AC and Kyle chat with Dax Hansen of Oatman Farms.
Oatman Farms is supporting regenerative agriculture through its portfolio of regenerative organic baking mixes that are made with heritage and drought-resistant wheat varieties.
In this episode, we learn how Dax started Oatman Farms to save his family ranch, their plans to grow the brand and regen consumption at large, and probably most importantly, we dive into “how what we grow where” is just as important as “how we grow it.”
🏜️ The rich history of Oatman Flats Ranch and Dax’s battle to save it
🌾 Why Dax decided to embrace regenerative organic management
🚨 Oatman Farms varieties & practices versus their conventional peers
🤯 How changing what we grow in the West can solve our water crisis
🏭 The need to vertically integrate a brand to create a return
🏆 How a secret weapon helped with Oatman Farms' product development
🌟 Rave reviews from a James Beard Award-winning chef
😡 The lack of infrastructure and markets to support a regen wheat transition
😦 How the deck is stacked against regen brands in our current system
✍️ Why we are 3-5 years away from mass consumer adoption
Regenerative Organic Certified
ReGen Brands Recap #18 - A Southwestern Regenerative Revolution - (RECAP LINK)
Disclaimer: This transcript was generated with AI and is not 100% accurate.
Kyle Krull - 0:00:16
Welcome to The ReGen Brands Podcast. This is a place for consumers, operators and investors to learn about the consumer brand supporting regenerative agriculture and how they're changing the world. This is your host, Kyle, joined with my co-host, AC. Let's dive in.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:00:32
On this episode, we have Dax Hansen who is the founder of Oatman Farms. Oatman Farms is supporting regenerative agriculture through its portfolio of regenerative organic baking mixes that are made with heritage and drought-resistant wheat varieties. In this episode, we learned how Dax started Oatman Farms to save his family ranch, their plans to grow the brand and regen consumption at large, and probably most importantly, we dive into how what we grow where is just. As important as how we grow it. Dax is a super high energy and informative guy, and we're pumped to share this interview with you all, so let's dive in. What's up, everybody? Welcome back to another episode of The ReGen Brands Podcast. We are fired up today to have Dax Hansen from Oatman Farms here joining us. So welcome Dax.
Dax Hansen - 0:01:21
Thank you. Glad to be here.
Kyle Krull - 0:01:24
Yeah, it's great to meet you. You know, it's fun when we do these podcasts, especially if it's like coming from different parts of our networks. Like I just met you 4 minutes ago, you know, on this call. So I'm really excited to like learn your story and the story of Oatman Farms, you know, with our audience today altogether, give me a lot of fun.
Dax Hansen - 0:01:40
Absolutely looking forward to it.
Kyle Krull - 0:01:43
Awesome. So you know, for those who are unfamiliar with the brand, give us just like a really brief overview, like what do you produce and where can people find it today and and what skews are they are? You have like 5 skews skews. What does that look like?
Dax Hansen - 0:01:55
Sure. So we have baking mixes. Oatman Farms has a set of sourdough bread mixes essentially whole grain. Sourdough bread mixes bread, sourdough bread for the masses and set of whole grain pancake and waffle mixes. Also. All of them use the regenerative organic certified heritage wheat that we grow at my farm, Oatman Flats Ranch.
Kyle Krull - 0:02:23
That's incredible. And is most of the Business Today like direct to consumer like online or are you sold in any?
Dax Hansen - 0:02:28
Retailers. So yeah so we we're we're actually trying all different angles here you know I think at a desperation probably is most CPG brands are but we so we have our our direct to consumer website oatmanfarms.com where we sell our our SKUs. We also have a a pretty robust Amazon presence. As well and we are sold in Arizona in multiple retail locations, but primarily the the Fry's stores and the whole food stores. We also have a food service business as well where we sell to restaurants and we've actually gotten quite a bit of traction with some of the leading chefs and restaurants in in the region as well.
Kyle Krull - 0:03:21
Incredible true Omni channel presence going on right now.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:03:24
Dax Hansen - 0:03:26
Well, I mean just just on that point, I mean you'll hear a little bit more about my thesis is that we need to be growing millions and millions of pounds of lower water consuming crops like wheat and then you have to sell that, right. And so we need Omni channel, we need multiple product lines. I mean we, we gotta eat what we grow and we gotta grow something that helps the earth. Hmm.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:03:49
One way to kick it off, I love it. I have, I have three of those skews in my pantry right now. They came last week. So I think I'm going to, I think I'm going to break into the pancake and waffle mix first. But that you were really interesting story. This is not our first time meeting unlike, unlike you and Kyle's very successful attorney, still a practicing attorney today. Really cool story with the family farm, bringing it back, starting the brand. So we're going to unpack all of that. I guess back to this beginning and take us back to the origin of, you know, how did you start Oatman Farms? What's the story there?
Dax Hansen - 0:04:24
So I come from farming and ranch roots but my dad saw that there wasn't a lot of money in farming and so he told us to become doctors and lawyers and teachers and and so I I'm the one that became the the lawyer and the family and so you know I I joined a large law firm called Perkins Cooley and have been working as a partner in the Seattle office Perkins Cooley for. I guess I'm. I'm an attorney practicing there for going on, I guess 24 years now. Yeah.
Kyle Krull - 0:04:54
Dax Hansen - 0:04:56
Yeah. Thank thank you. Yeah. And so I I've become my essentially a I guess a pioneer in the law around fintech and blockchain really were technologies meet money and value systems. And so I I do that and and lead and work with a very large group of lawyers who are helping innovators try to change the world frankly. And so, you know, yeah, so how, how how do I find myself in the middle of the CPG?
Kyle Krull - 0:05:26
Right. You know what I think of lawyers in the amount of time they spend working, I don't think of side hustles, especially in agriculture. So I'm really interested to hear like how this transition.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:05:35
Both trying to change the world though.
Dax Hansen - 0:05:37
The side hustle starts at like 9:00 PM and goes to like 2:00 AM, right and and weekends, right. Like it's they. You really can't be a lawyer and a farmer, CVG. You know, without sacrificing something, right? And it turned out to be sleep and yeah, but also I've I've had to surround myself with some pretty amazing resources some some talent to help me get there. But the the the short version is that Altman Flats Ranch has been in my family since the 1950s, but it's one of the West's most historical farms, almost everything you can think of from the Old West. Times happened there, from the Native Americans to the Spanish, the Mexican influence, The Pioneers, the more battalion, pony express, butterfly stage, you know, homesteaders. The first ranchers you got started in Arizona were there. There was you know, a a massacre that happened there. And that's actually kind of how not kind of that that is exactly how we have our name Oatman Farm. I mean I'm, I'm Dax Hansen, I'm not Oatman. But there was a region.
Dax Hansen - 0:06:19
They're actually a flood river. Flat is what they call it, where an immigrant family was massacred in 1851. Wow. And they named that area after them. That was the Oatman family. And so I I've tried to be really true to place in this whole situation. But, you know, for me, my family's been on that land since the 1950s. And it just turns out that farming is really expensive and difficult. And it turned out I was the last one in the family that could remotely, you know, have a chance to hold on to it.
