On this episode, we have Holly & John Arbuckle who are the Co-Founders of Singing Pastures.
Singing Pastures is supporting regenerative agriculture with their regenerative, pastured-pork snack sticks and soon-to-launch salami products.
In this episode, Holly & John share why creating a CPG brand was their path toward an adequate farming livelihood, we learn all about their unique pork program which is “wildly regenerative”, and we discuss what the regenerative community has to do in the future to be successful.
🐖 Creating the first nationally available pastured pork stick
💫 The importance of courage, commitment, and creativity
😂 How they cold-called their way into Thrive Market
🙏 Bootstrapping and “betting the farm” on the brand
🤤 Their new Salami SKUs coming soon
🐷 Rotationally grazing pigs + using humane nose rings
♻️ Upcycling local food waste to help feed their pigs
🤔 Why they lead with “pasture-raised” vs “regenerative”
👉 The problems with regenerative being tied to organic
😡 Why corporate capture of government prevents scaling regen
ReGen Brands Recap #39 - Wildly Regenerative Pork - (RECAP LINK)
Disclaimer: This transcript was generated with AI and is not 100% accurate.
Kyle Krull - 00:00:15
Welcome to The ReGen Brands Podcast. This is a place for consumers, operators, and investors to learn about the consumer brands, supporting regenerative agriculture and how they're changing the world. This is your host, Kyle, joined by my co-host, AC, who's going to take us into the episode.
Anthony Corsaro - 00:00:33
On this episode, we have Holly and John Arbuckle who are the co-founders of Singing Pastures. Singing Pastures is supporting regenerative agriculture with their regenerative pastured pork snack sticks and soon to launch salami products. In this episode, Holly and John share by creating AC PG brand was their path toward an adequate farming livelihood. We learn all about their unique pork program which is wildly regenerative and we discuss what the regenerative community has to do in the future to be successful. Holly and John lit up the podcast studio and they are such a fun and complimentary couple and business partners. Their level of both vulnerability and insights on the show was super inspiring and it was so fun to have them on today. Let's dive in what's up everybody. Welcome back to another episode of The ReGen Brands Podcast. Super excited today to have Holly and John from Singing Pastures with us. So welcome y'all.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:01:30
Thank you. We're really happy to be here.
Kyle Krull - 00:01:32
We're super excited. You know, I I'm lucky enough to have connected with the two of you a handful of times in the past uh from a passionate regenerative pers perspective. You two are like way up there on my list of people who really, you know, give a shit about this and are doing the right thing. So we're excited to tell your story. Um I also think this is the first time we've done pasture pork on the podcast ac Is that right?
Anthony Corsaro - 00:01:55
Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I think so.
Kyle Krull - 00:01:57
Awesome. Always great to introduce a new category. So super excited about that. Um So for those who are unfamiliar with Singing Pastures, give us a quick lay of the land. What do you produce? And where can people find your product today?
Holly Arbuckle - 00:02:08
So we are AC PG brand and we're doing our, our hero product line is Rome Sticks, which is a pasture raised pork snack stick. So kind of following the whole grass fed beef trend. There are a lot of snack products in grass fed beef, not so much in pasture raised pork. So we're the first and to the best of my mind, to the best of my knowledge, we're the only nationally available pasture raised uh pork snack stick. And then we're also launching a line of salami right now. So we've got a couple of flavors of that. That are coming out in the next couple of months and you can find us on, we've done third party e-commerce. So we're on misfits and Perfect foods and thrive are our biggest channels and of course, our website Amazon and then a handful of independent grocery stores, but we're aiming to get into select regional grocery, brick and mortar stores uh, in the next three months.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:02:45
So, more on that later.
Kyle Krull - 00:03:03
Yeah, I love it. I know AC is a big fan of the meat sticks. Yes. Yes.
