Joel Salatin

Polyface Farms


Joel Salatin is a third-generation, beyond organic farmer and author whose family owns and operates Polyface Farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The farm produces salad bar beef, pigaerator pork, pastured poultry and forage-based rabbits, and direct markets everything to 5,000 families, 50 restaurants and 10 retail outlets.
A prolific author, Salatin’s nine books to date include both how-to and big picture themes. The farm features prominently in Michael Pollan’s New York Times best-seller The Omnivore’s Dilemma and the award-winning documentary Food, Inc.

Joel will be speaking at the Pennsylvania, Maryland Fairs


Check It Out!

Turning the Homestead from a Liability into an Asset

For too many, self-reliance fantasies crumble under the strain of financial realities. These financial stresses develop from a wide gamut of expectations and practice. Separating necessities from luxuries, wants from needs, delusion from reality: These are the issues surrounding functional decision-making. While profitability may not be the overriding goal of a farmstead, neither should depression or bankruptcy be the outcome. In his typical style, mixing experience, humor, and inspiration, Joel Salatin describes both the money pits and peaks.
Modern Homesteading Keynote

Available In:

Pennsylvania, Sunday 3:30-4:30 p.m., Mother Earth News Stage

Pastured Poultry Profit$

Take a virtual tour of Polyface Farm's pastured poultry production and discover the pathway to creating a full-time salary from a small acreage. With 80 percent of Americans saying they dislike their jobs, this presentation offers an opportunity for those who want to jump ship and start a new vocation. While this presentation is certainly applicable to small, backyard operations, it has special application to those who are currently running (or are dreaming of starting) full-time farms.
Animal Husbandry Keynote

Available In:

Maryland, Sunday 10:00-11:00 a.m., Mother Earth News Stage

From a Frog’s Perspective

In his theatrical style, Joel Salatin creates a verbal image of a frog in a beaver pond 500 years ago and builds 12 ecological principles from that perspective. What would that frog know about ecology in that pond? Believing that the most stable ecologies mimic historic normalcy, Salatin takes you on a winsome fantasy journey with the frog and what it knows. Sometimes becoming like a child is the best way to rethink our future.
Modern Homesteading Keynote

Available In:

Maryland, Sunday 3:30-4:30 p.m., Mother Earth News Stage

Designing and Developing a Functional Livestock Farm

In a society dominated by technicians and operating manuals, we farmers too often fail to launch projects because we fear making mistakes. Joel Salatin has been making mistakes for more than half a century. With a lifetime of experience born of mistakes, he walks us through startup necessities. Water, fencing, shelter, access, and storage are all different for different species. Come with pen and paper; this workshop is loaded with rules of thumb for long-term, efficient farmstead logistics. Whether you're just starting or are already several years into your endeavor, pick up valuable tips for immediate application.
Animal Husbandry Keynote

Available In:

Pennsylvania, Sunday 10:00-11:00 a.m., Mother Earth News Stage

Common Legal Questions on the Farm

Elizabeth Rich, executive director of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, joins Joel Salatin and Patricia Foreman (two longtime members and advocates of the organization) to answer common legal questions, give advice, and share anecdotal stories of legal issues that they have encountered. Many farmers don’t have a full understanding of their rights, and the legal defense fund's mission is to correct that and protect local farmers! Hosted and recorded by Charlotte Brunin, this panel discussion will be rebroadcast to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS and FRIENDS podcast channel.
Modern Homesteading Nature and Community

Available In:

Maryland, Sunday 2:00-3:00 p.m., Grit Stage