Dax Hansen - 0:06:53
Keeping it in the family. And so it's like, OK, here, you're a busy lawyer, take this other little baby. Right? Which is that at that point is like a rundown farm, not performing at all. And so I took it on. But for me, this is all about preserving a legacy, and it's all about being a good steward. And, you know, I'll be damned if I'm going to lose the farm on my watch, right? People have been living there and farming there for thousands of years. And so for me, this is all about.
Dax Hansen - 0:07:23
Retaining really alcohol hollowed ground the keeping a place where people in my family and others can come and and appreciate the history of the legacy of that region. And I think the way to do it is through food and CPG.
Kyle Krull - 0:08:08
So that's a really great story. I'm curious to know when were you handed the farm and?
Anthony Corsaro - 0:08:13
That's what was.
Kyle Krull - 0:08:14
What was your exposure to regenerative agriculture?
Dax Hansen - 0:08:19
Yeah. OK. So after my grandma, grandma, Grandpa died, my aunts and uncles took the farm over and they ended up leasing it to somebody for about 10 years. And it was really difficult. And we'll talk about this more, but the Southwest in Arizona in particular, along the HeLa River, is in crisis. Like it it, it, it is becoming a Ridgefield. It is hot drought, you know, you name it dwells drying up. It was just really difficult. And so I don't blame anybody. They're trying to you know, for trying but you know failing to farm conventionally. But I just called my aunts and uncle or come one of my uncles one day and said, hey we're going to sell the farm. And I said well wait wait, can you sell it to me instead because we shouldn't lose it. And so that was now I'm going into my fifth year of that where you know, they they said hey we're gonna we were going to sell it. We had a, you know, a letter of intent but we'll sell it to you instead. And so I bought it from the family and.
Dax Hansen - 0:08:50
And then I just went about just looking at what I had right and it was honestly a liability a massive liability. There were the the ditches there's there's a flood irrigation is what we use out in the Southwest and the ditches were broken and full of sand or trees in the fields. The ground was sterile nothing growing on it no equipment. People that come and scavenge the the the ranch house cut down every little piece of of steel you could right like the the the wells were broken sunken in and so I just went and I took. You know, sort of an assessment of what I had. And, and actually I brought in a whole group of experts, hydrologists and ethnobotanists and others. And I just said, hey, look, I mean is there any hope here for this whole region? And and I don't if you remember the dumb and Dumber movie where Jim Carrey is like trying to ask this lady out on a date and he says what? What's my chances of going on a date with you? And she says one in a million and he says.
Kyle Krull - 0:10:13
Yes, you know there's a chance.
Dax Hansen - 0:10:16
There's a chance, right? And and that's what somebody told me. You know on scale from one to 10 like 0 being or one being basically dead and you know, 10 being alive, we're about it a one or two out there. Yeah. But to me what that said is if we hustle, if we if we flat out Sprint, you know, we can we can take it over or we can bring it back maybe. And so that's what I've been doing now. But the the reality is I looked around, I didn't know what to do. It turns out that. So I ended up making some phone calls and I end up getting connected with the founder of Karen Spring Mills up in Washington.
Dax Hansen - 0:10:20
Date. And and he ended up directing me down to some folks in Arizona. It turns out there's a conference where Bob Quinn from commute International was speaking down in in Arizona because. About 15 years ago in Arizona, we brought back the white Sonora wheat, which is a heritage variety of wheat that essentially gone extinct and brought it back. And that's sort of some parallels to commute internationally, having a new brand, you know, kind of an ancient grain there. So I went down, I saw Bob and I just realized we grow some of the very best grain in the whole world in Arizona and it uses less water and these heritage varieties use less water than the modern varieties. And so I started, you know.
Dax Hansen - 0:11:04
Looking around in that found some folks who are ethnobotanists and some specialists and desert agriculture and realized there was a whole new way of farming that actually Harkins backed all the indigenous ways. It's that we skipped a few generations. We had lost track of what we could really grow when the Earth was telling us and and so I, you know, I decided to farm with less water but I needed better tools. And it turned out that Kevin Morris from Karen Spring Mills, one of their investors, was. French adventures. Uh and you know, so, so Patagonia provisions and, and so Kevin knew that there was this new certification.
Dax Hansen - 0:12:03
Regenerative Organic Certified and Regenerative Organic Alliance and and I just realized man that seems to be a toolkit that we could use to nurse this land back to health and and so I I just embraced that immediately and you know but but so the reality is that it was I didn't know anything about regenerative agriculture. It was out of necessity that I I realized regenerative agriculture, conservation, indigenous knowledge, all of those things work together. To regenerate a broken landscape. And and that's what we have. And I believe that many other farmers are going to need to follow in my footsteps if we're going to have farms in the Southwest. I mean literally the way we're farming out there has not been viable for years and it it's it's going to be nearly impossible given now the cuts on the Colorado River.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:13:06
Yeah. Wow. Wow. OK. Let me, let me pull some things out of that. That was that was awesome. One Bob Quinn and the folks up at Karen Spring Mills. Not the same people, but both equally legendary. We'll put some links in the show notes, they're really cool. Bob has a great book called Grain by Grain. It's on my shelf. I have not read it yet, but all all super sharp people.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:13:13
The theme, a big theme that, you know, we've taken away from every episode, decks that I just heard loud and clear there is, is humility, right? And the y'all trailblazer is doing this work. You know, you're not coming in and saying I know everything, right? You literally said I went and got a bunch of experts and I got a bunch of people that really cared and knew what the hell they were talking about. And we we circled the wagons and tried to figure out, you know, what, what was actually going on. So from from how long of you seeing it in that depleted state to like actually putting a seed in the ground and executing.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:13:30
Some sort of new strategy. What was how, how much time was that?
Dax Hansen - 0:14:04
Ohh it was was right away. So I yeah, I ended up buying the farm in January of 2019 and we had a crop in the ground by March of 2019. Wow.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:14:18
Dax Hansen - 0:14:19
We had we.
Kyle Krull - 0:14:20
Dax Hansen - 0:14:21
Because that because the the the planting season really winter, you know, in and into harvesting and in the summer. And so we hustled and you cleaned up the field, so we used. We could start working with the ground and then we immediately went into. No, till and cover cropping. We planted a bunch of conservation cover on land that we probably weren't gonna be able to farm right away. And so we just, we started using all the basic techniques for how to start making topsoil essentially. And it was literally you know within you know a few months or a year that we started to see the life coming back. But now that we're you know in our in our fifth year it's a stark difference from if you look at the before and after.
Dax Hansen - 0:14:40
Photos you know these these principles these techniques work and you know we're we're able to do a lot more with less water and a lot more life and increased biodiversity. So we're you know we're we're really trying to I mean you, you were you use the word pioneer we're trying to pioneer regenerative agriculture in the southwest where frankly I don't think anybody's really done it recently.
Kyle Krull - 0:15:35
I think the keyword you just mentioned recently, you talked earlier about, you know, utilizing indigenous wisdom and how they've been, you know, stewarding this land for millennia, right. And I think that's really important to touch on. I'm also really curious, you know, you said you started, you know, crop on the ground first drop on the ground March 2019. Had you done any sort of solar ganic matter testing or water infiltration rate testing or anything at that time? And if so, what does that look like compared to those same tests today?
