Skilled Labor Series: Farming with Josh Svaty
*This episode is part of our new Skilled Labor Series hosted by MCJ partner, Yin Lu. This series is focused on amplifying the voices of folks from the skilled labor workforce, including electricians, farmers, ranchers, HVAC installers, and others who are on the front lines of rewiring our infrastructure.
Today’s guest is Josh Svaty, a farm owner and operator who also happens to be the former secretary of agriculture of the state of Kansas, among other hats he's worn.
Farming practices have dramatically shaped human development and the structure of our society. We may not see the every day implications, but farming will continue to impact land management and food systems around the world. Since climate change has altered the predictability of crops, innovative solutions addressing agriculture’s biggest issues are cause for optimism.
Josh provides a lot of insight on this topic as he oversees a diversified crop and livestock operation at Free State Farms. In this conversation, we learn about the evolution of farming, the role climate change has played in the day to day operations of Josh’s farm, his views on regenerative agriculture and promising trends in agricultural innovations. This episode is great for anybody interested in the food, agriculture and land use areas of the climate fight.
In this episode, we cover:
[1:46] Josh's upbringing and extensive background
[5:26] The role agriculture has played in human development
[7:24] Large-scale monoculture practices and Josh's feelings about them
[10:24] Climate change impacts felt on Free State Farms
[15:11] Solutions addressing the growing lack of predictability for farmers, including increasing crop diversity and livestock
[19:06] An overview of regenerative agriculture
[25:03] Role of water in farming operations
[27:11] Local and global trends as the result of drought
[29:00] What happens when we run out of water
[32:45] What keeps Josh optimistic about the future of agriculture
[35:50] Nitricity's unique solution to addressing the GHG impact of fertilizer
Visit our website for a full transcript of this episode.
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Episode recorded on August 31, 2022.