Anthony Corsaro - 00:03:08
This is by far the best regenerative meat snack on the market. So no offense to any other regenerative meat snacks. I've had them all. This is by far the best this product is phenomenal. Amazing. Fantastic. All the other words that we can use to describe it. Um So I can't, I can't speak highly enough to the product quality and the flavor and everything. Y'all are just knocking it out of the park. But take us back to, to how this started, right? Um I believe it started with really selling regular passion pork, not in AC BG product and then kind of shifting to CPG. So um I'm sure John, maybe you'll take this one but just give us the origin story of how this all came to
John Arbuckle - 00:03:43
be. Yeah. Well, I mean uh the whole story story starts out kind of a long time ago in that I grew up raising pigs and beef cattle and row crops with my father and my grandfather back in the Midwest. And we raised, I, I spent a lot of my youth raising pigs, you know, and this was a very conventional farm. It was a lovely place to grow up. It was also very conventional. And when I decided when Holly and I got married and we decided that we were taking the reins in a different location, we were gonna take the reins. We really, really wanted to stick with meat. You know, we love livestock.
John Arbuckle - 00:04:06
You know, they say that all teachers have a grade, you know, that really is their sweet spot. You know, and for us it's always been livestock. You know, we've always wanted to be livestock producers. So I guess that's how we started. We started out just, you know, selling a lot of our own pork, going to farmers markets, distributing to restaurants, taking to grocery stores and all that, doing our own distribution, starting out very humble, very small. And, uh, eventually, you know, we realized that as Holly said, I came back from one of those conferences and I saw that there was a, the, that the world was essentially swimming in grass fed beef sticks.
John Arbuckle - 00:04:46
There was just a lot of very crowded space and I don't get me wrong. I love, I love grass fed beef sticks. But, um, having a little bit of variety, especially if people are having these things on a daily basis, being able to mix it up and having a bacon snack stick, you know, to compliment that or go along with their turkey or their chicken, you know, meat snacks. Super important. So uh we saw an opening in the market. We realized that I, I had experience, you know, raising pigs and uh super, super, super wanted to go. This was before the word regenerative was really out.
John Arbuckle - 00:05:22
There was really part of my vocabulary, but we really got it. We just called it rotational grazing, you know, 15 years ago. And we really, really wanted to be watching pigs eat as much forage as we could and recognizing the effect that that had on the land. And then I don't mean to get ahead of myself, but little by little, we started sending samples out to uh meat science laboratories. And the originally the intention there was to measure our pork chops for tenderness, you know, moisture holding capacity, just all these kind of statistics that, you know, meat nerds like to get into. And uh and one of those tests, we did um a nutrient density test and we just were like blown away. We were like, oh my gosh, you know, our, our meat has so much nutrient density. Our omega three content is just climbing through the roof.
John Arbuckle - 00:06:19
So we pursued that over several more tests and really just started to see the relationship with pigs eating well managed uh grass and the nutrient density of the meat that they create. And then the multi-year process because farming is a very slow feedback loop. You know, when you go skiing, you know, you, you run down the mountain and you say, OK, II, I learned a couple of things on that run. You know, farming is like a run is like a year, right? You're like next spring time, I'm gonna do it this way. That's your next opportunity to reset your knowledge, you know. So we were just watching the ecosystem change. We were watching the farm become more drought resistant, more flood resistant.
John Arbuckle - 00:07:07
We were watching the wildlife come back and uh and that's what, after we had watched that happen for a while, then we heard the word regenerative and we were like, yep, that's what that is, that's what that looks like.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:07:35
So, in other words, uh selling uh CPG product is a fancy way to keep my husband farming because you can tell that he really, really likes farming. So this became a product, you know, to be able to help create a viable farm, which I think is a bigger topic that we can discuss later. But just for all the farming nerds out there, I will acknowledge that pasture raised pork doesn't mean they do eat grass. It doesn't mean they eat just grass, right? They're omnivores, they eat lots of different things. Our pigs, uh we have a supply of waste cheese that they eat. They also eat non GMO grain um and then vegetables when we can get them, you know, so it can be a variety of things.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:08:11
So just a, just a note there before somebody calls it or text in and says, oh, they can't eat just grass like we're well aware of that. Um So yeah, and it's not our farm. We're sourcing from at least what like 40 other farms. So, you know, we're really, we're the face of the brand, but we understand that we represent other independent American pasture based pork farmers.