Dax Hansen - 0:16:01
Yep. So we we did some basic tests, but primarily what we did. The tests in order to get organic certified, I'd mentioned that somebody had tried and sort of failed to farm for a while and so the farm had been left fallow and so we were able to get organic certification right away because.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:16:20
There were no chemicals.
Dax Hansen - 0:16:21
Out there right. Yeah that's the that's the good side about it being neglected but but the but the reality is they had sat almost sterile if if you farm in the West the way we do and then you walk away from it. It doesn't rewild, it just becomes sterile and bleached out, right? So the reality is there was almost no organic material. In that soil right. And and and so I mean honestly it's gonna be about a 10 year endeavor to build it back up to where you know we've got some really good you know measurements. But yes we've been we're we got certified with COF organic and then you know we did the original organic certification and so as part of that we do collect soil samples and testing and we've also also partnered up with different universities like the University of Arizona and others.
Dax Hansen - 0:16:41
Who are are bringing some research to bear to do additional soil samples besides what you could normally get at at labs and and it is it is increasing Kyle and it's improving pretty significantly but it but it's still gonna take awhile because you know you got to build all the below ground biological and fungal activity to really have an impact even after you put called the carbon if you will the the crops you lay them down on on on the top so it just takes a while for life. To.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:17:43
Dax Hansen - 0:17:44
Kind of come back, but but it does. When you let nature do her thing, she surprised you. She works pretty fast.
Kyle Krull - 0:17:50
Right. You know, to me it's a really good example of like the pros and cons of starting zero. You know, when you have a industrial monocrop system, at least there's some life and you do have the, you know, the challenges of transitioning that land into these new practices, but starting to zero, you know, you get to implement the all the practices right away. What you're starting at 0. So yeah, it's as you were first talking about, I was like, man. Finding degraded land is the key to this game, you know? It just seems a lot easier, but your point still requires quite a bit of work. And you mentioned the 10 year process, so it's certainly not going to happen overnight. One other question I have for those who are not as well versed into regenerative agriculture, walk us through what it looks like to, you know like one season of wheat for you versus a season of wheat for like an industrial monocrop wheat system. How is that different? How do you utilize less water? What is the crop look like versus you know the the regenerative crop versus the conventional crop? I don't like that.
Dax Hansen - 0:18:45
Sure, absolutely. So look in in Arizona, in the southwest, we have an invasive species, Bermuda grass, OK. And so if you put a little bit of water on the ground, the thing that grows is Bermuda grass and it's really thick. OK and and and it will overwhelm almost any crop and a lot of the modern crops, modern varieties of seeds have been essentially developed with. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides, right? Like to clear everything out of the way to give those little seeds an opportunity to grow and do their thing right. And so if you put them into a no till environment, they essentially get choked out, right? So. So anyway. So most conventional farmers will rip deep ripping and disking of the the ground, plant the products, plant the seeds and then they will irrigate it and they use.
Dax Hansen - 0:19:16
Chemical fertilizer, and then they'll use pesticides. In herbicides to kill everything else around it. OK, what? Well and they'll usually use a modern variety something that's been bred. But there are no GMO's in wheat and and important thing for people to know, right? Like if you eat wheat in the United States it hasn't been genetically modified, but it has been bred and things have been been bred for different profiles and yields and you name it, and mostly for yield.
Dax Hansen - 0:19:50
And so people will be using mainly the these higher yielding varieties of wheat and grow them. But my my personal view is that. You know, the the ground in Arizona is kind of akin to just the media. Like you can you can grow seed in that soil just like can grow seed in a wet paper towel. You know, if you just pump, you know the fertilizers on it or you put in steer manure, right. And but that doesn't mean that there's any sort of life down there. You've got plants and biological activity going on, you know where they sort of have a symbiotic relationship. So what we do is what's different is that we don't, well first of all we start with a different seed.
Dax Hansen - 0:20:28
So I mentioned this white Sonora wheat. We also, which is a by the way, the Spanish brought that over to Mexico and up into southwest about 300 years ago. And so it is likely the case that that variety of wheat was growing on my farm within the last 300 years, OK, by the indigenous people, right, because the Native Americans grew it. And by the way, that's what gave rise to the flour tortilla that we all know and love in Mexican food is the white Sonora. Wow. It's what fed all the Western travelers, the 49ers, everybody else who come through all the.
Dax Hansen - 0:20:59
You know that the army of the West, if it hadn't been for the Maricopa and Pima Native Americans, we would they everyone starved. But it was the white snore.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:21:39
We defend, though.
Dax Hansen - 0:21:40
OK, so it's amazing heritage variety, lots of lots of history. So we we focus on that one because it's been adapted to our region. It loves it, it loves the salty soil, the harsh temperatures and it just thrives. It just, it just is, is this this incredible species that this, this, this, this variety anyway, we grow a couple of others. Red 5, blue Beard, Durham. And then we grow up a modern variety that was developed for health by the Washington State Bread Lab called Stage 1109, which is meant for whole grain uses. And so those are the varieties that we grow. So first of all, different varieties and then we. We don't, we don't rip the ground. We we have a no till plant or we have a yeah no till drill where you just lay down all of the cover crops and all the stuff that you crimp it, lay down on the ground.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:22:35
And then you.
Dax Hansen - 0:22:36
Cut, yeah, the virus. And then you just cut into that and you drop the seeds down. We have spread chicken manure, but we've also introduced now we're in the early innings of introducing. New stock literally onto the field sheep which will bring the fertilizer. So we're we have really tried to cut down on any sort of chemical fertilizer because it's almost like it's like crack cocaine for the plants. You need to like wean them off of that where they start looking at what's going on around them and instead you know we we've instead invested a lot of money in cover crops but a bunch of biodiverse cover crops to and let the weeds grow in there you know everything just sort of come back to balance. To to build the soil health instead and so like there there literally are no chemicals on our on our ground. No herbicides, no pesticides and.
Dax Hansen - 0:23:20
So in in in our yield so far have been lower than what most farmers would expect but that's my view also just the the the the result of ground that still needs to be brought back to health right like that in every talks about how like renewables can reduce the the inputs for us. You know we're still building up to truly healthy soil right. And everybody who's who's got who's farming conventionally is gonna have years of hell to pay. Before they even get to sort of a point point where they can start putting in less inputs, right. So there's a deficit we gotta pay but but it but the so the yield has been down, but it you know, I think that over time it it will increase and we're focusing less on the yield and more just on the health of the soil and like the nutrient density of the food.
Kyle Krull - 0:24:30
Really feels like you've got a Longview here. I love the analogy you made about utilizing, you know, chemical fertilizers as it's like a drug, right? And if you wanted to increase your yield today, you could, you could spray it with some chemical fertilizers and have a bigger yield. But you know that long term that's not going to help you achieve your goals of stewarding this land and it's going to make you more reliant on these chemical fertilizers and instead you're looking to integrate animals and provide more natural fertilizers and that could lead to new verticals. And it's just such a great case study of and and. Preface, I'm not a farmer. I've only read and watched videos and YouTube like I actually really do. I'm talking about it's all just concept and greet me. But you are practicing exactly what I think I know and what I've read and it's just really great to hear this story.
