiana farmer describes his experience with cover cropping and how it fits into a bigger goal of improving his land's soil health (part 3 of 3). (Chapter 6)

Episode 181: How birds, biology and food production blend on one Minnesota dairy farm. (Chapters 1, 10 & 11)

Episode 182: Dan Jenniges, J. B. Bright and how rotational grazing on one farm is improving profits, wildlife habitat and community relations. (Chapter 3)

Episode 200: Phil Specht, Paul Skrade and how birds and other biological indicators provide evidence that an Iowa farm is a "working ecosystem." (Chapter 4)

Episode 234: How the Tallgrass Prairie Center is helping farmers introduce a little wild perenniality into a domesticated working landscape. (Chapter 8)