Kyle Krull - 00:08:43
Gotcha. Super appreciate the back story there and like the recognition of, you know, the way the diet works and how much it may or may not be forage, that's super important. Um I kind of want to rewind back and, you know, you both seem really passionate about this livestock thing, you know, and I felt like the authenticity when you mentioned we wanted to raise animals. And I'm just curious, you know, where does that come from? What is it about raising animals that seems to really resonate with the two of you. Let's start.
John Arbuckle - 00:09:08
Um I don't like tractors and
Holly Arbuckle - 00:09:12
uh that kind of
John Arbuckle - 00:09:16
um my father was uh brilliant at mechanically fixing things and be and you know, like running a road crop operation, conventional farm, like there was a lot of machinery involved and there's a lot of maintenance on that machinery somehow that skill set, just like a rock skipping across the water just skipped over me, I cannot fix anything um mechanically. But somehow what I, what I ended up with is if we look at the ecosystem that we live in and we look at it as a giant living organism where all the species within that organism are organs of it that are gonna contribute to its health and happiness. Right? If we're imagining our ecosystem as one huge thing, one super organism and we are pieces of it, you know, then viewing the world that way and making decisions that contribute to the health of that macro organism are extremely uh exciting for me. And well, I cannot fix mechanical, you know, gasoline, metal paint, you know what I mean? All that stuff. I can't fix anything in that regard. I found that I have a real gift for healing uh biological mechanisms.
John Arbuckle - 00:10:25
You know, the biological mechanisms in an ecosystem that are gonna help the mineral cycle, the solar collection of the leaves, the water cycle, the wildlife, I can fix that. I can fix that really fast. Yeah. And I can't fix it with a tractor. I fix it with animals and electric fence.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:10:59
Yeah. And there's more we can say later about some of the improvements we've seen on our current farm because we bought this farm in 2018 and it was an overgrazed dairy farm. And, and since that time, you know, here we are five years later ish and we've just seen a tremendous change in the soil. You know, we're doing testing, we've seen grassland bird populations explode. We're doing some monitoring with partner called a. So, you know, we acknowledge that it's not us fixing it. But what you do is when you change the how and the strategy, strategy and the management then you give, you know, nature the opportunity to rebound. And I think that's super helpful because we can see all the gloom and doom stories out there about degrading ecosystems. And it's nice to know that in a short period of time, the reverse is also possible.
John Arbuckle - 00:11:50
Absolutely. And it doesn't take forever. You know, it doesn't take, you know, like when I was in, when I was studying agriculture in school, I had a teacher tell me that it took 1000 years to build an inch of soil and it's so false and in our ecosystem, it's so false. It's not a true statement. We can build it. I don't know how long it takes, but it's really fast, you know, and it's also this kind of like self defeating philosophy, you know, if it takes in 1000 years, like, you know, what's the end result of that? Culturally, you know, we all decide that we cannot positively affect change. We can only negatively affect change. And that is the wrong attitude. That is the wrong mindset. You know, farming is biological time accelerated, we can build soil. I mean, we can just keep stacking it up.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:12:42
Yeah. And Kyle, I want to get back to the first part of your question of what brought me into it because John is 1/9 generation farmer. I am not, but I'm a mom and I have a master's in acupuncture. So I was practicing acupuncture and working as a health coach when we were farming and we were selling locally to restaurants and farmers market that whole world, right? And he kept coming back from uh various livestock events where they were talking about the soil microbiome. So those of us that are a little bit older, remember that like the gut microbiome in humans, then it used to be a thing. And now it's a big thing, right? So as he was talking about this, it was part of my similar journey about like, well, that's the same thing we're finding out in human health. So that was my entry point in first with the nutrition because I think all the parents out there are very concerned about what they're giving their kids. And then on top of that, when we went on to study because we studied with Soil Health Academy.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:13:25
So Ray Arleta Gabe Brown Alan Williams, and then we went on to study with Savory Institute also is that the compounding effect is realizing the ecological services, all the benefits that come from doing farming different. And so as a parent or anybody that cares about the next generation, you start realizing like, wow, this is a win, win, win, win, win, right? And so that's something to get excited about. So I actually stopped doing acupuncture to come and work for the company full time. And I am the CEO and John is our founding farmer and primary farmer. I'm the assistant pig keepers some days when he needs help. Um and get really excited. It's uh it's, it's quite the job. Sometimes I only go when I'm asked anymore.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:14:10
I used to do more, but now it's like I wait for the request. But if we need help on a certain day, some pigs are out, we need to round them
John Arbuckle - 00:14:35
up, several pigs escaped the other day. And I was like, honey, you put your boot. We, we like to joke or we used to more, you know, back, you know, we used to joke more in the past. We used to say that the pigs are so free range. We can't always find them.