Dax Hansen - 0:25:14
Anthony Corsaro - 0:25:15
Well, thank you for sure.
Dax Hansen - 0:25:16
I mean, I should probably I I need to give a shout out to my farm manager Yadi Wang.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:25:21
Dax Hansen - 0:25:24
He's a legend. And he, he's a, he's a chemical engineer and a PhD environmental scientist, right. And So what I have found is that we have to take sort of conventional wisdom farmers who are out there who know that land and we have to take people like yadi who are environmental scientists and put them in a cage and they have a little bit of a cage. And I'm the referee can handle the bills right and and and and we just sort of figure out what the practices are right. But you know we have people who are focused on the soil systems on the water systems right and in livestock integration and and and so you know I mean I I couldn't have done all this on my own either Kyle right. I mean I've I've I'm a fast I'm a quick study when you're having to fund a venture like this you know. In, in you, in your decisions are decided like kind of like on an annual basis, like if you planned and then you screw that crop up, right. I mean hundreds of thousands of dollars, you know, you mean you could go belly up on one harvest, right, one crop season. And so we really try not to make mistakes, but we realized that we just have to figure this out, right, like there isn't a model. And so that's where, I mean honestly I view Oatman Flats Ranch and Oatman Farms as a brand as a Guinea pig, right where what I've really done.
Dax Hansen - 0:26:15
We talked about you know them a lawyer. I'm taking the money that I make as a lawyer and I'm putting most of it back into figuring out a model for farming. And I mentioned you know, fintech and blockchain, but like I believe in that this content kind of open source model of Bitcoin, for instance, right. And and it turns out that open source works right. We want people to know this. And so I'm, I'm willing to go try it so that other people can around me, up and down the Healer River, Colorado or Salt River they can do it.
Dax Hansen - 0:26:46
But their cost of entry goes down, right? Like if I can, I will. I think that's honestly all of us, you care about this need to put all of our marbles in the middle. And in this case, the thing that I have to put in is, you know, my problem solving capabilities, but also the fact that I've got a little bit of extra revenue from a different profession. Whereas most farmers have gotten down to the point where they have, they don't have enough room to even experiment with something new, right? Like they're on, they they're on.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:27:46
This. Debt, let alone people will they can't get out, right?
Dax Hansen - 0:27:50
Well, yeah, exactly. So it it, it is actually a really it's it's a challenging question, but like it's got to start somewhere if we wanna eat food that's grown in the West.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:28:01
Dax, talk about the water implications from a macro perspective, right and then everything that you mentioned what that means from a micro perspective on your farm and how important that is for that region and getting other folks to to kind of get on board with that?
Dax Hansen - 0:28:13
Yeah, thanks for asking that question because I think if if people who are listening this podcast. Take one thing away. They should take away the fact that we are trying to solve a water problem and that if you care about the Colorado River crisis, you should support a brand like oltman farms and eat wheat and other small grains that are grown in the West, right, rather than buying imported. Grain, but, but but I'll answer that your your question. A crop like white Sonora wheat. Probably takes around 3 acre feet of water.
Dax Hansen - 0:28:45
Per year to grow it OK to grow to grow that about 3 acre feet as compared to. Alfalfa and cotton, which is more like 8 acre feet, OK. And so like there is a very significant savings of of just that one crop, right? If you grow it, if you farm that regeneratively where you're, you're keeping the ground covered, increasing the water retention, right, the moisture pinch, you're building all the biodiversity and it's not getting dried out, then you can water less frequently. And still keep it alive you build those systems right. So you're able to get to a point where the water even come the use comes down so the the so the reality is we can save you know more than half the water that's used in the West with different crops by crop shifting and I'm and and I'm not saying anything bad.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:29:47
About. Say that again, Dax. Say that again. Say that again. Don't. It's hard enough for people.
Dax Hansen - 0:29:53
OK, so if we if we just change. The crop selection, the crop mix that what we grow in the West from thirsty crops like alfalfa and cotton, two small grains, we can save about half the water or more. And so I mean if you read even just you know this week in the news about the Colorado River crisis, right like that that that we have overdrawn the Colorado River where it it's essentially failed, it's failing, right, where we may not even be able to produce hydroelectricity, let alone think about all the species that we're killing, you know, in in the river and everything else, right. But the mandate has been given by the federal government to cut 2 to 4,000,000 at least two to four million acre feet of water usage. Of the Colorado River. Wow. And and the states had until January 31st.
Dax Hansen - 0:30:40
The 7th state to come up with a solution and they they didn't, they didn't come up with one. OK, so the.
Kyle Krull - 0:30:52
Federal California was the only holdout the.
Dax Hansen - 0:30:54
California was a.
Kyle Krull - 0:30:55
Holdout, Reed. Yeah.
Dax Hansen - 0:30:57
California gets a lot of the water.
Kyle Krull - 0:31:01
Kind of for for those who may not know what that means, an acre foot is essentially 1 foot of water on one acre of land, which is equivalent to about the size of a football field. So when you're talking about 3 acre feet, that's three feet of water on the size of a football field per year. So just to put that into context for any of the.
Dax Hansen - 0:31:18
Listeners. Yeah. And I think an acre feed is somewhere around like 375,000 gallons, right? Yeah. And as I understand a, you know, an average household uses about half an acre foot a year. Right now, look, the there is no getting around the fact that in the West we use a lot of water, like 70 to 85% of the Colorado River goes to agriculture, right. And it's easy to sort of demonize farmers for using all the water. But you both have grown food and you know, yeah, but yeah, but yeah, but the reality is now we've been overdrawing. The water for decades and and now it's gotten to a crisis point where we the the amount that's allocated to states like Arizona has already been reduced and it's going to be reduced significantly further. And so you know what what I what I've heard is that that you know one of the answers to safely Colorado was the fallow about a million acre or a million acres of farmland, OK in the West and so I just you know giving the story that I told you about mine right OK we followed.
Dax Hansen - 0:31:58
My farm, all right, like, not intentionally, but it was followed. It looked like hell, it didn't produce anything. It's it's a modern day Dust Bowl. Well, you know, it's so if we can find a way to keep farmers on land, farmers who know their land, who love their land, just growing different crops, and we create markets for what they can grow with less water, everybody wins. And so, you know, but there, this whole concept of regenerative agriculture and crop shifting has been noticeably absent.
Dax Hansen - 0:32:28
From the conversation around saving the Colorado River for a very long time.
Kyle Krull - 0:33:02
Right. That's insane. I'm stressed. Literally stressed out. Just hearing about this. You know there's a great video on YouTube I found. I'll try to, I'll try to find it, put in the links, but it talks about the temperature difference on land when land is fallow versus has a cover crop. And you know to me, if you follow what did you say it was a million acres?
Anthony Corsaro - 0:33:19
Dax Hansen - 0:33:20
Kyle Krull - 0:33:21
That is going to dramatically increase the temperature in that area of land. It's going to reduce the water retention rate like you talked about before. So everything's gonna get hotter. It's going to create a a bigger what's right, like Rift in the small water cycle, so more water is going to end up in the oceans rather than staying on land keeping us cool. It is just such a short sighted solution. It blows my mind that that's what the legislative bodies are talking about. It's absolutely insane.
