Re-posted from Redwood Times

Joel Salatin, the outspoken farmer featured in Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, will be the keynote speaker prior to the Sustainable Agriculture Expo at Redwood Acres Fairground in Eureka on Feb. 26. The event, presented by the North Coast Co-op, will feature a variety of exhibitors who are helping create and support a robust local food system here in Humboldt County. Salatin's talk will be on the subject of Food Emancipation.

Salatin, 53, is a fulltime farmer in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. A third generation alternative farmer, he returned to the farm fulltime in 1982 and continued refining and adding to his parents' ideas. The farm services more than 3,000 families, 10 retail outlets and 50 restaurants through on-farm sales and metropolitan buying clubs with “salad bar beef, pastured poultry, eggmobile eggs, pigaerator pork, forage based rabbits, pastured turkey and forestry products using relationship marketing.”

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and writes extensively in magazines such as Stockman Grass Farmer, Acres U.S.A, and American Agriculturalist.

The family's farm, Polyface Inc. (”The Farm of Many Faces”) has been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic, Gourmet and countless other radio, television and print media. Profiled on the Lives of the 21st Century series with Peter Jennings on ABC World News, his after-broadcast chat room fielded more hits than any other segment to date. It achieved iconic status as the grass farm featured in the New York Times bestseller Omnivore's Dilemma by food writer guru Michael Pollan.

A sought-after conference speaker, he addresses a wide range of issues, from “creating the farm your children will want” to “making a white collar salary from a pleasant life in the country.” A wordsmith, he describes his occupation as “mob-stocking herbivorous solar conversion lignified carbon sequestration fertilization.” His humorous and conviction-based speeches are akin to theatrical performances, often receiving standing ovations. His speaking and writing reflect dirt-under-the-fingernails experience punctuated with mischievous humor. He passionately defends small farms, local food systems, and the right to opt out of the conventional food paradigm.

His mother Lucille, wife Teresa, daughter Rachel, son Daniel, daughter-in-law Sheri, grandsons Travis and Andrew, and granddaughter Lauryn, work fulltime together on the family farm. He has authored six books, four of them how-to types: “Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front”; “Family Friendly Farming: A Multi-Generational Home-Based Business Testament”; “Holy Cows & Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer's Guide to Farm Friendly Food”; “Pastured Poultry Profits: Net $25,000 in 6 months on 20 Acres”; “Salad Bar Beef”; and “You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farming Enterprise.” Joel will be available for book signing on the day of the event.

Like other consumer co-ops in this country, North Coast Co-op has led the way in promoting organic farming, the importance of supporting local products, the advantages of buying bulk foods, the benefits of recycling and reducing waste, the importance of accurate product information, and the buying power of consumers informed about the food they eat and the impacts of their choices. Way back in 1973 some of these ideas were a bit radical, but these ideas are now practiced in one way or another by every other "natural" food store.

The North Coast Cooperative is a member-owned community market guided by cooperative principles emphasizing a diverse selection of organic, bulk, and local food products. The Co-op provides consumer education so that shoppers can make informed choices. The Co-op promotes community building and environmental sustainability while maintaining financial stability. The foundation of our work is meeting member needs.

To purchase tickets for Joel Salatin, visit or come in to the North Coast Co-op in Arcata or Eureka.

For further information, contact Melanie Bettenhausen at or by calling 707-826-8670 ext. 132.

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