Anthony Corsaro - 00:14:54
Well, I, I wanna, I wanna make sure we talk about all the different ergonomic strategies and the really unique system that y'all have built. Because I think when, when folks think about pigs, they think of a destructive animal and what you've proven is that when managed correctly or differently, you know, they're the exact opposite. But I want Holly to expand on one thing on the commercial side before we go into the economy, which is why did you see the need from a viability standpoint to go into CPG because I think that that is a, that's a con contrarian take that we certainly have, right, the, the importance of CPG and this whole monetization and commercialization of virgin of agriculture that people kind of disagree with us on. So why, why go away from the kind of direct marketing, food service farmers market into CBG? What was the like expound on that for us?
Holly Arbuckle - 00:15:40
Yeah, I mean, I think the first thing I would say is that if you are in a place where you can buy direct from your farmers do that, that's the best thing to do. And similarly, if you are a farmer and you are in the correct zip code and you can make a living and support your family and have some money for college for the kids and retirement and you're making it. I would only say more power to you and do that, right. So I just have to acknowledge that we weren't making it financially when we were doing just local farmers markets. And it was in 2014, 2015 when I was talking to a friend of mine that worked for farmer to consumer legal defense fund, which is a great nonprofit out there like fighting for farmers. And she pointed out that it's like 82% of income on small farms in America comes from off farms. So he's working, she's working whatever combination of the family Right.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:16:23
And so I think that it's really important that we tell the truth in agriculture because a lot of times and that's not just like little niche farms, that's also conventional farmers. Like it is, it is a tough business and it's really important that we support these people because food isn't something that we need once in a while, like a DJ. Once a year, we need it every single day. And I think that too often we have like educational groups and you know, all these wonderful things that are trying to promote the method of, of a uh the message of agriculture, but we gotta take it one step further and figure out how are we gonna take care of these farmers? So Anthony's heard me talk about this before. I'm pretty passionate about it.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:17:12
But for us, it was a way we were living in Missouri at the time at our previous farm and it was a way to get our product to the populations of people that would enjoy them and, and want to buy them, right? So we were never gonna get the premium price point in the throughput where we were. So my analogy is you can make more money selling beer than you can selling hops, right? So we decided that we wanted to take that step and I think other farms should consider it's, it's a, it's a, you know, a windy path but should consider having the stakeholders in consumer packaged goods because otherwise we're always at the mercy, right of somebody else and the downward pressure on price point. So we really need a seat at the table. So our way is just to declare, you know, we're gonna do this and then it's been a long journey since then and we're, we're still on that journey. Does that answer your question?
Anthony Corsaro - 00:18:13
Yeah. Yeah, that was amazing. Thank you.