Dax Hansen - 0:33:45
Well, and and I think it's actually just out of, you know, ignorance, right, like that. And the same reason you guys have a podcast is that consumers don't realize the crisis, the American food. This one actually global food system is facing right now like in the middle of right. People don't know, OK like if I buy this product versus that product that they couldn't make a massive difference right. Same thing. Legislators, farmers, I mean all of them are just sort of working with what they've got they kind of kicking away. But you know we've actually because of what we've been doing in the press, we've been receiving we've we've made some, some converts to this and people are like we're, we're being you know referenced in academic articles and other things.
Dax Hansen - 0:33:59
Is we're one of the bright lights, it's small, I mean Oatman Flats Ranch is only 665 acres but if we can demonstrate and we have that, it works. You can save water, you can grow crops, you can have high value products and you can vertically integrated in a successful CPG brand. That's the model that's being more farmer owned food brands into the equation. You know every, every, you know Waffle House and you know IHOP should just you know in every beer. Brewer should just be using the grains that we grow. Like we should just be juicing that up rather than, you know, trying to spend billions of dollars to get these desalinization plant built down in Mexico. Let's just like grow something, let's just grow something we we in and eat it and and help those farmers, you know, survive.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:35:19
It's amazing what can, what we could do with those simple strategies. So not to shortchange the farming side, the agronomy side, super important and that's where it all starts. But let's talk about all those other things you you mentioned. Vertically integrated CPG brand was valuated products that actually make money, blah, blah, blah. So take us from the farming side to actually doing that. I know you had a little celebrity help on the product development side. You know, why did you, why did you make the products that you make, you know how has that been, you know how has it been going to market? Let's just talk more CPG from from the ground, Amy.
Kyle Krull - 0:35:52
Well, and one of the questions that is why did you decide to create your own brand instead of selling to a different brand? Good.
Dax Hansen - 0:35:58
Question. Well, let me answer that one first, because really informs. The the answer which is. I I could not afford to to farm the way I wanna, farm to my conscience and sell the product at the commodity rates that are available to me. Nowhere near it, right? And so I just realized.
Kyle Krull - 0:36:20
That can you expand a little bit, like what's the discrepancy, like what do you need to sell for and what would you sell for if it was like commodity market?
Dax Hansen - 0:36:26
OK. So I'll I'll say that right now you know like the, I don't know exact price. If you look up the, the price of wheat right now like organic wheat, it's probably in the range of like $0.25 to $0.30 a pound, OK, if you factor in the electricity cost to pump the water fuel costs. You know, to plant, you know, all the labor costs and everything else. The reality is you that even a very well run farm that already had all the resources needs to make about $0.75 a pound. Wow. To even just break even, to even to make any money, right? Because if you think about it, there's people who are dry land farming in other parts of the country, low cost, high yields. We're importing grain from various places around the world, right like that.
Dax Hansen - 0:36:48
When you start viewing grain like wheat as a commodity, it's all the same, hmm. Then the cost comes down, right. And so, but what we found is that you know to just first of all rebuild a farm and we've been, we're in the fifth year of now rebuilding, rebuilding and then reinvesting in the farm, making it healthy, our actual COGS, our COGS to just grow it. And we're being very, very frugal but but but very deliberate about our practice like we're not cutting any corners like we're doing any things. The very best way we know how to do it the way they should be done. You know, our our COGS are more like $1.25 a pound to grow it. OK, so.
Kyle Krull - 0:37:59
Wow, 4X plus.
Dax Hansen - 0:38:01
Four and 5X, right?
Anthony Corsaro - 0:38:03
Dax Hansen - 0:38:04
And and so.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:38:07
And by the way, that's. The cause and the market is 20.
Dax Hansen - 0:38:12
That's cogs. And by the way I will just tell you that that when you if you just look up like white snore wheat or these like heritage varieties or grown organic and not not to mention growing regeneratively, you're gonna find that it's in that range, right. But like and somebody will buy it in smaller quantities at that price. But because we have this real cost pressure on commodities, right like a lot of food brands and and bakers and everybody else are are just using the cheap thing. Because consumers have gotten used to buying their bagel fill in the price right. Like yeah but there's anyway so, so the so and by the way I if I had if I could have grown something other than wheat. I would have like a higher value higher. Hmm. You know, like, yeah, higher value crop. But it turns out, I mean by the way we are growing some of those things like agave and prickly pear and these heritage crops, right. Like they were experimenting with those two. But the reality is with where we were, the context of where we were, the thing that we could grow responsibly, you know, and it's like future proof is going to be great. Like it can be weed, heritage weed, it could be barley, right. And so you ask yourself, what do you do with those?
Dax Hansen - 0:38:53
Right. OK. So we we're making vanilla extract or general organic certified extract. We played around with making whiskey so that we can make non-alcoholic whiskey, right. You ask like what are, what are the high value items that you can make with wheat or barley? Well, you know and so you can make beer and you can make pancakes and you can make whatever. So it was just like first of all if we just take the principle that we're starting from the ground up like let's let's start, everything starts with the farm, right? Like what can you farm in our region? OK, now we get.
Dax Hansen - 0:39:23
Eat regeneratively heirloom wheat. Now what can you do with that? And. And so I thought well, you know. I love to eat bread and pancakes and tortillas. OK we'll take a little detour in a minute about health but but I would say that that like those though I eat those things. And by the way you guys eat those things. I mean some people sworn off gluten and and that's honestly a whole another topic, but like if people go back to like the real steel stuff just to clean supply chain they're they can handle gluten unless they've.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:40:24
Got celiac disease, right? I'm one of those people that you just described perfectly. If it's good, it doesn't cause a problem. If it's. You.
Dax Hansen - 0:40:30
Go to Europe and they say, ohh, I can eat the weed. I can eat the bread there. Why can't the United States? Well, glyphosates, maybe part of the problem. You bleeped out your gut. OK, anyway, longer story. But anyway, so my point is like, we've got wheat. What do with wheat? Well, I have a secret weapon. I have multiple secrets. One of my secret weapons is a neighbor up here as I live on Bainbridge Island and I've got this farm down in Arizona. Used to split my time between two. My neighbor on Bainbridge Island is Jerilyn Brusseau, and she is a farm to table pioneer in the Pacific Northwest, and she's the Co creator of Cinnabon and lots of other products.
Kyle Krull - 0:41:01
OK. Oh, wow.
Dax Hansen - 0:41:03
And she was on the the board of Karen Spring Mills. And I go to her house, we talk about how to get farming going on Bainbridge Island. And she was served me this sourdough bread made with grain. That carrot spring mills milled up it. It blew my mind how good it was, right. Sourdough Bread was a little bit of jam and butter and some tea, OK, like you you can live on that and geralyn does. And but anyway, so I just said, OK, Gerald. And I've got this wheat and and I and I know that sourdough bread is good for you and good for us. And I wonder. Let's make a sourdough bread for the masses. Let's make a pancake for the masses. Let's go figure it out. And so we, we actually started with wet ingredients. And we like literally, if you're going to be a guest at Daryl's House, we made these products that way. And then we reversed engineered it to how to get to the dry stuff. It cost us an arm and leg to figure this out. OK, nobody does bark at development, product development this way, but we were going for the gold standard. Like what? What would you get in Jeralyn's kitchen? OK. And anyway, so it turns out that I also made.
