Joel Salatin: Doing What Matters as a Farmer

Joel Salatin gives a tour of Polyface Farm. Here he stands inside electric netting surrounding a flock of laying hens and their portable coop, dubbed an Eggmobile.I was delighted to run across this video in which farmer, writer, and speaker Joel Salatin explains how to build a “do what matters, make it pay” lifestyle business. In just under seven minutes, he covers many of the key points I believe in. Enjoy!

Joel and his wife had one big vision–one thing that clearly mattered. They wanted to be full-time family farmers, using organic and permaculture principles and they shaped their lives to make it happen. Here are a few points from the advice Joel offers on this video:

  • Avoid debt (it’s enslavement)
  • Do things that take time and not money
  • Use creativity
  • Shepherd your nest egg
  • Start with something you like
  • Work on generating cash flow
  • Connect with your community and network
  • Start small and pay as you go
  • Don’t plan too far ahead; you might overrun your learning curve
  • Keep a low-cost, flexible infrastructure
  • Don’t worry about making it perfect; just get going
  • Don’t leave something that’s working until you’re shoved out
  • Maintain what’s functioning before building something new
  • Do what you can with what you have
  • Consider alternative marketing; direct sales rather than wholesale

As you listen to the video and read Joel’s bio, notice that he touches on each of the five stages of the Doing What Matters business model.

  1. Do: Start small, keep moving
  2. Share: Show and tell how your Task can benefit others
  3. Teach: Become an industry expert
  4. Package: Create passive income
  5. Multiply: Do more of what you love, less of what you don’t

You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide by Joel Salatin
I first heard of Joel Salatin over twenty years ago. He’d published a small booklet on pastured poultry, and was just becoming known within homeschooling circles. In the intervening years, Joel has not only built the sustainable farm he and his wife dreamed of, he’s become the voice of conservative, organic, permaculture principles. He speaks around the world on topics that matter deeply to him. If farming is something you love, Joel can show you how to make it work.

You may learn more about Joel and Polyface Farm through his books, website, and many YouTube videos of his presentations. He’s both knowledgeable and entertaining, and you’ll glean ideas for not only business, but also for a “doing what matters” life.

What Can a Lunatic Farmer Teach Us? Off the Grid News interviews Joel Salatin (with transcript).

Joel Salatin‘s books

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