Kyle Krull - 00:18:15
There's a, there's a lot of ways we can go. And I, I tend to recently I keep going down the agronomic side. So I'm just trying to stay more on the brand side today. Um And I would imagine there's all sorts of challenges going from, you know, you know, farmers trying to start AC PG brand. So walk us through some of what that journey looked like in terms of like what you had to learn to get to the point where you're selling AC PG product, you know, on, you know, like thrive market and places like that, you know, what was it like? You know, finding the meat processing, deciding, you know, why meat sticks, which I think we, we kind of talked about before you wanted to add some biodiversity to the meat stick set, right? To stick on a regenerative theme. Uh Very nice. Just walk us through what that learning looked like, you know, from, from concept to we have a sellable product with a U PC that we can actually shift out,
John Arbuckle - 00:19:04
you know, I, um, I get kind of philosophical with very little provocation so I'm gonna, I'm gonna go off in that direction for a minute, you know. But, uh, the chief assets of any company is not their inventory, it's the people and specific to the people. It's what's in the people's hearts. Right. What's in the people's hearts? What do they want with their heart and soul, you know, and moving forward to what they want with their heart and soul in a high integrity way, you know, with discipline, you know, is extremely important. And I say that there's the three CS, you know, courage, commitment and creativity. And if everybody on the team can, can really put their best foot forward, always stepping forward in the spirit of striving for excellence, you know, with their courage, their creativity and their commitment, then really, you can do a lot, you know.
John Arbuckle - 00:19:48
So how does one demonstrate their courage, their creativity and their commitment? You know, because we're gonna be called on to, I rattle them off in this moment as buzzwords, you know what I mean? Like they're important, but they're just words right now and you really don't, uh, have the opportunity to demonstrate them until you have some pressure, you know, and when you demonstrate them under pressure, that's when you pass, right. So, um, I would say that as far as myself goes, um, I didn't have any business experience whatsoever. Um, I was uh of a very typical midwestern farm mindset, you know, that, um, the only valuable work is done with your hands. You know, if you're not uh outdoors working with your hands and you're not working, you know, and that is a falsehood which I had to dive into the plumbing of my own brain and rewire. You know, because I, now I tell people, I tell farmers the opposite.
John Arbuckle - 00:20:49
I say if you were to graph your time spent at your desk, optimizing systems and managing the expectations of your activities that your revenue is going to climb at a faster rate than your hours spent at your desk. You know, because this is a cultural thing about farmers. This is why farmers have a hard time is because they're bad business people. And uh we have to take responsibility to change that starting on the inside and then letting that flow out of us. So yeah.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:21:43
And yeah, and I think you're answering that question from like a farming angle because when we're talking, you get all of who we are, right? And so John is like my poet, farmer who sees the world one way and is very present at the moment all the time. And I am like a planner, like I always have a list and bullet points. So I'm gonna answer the question a different way. Um So for me, yeah, because you're looking at it like an ecosystem like, how do I approach this, you know, for, with my farm and for me, it was all about like, how do we actually make this work, you know, and get our name out there? So the really basic things are, we started with a Kickstarter. We didn't know what we were doing. Um, we had never run a Kickstarter before. So what do you do when you don't know what you're doing? You phone a friend.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:22:20
So we ended up talking to Joe and Serenity Carr who have been on your show before, um talking to them and they gave us some ideas. It turns out that a friend that I taught school with, his name is Dan Bastian. He and his wife started Angie's boom chicka pop popcorn. So I called Dan and I was like, hey, Dan, how do I do this? Right? So we just started making those calls and connections like, you know, if you come into our, our world, like, and you know, more than we do, we're not the founders that are and be like, I know what's best.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:22:53
We're the founders that are gonna be like, hey, can I have 15 minutes of your time? And like most of the time people are willing to share what they love and what they've done if you're respectful. So what I would say the self-made man is a myth for a lot of reasons like, but especially even if you look at it in terms of community, like we all get advice and guidance, you know, and I can say that that has been a theme and, you know, from uh your perspective, like how did we get to, you know, how do you get on thrive market then? How do you get on misfits? Some of it was just good timing and luck. We had a friend who knew uh gunner who had just started thrive market way back a long time ago. They were just starting out. They had his number.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:23:37
And so John got the number and I think we've mentioned that John likes to talk. So he called up this guy and he's like the best pork in the world and the best big pork snack sticks in the universe. And you would basically there. He was like, ok, like you can't do that today. Like don't try that at home. That won't work, right? But we have the timing was such that we could do that, right. And then I can't remember how we got misfits are perfect foods.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:24:06