Dax Hansen - 0:41:31
Uh this pancake we have this white snow wheat but then we are you guys familiar with the with the Mesquite tree that has Mesquite pods, Mesquite beans on them legumes that grow in the West most people you, but usually it's BBQ with with Mesquite wood right but.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:42:15
There's actually a.
Dax Hansen - 0:42:16
Crop there's a fruit it's a Mesquite bean and it was a super fruit Native Americans aided. They harvested and and it low glycemic index you know amazing super interesting flavor too. We can grow that it grows naturally. It's it's it's a, it's a. Very regenerative crop, if you will. In the southwest, most people don't harvest it, but we do. And so I took this this Mesquite flower that we milled and the white Sonora and we stuck it together. We made this pancake. It's this this red. And I invited, I guess I didn't know what I didn't know, but I invited Chris Bianco, who is the. He won 2022 James Beard Award, you know, best restaurant tour for, you know, this year like famous, famous Pizza chef. I invited him down to Oman Flats Ranch and I cooked.
Dax Hansen - 0:42:31
This pancake just kind of get his sense like is is like Gerald and I thought there was something to it and he's like. That's good. That's really good. You know to with a little bit of encouragement from Chris, we launched this this Mesquite pancake mix and we have a buttermilk one and we had the different cinnamon Raisin breads and other things too. But anyway, so, so the the point was just let's make something that we want to eat that uses our grain and also that starts to function as food as medicine, OK because the other piece I haven't really mentioned to you, I didn't tell you this dancing when we chat the other day is that I have.
Dax Hansen - 0:43:09
Type 2 diabetes. OK, I have a one in a million genetic condition called lipodystrophy that even despite my best efforts caused me to get type 2 diabetes. And, and as a busy lawyer traveling all over the world with lots of stress doing deals, I just could not keep my blood sugars in any normal sort of range. I just needed a new foundation for my health, right. And that's OK well, if I have a little bit of bread, I have a pancake or waffle. I have, you know, a tortilla. I'm not going to get bored if all sorts of things in those, you know?
Dax Hansen - 0:43:37
Have have a variety. And so I I made that and it turns out that at least that sourdough bread mix that we created is the first product like that on the market it that literally anybody can make sourdough bread. With just by just dumping it in into a bowl and putting water and then you gotta few few things but it's sourdough bread for the masses and you know the whole grain product like this with some other products it can actually lead to some really good health. So that's why I that that's why I made those products and and launched them under my own brand. But the whole but the bigger vision Kyle and Anthony is that we need to have a vehicle.
Dax Hansen - 0:44:22
That could. Be a funnel for the millions of pounds of wheat that we needed growers in Arizona to grow that we could get out to the masses, right. And and so we got a retail strategy. We have a food service strategy. We have flour, just good straight up flour as well that people could buy, not just the mixes around a little bit, but we we were featured in Chris Bianco's episode on the Netflix chefs table.
Dax Hansen - 0:44:55
Kyle Krull - 0:45:24
Did you know like what season and or episode number that?
Dax Hansen - 0:45:27
Is it's the first so it's 2022 season chefs table Pizza first episode there's only six episodes but it's all about Chris' story which is amazing but but Chris was so generous and invited me to be on his his special but like we're we're filming like you know me and my field and with Chris and we milled my flour and and so people just like DM me us saying where to buy your flower because we see your breads. Like we want to play with it lots of different other ways. So we've actually partnered up with Barton Springs Mill, another partner mill in Austin, TX. I think Kyle you have some experience there in Austin and and he's milling our our flour or wheat just in time regenerative organic certified in retail quantities that will be hitting the market soon.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:46:14
Kyle Krull - 0:46:15
Anthony Corsaro - 0:46:17
Yeah, I mean, Joni, Joni, at Snacktivist, talked about this dilemma of there are farmers out there that want to grow different varieties, but they don't have a market, right and they don't have the infrastructure. We have the processing infrastructure. So you talk a lot of people in the regen ag game on the grain side, you know, those are the two big issues. It's really not that farmers don't want to grow these things or that even the transition on farm, which is a whole nother beast can't be done. It's that we don't have proper infrastructure to get them to a market and the market doesn't.
Dax Hansen - 0:46:42
Exist. Well, and on that to that point we don't have. An organic mill, a toll mill in Arizona? OK.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:46:49
Like in the whole.
Dax Hansen - 0:46:50
State, I'll state.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:46:52
Oh my God.
Kyle Krull - 0:46:53
OK, and isn't Arizona the second largest agricultural state in United States behind California?
Dax Hansen - 0:46:57
Yeah. So we we grow like, we grow all this grain. Like Ohh, we send it to Italy and they make it into pasta and they send it back to us and we eat the pasta. OK, we just don't. We grow stuff, but we don't eat it. We don't process it. Right. And so like like why? I mean, here I'm, I'm very committed to regenerative agriculture. Why am I creating? Carbon footprint that that goes either hauls grain up to Washington state or over to Austin, TX to be milled. Well it's because there isn't an alternative yet until we build it. And and my personal belief is that you have to take these these regenerative communities that are maybe one state away and you you sort of leverage them collectively until you can build the markets big enough to just do it in your own backyard. And so we will have our own mill, but we just need to, we just need to get people eating millions of pounds of grain. To support it.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:47:49
Yeah. Yeah, I can't wait to make some pancakes. I'm going to put a selfie in the newsletter for this. When this episode comes out of me, it's a pancakes.
Dax Hansen - 0:47:57
Awesome. Super excited.
Kyle Krull - 0:47:59
About that. I'm also starting to make my first batch of sourdough bread ever. Never done that before, but I will absolutely give this a shot. It sounds like it's easy enough for me to do because I'm not a kitchen Wiz.
Dax Hansen - 0:48:10
Just a quick comment on that, Kyle. You know, so I knew this bread was healthy for me, and so I made my own sourdough starter. And I tried to keep it alive, but I'm traveling around, I'm busy and whatever, I just kept killing it. It's like having a pet, you know, like a plant that you can't water, you know, and it dies. And so I went to jail and said it during we got to come up with sourdough bread. That's some like a busy lawyer or, I mean, actually what I said is you got to make something so that somebody, some guy who's going to get his haircut in 15 minutes, can whip it up. Right. And so I really had her tie one arm and like 3 fingers behind her back to come up with a product that worked. And she pulled the rabbit out of the hat. It was amazing. So Kyle, even you can make a sourdough bread.
Kyle Krull - 0:48:53
Incredible. And I also need a haircut. So I mean that's like. So, yeah, I could be that guy. So you mentioned that there's going to be some new flower coming to market and people could just buy or flower. What else is in the future for Oman farms? Is it new verticals, is it expense to the farm, is it more regenerative practices? It's walk us through with that looks?