John Arbuckle - 00:24:21
call everybody, you know, like, you know, like, I mean, you know, they're just calling everybody like I I for a long time had, you know, one of my, you know, you do chores, you know, you take care of the animals, but chores doesn't stop when the animal chores are done. Then you come in, you do something on quickbooks so you understand it better and then you cold call somebody you know, and that's when, you know, chores are over, right, when you've done those things. And, you know, so I'd either try to make a sale or I started my own little very simple CRM, you know, a data tracking thing for who I have called and who I was trying to sell stuff to. And I started another document that I just called Proverbs, you know, and every time I would meet anyone in the industry, I would try to get a pearl of wisdom, you know, I try to really be dedicated, relentless self-improvement, trying to learn that next. Capture that pearl of wisdom. And now this Proverbs document is like 10 pages long of like one liners that are just every one of them is a lifesaver
Holly Arbuckle - 00:25:21
and, and to add nuts and bolts to it. We also we got a value added producer Grant, which USA Grant that helped us to accelerate our stick sales. I'm working off of another value added producer Grant right now for our salami sales. So you know, the whole community thing like it does take money, you're not, you know. And for us, I think what's really maybe interesting and unusual is that we've bootstrapped this whole operation like from the very beginning of John going to, you know, a public library, you know, with our kids in tow while the the puzzle ladies who are doing their jigsaw puzzle, watch the kids while he started, you know, to right now, we are, we continue to just put everything into the business. So we work, we reinvest it in the business and that's how we've gotten to this point. You know, I think we were open and interested in doing, getting investment in the future. Um, but to this point, like, because we're all in, we're like literally betting the farm on it, you know, and we're, you know, this is what we do every, every day. So,
John Arbuckle - 00:26:29
yeah, what she said,
Anthony Corsaro - 00:26:36
well, I mean, yeah, I certainly commend you all for that. We've, we've talked about this before and we have to find a way to, I would say better support pioneers like yourselves, right? And make sure that there is some sort of reward for the trailblazing work that y'all have done and we have to find a better way to unlock the right capital at the right moments with the right variables with the right terms, et cetera from the right people with the right timelines, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Um because right now what we have is we have a space that is a lot of hype and not a lot of dollars and cents. And, you know, there's a lot of reasons for that. Uh, and it's kind of a slow burn to change that and no one probably feels that more than y'all do. But, um, you know, I know people like myself and many others are working on it. And hopefully we can kind of swing the tides there sometime
Holly Arbuckle - 00:27:23
soon. Yeah. And, and I don't think there's anything, there's a right way to do it to get capital and start with an idea and build it and there's a right way to do it. Just start doing it and not know what you're doing and figure it out as you go along. Right. So, our path has been slower than say, like Jones have done a fabulous job. You know, they've just, they went, you know, and our path has been a slower path. And, um, I think from our perspective, that's just what needed to happen, you know, because we were farming the whole time and I think that it, it's a kind of an issue in capital too, right, Anthony, you and I have talked about this, it's like patient capital, right? Uh Regenerative agriculture is going to take time and people are gonna have to be able to get open to the possibility of longer terms and lower returns, right. It's because, you know, some of the best solutions are common sense, low cost solutions.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:28:04
They're not, you know, at least for me, you know, the answer is not, oh, the next genetically engineered, you know, soil micro that is gonna be uh patentable and somebody's gonna make 100 right? Like that's not who we are. So, if we are moving slower, um, geological time also moves slower and, you know, we go through this thing where we'll grow and then we'll have one of these and then we'll grow and we'll have one of these and, and that's where we are right now is that we're, we have self funded to the next level where we're looking a uh another product line launch with the salami. We have a bourbon and bacon and a red wine and garlic. Um Our image is on the salami actually, very exciting. You can buy it just for that.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:28:55
Um And then we're also, and then we're doing and then we're also working on our, just a branding refresh with our packaging for Rome sticks as well. Nice. Yeah, nice.
Kyle Krull - 00:29:16
That segues nicely into a question I wanted to ask about and this is gonna be a two part question and there's a lot of people doing pasture chicken these days, you know, there's rotational grazing in cattle. Tell us a little bit more about how pigs impact the environment in a different way than those two more conventional meat channels. And then two like how are you telling that story as a brand? You know, a meat stick is a really slim piece of packaging like how are you getting that message out to your audience?