Dax Hansen - 0:49:13
Like, hmm, yeah. So I'm really excited about the reintegration of ranching and farming, putting them together, right.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:49:23
Dax Hansen - 0:49:24
Anthony Corsaro - 0:49:25
Our plans, baby.
Dax Hansen - 0:49:29
And I think it was Dan Barber. I bought maybe some show on him and he's like, well, you know, I bought cows and chickens. Like, I didn't, I didn't set out to buy all these things. Like that regenerative agriculture sort of required that you had all of these things to really be legit, right? And that's what we found is that, OK, we have all of this invasive species back to the Bermuda grass, right. Like, OK, like either we can find a way to like, you know, plant, we try to plant like cover crops to shade out the grass or whatever, or we could just let it do its thing and we could feed. Sheep with it.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:49:59
Dax Hansen - 0:50:00
Upcycle it. And so we partnered with some amazing ranchers, hartquist hollow farms that that are trying to build their herd and we brought them out last year and started working on. Mob grazing in our fields with their sheep and lambs, right? So, so their lambs with regenerative organic feed. And and we have a whole bunch of lambs out there right now with lambing season and you know we're growing that herd and so you know it's that's their product. But way back to sort of like we're collaborating it's OK. Well there's a certain amount of money that I can make off of pancakes and you know starter bread mixes and and there's a certain amount of money that that you know the far the ranchers could make off of lamb, right. And so, so we have to figure out well how do you divide that up fairly later, but let's first of all.
Dax Hansen - 0:50:25
Aggregate it because my farm, we can grow wheat and we can support a pretty big herd of sheep. And the question is like what else can we have a garden, you know, but right now, you know, I'm, I'm really excited about the livestock integration with the lamb. And then we have this whole permanent crop experiment going on with with different varieties of heritage agave like whole Kama gave and prickly pear in Mesquite and Palo Verity and Spanish heritage crops like white. Pomegranate. And so all of these like drought resistant native crops that can survive on with almost no water where you know, you'll probably drive into my farm. And by the way you guys are all welcome to come at some point in the future. You'll see wheat on 1/2 and you're going to see like a a permaculture with native desert crops and we'll be producing you know, a, you know this unique agave syrup or mescal or whatever it is that's going to come out of that. So to me it's.
Dax Hansen - 0:51:24
We're we're like bamboo we're flexible right like we're we're gonna make whatever whatever people want you know at this point but it but it's gonna it's gonna be you know like if if something doesn't sell just try something else like it's not like I'm committed to pancakes it's but that everybody eats pancakes so like if we just ate if people just ate pancakes and they just ate Altman farms pancakes we could change a region.
Kyle Krull - 0:52:19
Yeah, totally. Right. If I can take your answer and reframe it to me, yeah, what's happening with the future is that you're. You're back to focusing on the ground and whatever comes from that experimentation, you'll work on developing the new market with new products to integrate into those marketplaces. And again, I'm not at all surprised based on the conversation we've had today that for you, it really starts on the ground. What grows in this region? How can I do it in a way that's going to benefit the soil or I'm not going to be utilizing too much water and then work to, you know, develop that into different products and packaging types for, you know, people like us, which is incredible.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:52:55
Yeah. But my question is, you know, what has it been like to take that to market in a retail and food service capacity? Because to me you have just like every other brand it seems like we talked to it's a better product, it's more nutrient dense. That's a way better story. It could be marketed the hell out of especially in that region where you could really tie back to, hey, everyone knows about this water crisis and these water issues. You know, if you buy this, we, we literally, you're literally supporting it by X, right. What's that process been like and how do, how do you grow it right, like going back to like.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:52:56
Commercial strategy, CPG side of things.
Dax Hansen - 0:53:28
It's been painful and expensive. I mean, there's no no way around it.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:53:34
Everyone says that.
Dax Hansen - 0:53:35
Yeah, yeah. I mean the, the. I I would say that the the current food system. Is stacked against CPG brands like ours, OK and and and and and I don't know that it's malicious. It's just that like it's designed. I mean, I think our food system is designed for war and famine, OK and for commodity traders. All right. Well, if we prioritize other things like rebuilding health and climate, environment and like finding A cause we're going to have to retool it, right. And so it it shouldn't come as no surprise that.
Dax Hansen - 0:53:44
It's really painful for us. I'll call all of us The Pioneers to break into that, right. Like that we get a little toe hold and we're not making nearly as much money as we need to to pay the costs and whatever. But as soon as we get a little bit of traction, I mean the the product sells itself like that. We have loyal fans and followers, right? Like if if we can be there. That's why I'm so grateful to you guys. Put us on your your your podcast, your platform when, when when people find us. The reason is clear why they should eat us, eat our.
Dax Hansen - 0:54:14
Product, right. And but anyway, so for us, for me it was about developing a brand that had integrity, building a brand that will be a large brand like I, I'm, I am. I'm convinced that we got to bust out of this farmers market mentality. You know, like the hippies are already gonna find us, right? But.
Dax Hansen - 0:54:56
Yeah, but, you know, we gotta scale this thing, right. And if I, because I'm not just trying to like, you know, only like feed my local neighborhood. I'm trying to, you know, encourage saving of a region with, you know, hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland. And so we got to scale this puppy. So for me it was that we had to have a brand that had integrity, things that tasted amazing that made people feel good and then had a reason to cause behind them. And for that I think you need a.
Dax Hansen - 0:55:05
Consumer brand. But then with that consumer brand and some champions, we could, you know, get into food service. We can get in the whole, like we could do all sorts of other things. But for us, it was first of all, have a brand. We tried, by the way, like a whole national distribution strategy because I thought, OK, I got this great product. Let's go see who wants to buy it. I hired a broker. We spend a bunch of money on a national kind of buckshot strategy, and it didn't work very well. And so I said, well, let's focus on Arizona well, people or people.
Dax Hansen - 0:55:36
Get our story and from there we'll scale out. And so we found an amazing distributor named navigate that focuses on helping local Arizona brands. And they got us into fries, they got us into Whole Foods to try and some others. We have some champions, the Arizona Wilderness Brewery, which they were. They were the world's best new brewery at one time and they put us on their menu and we've got some other James Beard award-winning chefs are making stuff with us chompies. And so my view is that actually.
Dax Hansen - 0:56:06
Like we'll have a wholesale strategy, we'll have DTC on our website with Shopify, we'll have Amazon. But I actually think that it's gonna take something entirely different like this, these strategic relationships, you know, like OK, you get on Netflix, OK, that that pretty nice, you know compliment, right. You get Arizona, which we're saving wilderness, right. You get you, you, you have to start really a movement and and that's one of the reasons we haven't talked much about like the Regional organic alliance, but I feel like there's something really cool. Happening with these regenerative brands where we've got some critical mass where we get people's attention right and and from there like we'll sell. So right now we don't sell enough, not nearly enough to support the farm. But but on the per unit economics which is what really matters, if we sell a product on our website or anywhere we sell it, we earn enough money to cover our COGS and for the farm and a modest margin.
Dax Hansen - 0:57:06
For the food company, and so I'm convinced that the model works, we just have to scale it up.
Anthony Corsaro - 0:57:42
Yeah, yeah. Well you're you're perfectly taking us into our, our, our closing question and I think we will, we will see the state of the the movement of regen CPG at Expo West in March which I know all three of us will be there. So that'll be fun. But the the question we asked everybody to ask and you were taking us right there is how do we get regen brands that 50% market share by 2050, how do we do that.
Dax Hansen - 0:58:07
I'm convinced that we need to have some champions, some champions you have. You have a scale, right, and and it may not be the existing champions, right? Like the people, like the people who own grocery stores or whatever. We may have to just go build our new one, build our own right. But we. I don't think we can do it within the existing food system. I mean, I I don't think it works. So I mean I think the other thing that that could maybe be accelerated is that. You know we, we, we have these Gen. Z folks who really care about their health and and and they care about things like transparency where if we are able to tell the story better and it's a compelling story. I think that we can capture the hearts and minds of a very powerful demographic. But right now we we probably have to cut through and help people understand what regenerative means and you know and and so we got to kind of get the word out. I love to Kiss The Ground Guys, I love the Regenerate America thing. I mean, we just need more folks like that. I think that the Kiss The Ground documentary on Netflix helped immensely.
Kyle Krull - 0:59:20
Right, huge gateway.
Dax Hansen - 0:59:22
So you know I I I guess what I'd say is that like the the current products are hurting the environment and consumers health enough that almost everybody's gonna have an epiphany where they realize I gotta change something and and they're going to just go read a book like you know the one from Bob Quinn grain by grain or they going to read what your food ate which came out yet you know last year and they realize ohh gosh like most of the stuff in this grocery store is killing me and so. Like like where, where can I find something good these days? I eat my own grain products and I I drink Alexander family farms dairy.
Anthony Corsaro - 1:00:00
Yeah, all the time.
Dax Hansen - 1:00:02
I love the origin milk guys. Ohh there you go. You were in there there you know and so like I'm slowly rebuilding my you know health through these regenerative products, the CPG's and you know I think once if when I find that health I can share with my entire network. Just imagine the, the, the. Network effect of of good health and good products can scale pretty rapidly. So I have faith and hope in humanity and and that like that that we've got some products that are gonna get people attention because the difference is so stark. Hmm.
Kyle Krull - 1:00:40
It's so true and I mean the one of the things that resonates with me is like you kind of going category by category for your own fridge in your own pantry like how do I get this regenerative, you know milk or grain or nut butter etcetera. And you mentioned before as The Pioneers take on the upfront cost that can get cheaper overtime and where I feel like we are right now with regenerative agriculture sort of like Tesla in 2005, six, seven, right, started with the Rooster super expensive, very small market I think. Maybe like 2000 of them. And then as more people adopted and they started generating you know, different models of lower entry points like more people started to buy Teslas and now it's the number one selling car in America. You know, whether you, however you feel like you must is irrelevant. That model works and I think we can adopt A very similar strategy for regenerative, organic and just regenerative products in the country and it will work. So I I totally agree with everything you're.
Dax Hansen - 1:01:34
Saying well and like think about like Amazon.com my my firm law firm incorporated. Amazon and took them public, right? Like just remember the early days of Amazon like feel like like what is this this bookstore? And they were bleeding money reading about how the Bezos was just crazy. And now look at where they are. They're only Whole Foods, right? If if you know, you may find it interesting that as a lawyer, as a problem solver working on innovations of new technology innovations, most of what I've worked on over my career has been three to five years ahead of mass adoption. Right. And so I'm actually not really surprised that like.
Dax Hansen - 1:01:39
That I'm. I'm. I'm in my head in my fifth year that like we're still like feel like hey like we're not quite there yet but you know things like OK well you know fintech mobile payments took off. You know crypto took off like like then it was like well like like a real movement and and my sense is that regenerative agriculture is exactly the same right. It's just that it's it's early and some people who've been taking all the you know the pain but like you know there's there's actually you know something to be said for being one of the early founders. Of a movement you know and that people will you know still come back to you like there's gotta be some brand loyalty associated with that so you know it's just an investment and and to me the only question is whether I can just hang on my feet by my fingernails long enough and my my my peer companies can hold on by their fingernails long enough for that revolution to happen. You know and I think it can but but you know we we need champions. I mean it it's a pretty it's a pretty serious problem that we're we're I mean it it's it's the biggest.
Dax Hansen - 1:02:41
Problem I've encountered in my career, and that's why I spent time in food and CPG, is because the problems we have to solve there are bigger than the problems that I solve in the normal legal community.
Kyle Krull - 1:03:23
Wow. It's really interesting to hear that perspective. I've felt that way, but I've only worked in food. So to you, to have the experience in the perspective you have across a myriad of industries, I would imagine to hear that coming from you is just like, it's crazy and in an awesome way. And in terms of the amount of impact we can make, but also in a terrifying way and the amount of challenges we're going to have to overcome.
Dax Hansen - 1:03:44
Well back to I think you made this point Anthony you know or maybe you Kyle that like I'm in it for the long game and and this goes back to the fact that. I'm I'm all about preserving the the the the ground it Oatman Flats Ranch right like that. My family's not gonna leave that stewardship unfulfilled and so to me this is a multi generational thing and so I've got as long as I've got breath to get there right on the food side like this if you're just in it for short term profits you're not going to help the movement if you're in it for you know long term impact you know like. Those people are gonna make a difference. Hmm.
Anthony Corsaro - 1:04:26
Man beautifully said, a great way to wrap us up and I would say you know every everyone that we've interviewed I really feel like it's coming from that intention which I really appreciate and we're we're definitely trying to be one of those champions to to move this thing forward and you know going even back to what you said on the consumer side they have all these wants and needs that fit perfectly with regen ag. It just hasn't coalesced into this merger yet of them identifying that it does all those things for them. So I I think it's just a matter of time and we just got to survive until. Until that happens at scale.
Dax Hansen - 1:04:58
Well and and huge thanks to both of you for investing your time and your passion into this podcast to give the regem brands that visibility because you guys are are a huge part of this story and we couldn't do it without platforms like you.
Kyle Krull - 1:05:17
We appreciate, appreciate that Dax you know for us it's really like we have the opportunity to showcase the amazing work that others are doing and because of you know the the industries that we're in, the experience that we have. If we can just speed that platform to get the word out that's our goal. You know and and like you once you get bit by the region but at least for myself like this is what I'm going to work on probably till the day I die is getting more people to. Buy and support these products. That's that's all I want to do.
Anthony Corsaro - 1:05:42
Thank you for that. Cool. Thanks so much for being with us, Dax. This is amazing, man. Thank you.
Dax Hansen - 1:05:47
Thank you. I loved it.
Kyle Krull - 1:05:49
Anthony Corsaro - 1:05:55
For show notes and more information on our guests and what we discussed on the show, check out our website regen-brands.com that is regen-brands.com. You can also check out our YouTube channel, ReGen Brands Podcast for all of our episodes with both video and audio. The best way to support our work is to give us a 5-star rating on your favorite podcast platform and subscribe to future episodes. Thanks so much for tuning into the ReGen Brands Podcast brought to you by the Regen Coalition and Outlaw Ventures. We hope you learned something new in this episode and it empowers you to use your voice, your time, and your dollars to help us build a better and more regenerative food system. Love you guys.