John Arbuckle - 00:29:46
Yeah. So how does the animal affect the land? And it takes a little bit of time to see it, you know, but um so pigs can be extremely destructive. Um If they root along, uh we use something called a humane nose ring that just clips in, you know, in between their septum and it, they won't root, you know, because soil disturbance in an unplanned way. Yes,
Anthony Corsaro - 00:30:14
John, for the, for the audience just explain what rooting is just so people that are super unfamiliar with that term.
John Arbuckle - 00:30:20
Yeah. So pigs, if you took uh uh a semi load of pigs and put them on a two acre pasture, they would essentially plow the entire thing with their nose and they would take it. I don't call it regen uh rotational grazing. I call it rotational ruining. You know, you could take a beautiful two acre grassland and turn it into a no man's land from the trenches of world war one, just pure mud, you know, and that's, that's what some pigs can, that's what pigs can do without the humane nose ring, the septum
Holly Arbuckle - 00:30:56
nose ring. And I wanna just mention this like people always like, but pigs like mud, they do when it's hot and our pigs have access to mud also. But they actually, they're like toddlers and, you know, from a mental standpoint, you know, like they're not thinking ahead to what's this gonna mean later on. So you can also have pigs that are in mud and just go, oh, pigs are supposed to be, they're happy, they can be miserable and the babies can be miserable if you have a cold muddy environment. So part of I would say the joy of the pigs and the rotational grazing because John does really fast is they're also inquisitive. They're always in a new environment. There's new smells, new sights, you know, they're going on in fresh ground. So I would say like just from a, you know, kind of a life band uh perspective that they have a much happier life when they're moving from pasture to pasture. But let's send it back over to you to talk more about pigs.
John Arbuckle - 00:31:51
So, yeah, when we use, uh they don't root and they affect the land more like cattle, you know, cattle can be kept tightly bunched and continuously moving. We call that biomimicry or farming in nature's image where a lot of the grasses that we're grazing co evolved under the evolutionary pressure of a large grazing animal, right? So, um the grasses actually require the grazer in order to stay healthy. And so what we do is we graze the, we, we re graze our paddocks after they have regrown and are starting to show a seed head. Um It turns out it's about every 45 days where we don't plan our re grazing events based on days, but we watch the earth and the earth tells us when the animals can come back. You know that I think that's an important thing we're managing for the regeneration of the plant. So, uh pigs actually eat oceanic quantities of grass.
John Arbuckle - 00:32:48
They can't really live on it, but they can consume huge amounts and what they don't consume, they trample, they maneuver, uh, you know, and fertilize, you know, the ground and because we're feeding all kind, you know, non GMO whole grains, you know, we're feeding a few, uh, you know, byproducts. Like we have a deal with the cheese company that gives us their seconds, their, their cheese waste, we give them beer waste, you know, we're giving them all kinds of stuff. So, you know, roughly a semi load of pigs because we raise them by the semi load on our paddocks. Um, they're gonna be eating, you know, more than £1000 of grain a day of which they retain about 15% of it and they poop the rest out. Right. That's coming out onto the ground.
John Arbuckle - 00:33:48
Anthony Corsaro - 00:33:51
question, two questions. Yeah. How, how many pigs is in a semi load? And then two, when you feed the supplemental feed, are you bringing the pigs elsewhere and feeding them in some sort of like vessel? Are you spreading that food out in the pasture? Those two questions are coming to mind. Yeah.
John Arbuckle - 00:34:06
So what we really want is we want, uh, something called animal impact? Oh, I'm gonna rewind the, the quick answer is there's a, I, I load about 100 and 35 pigs onto a semi. Um, you know, we call that a pot load. I don't know where that word comes from, but that's what a pot load is. Is a full semi load, things are. And, uh, we, we picked that number because we want it to be really stress. You know, we want them to have plenty of space, lots of bedding in the semi. The pigs can lie down on the ground and just enjoy the wind. You know, we don't chip in extremely hot weather or extremely cold weather, you know.
John Arbuckle - 00:34:34
So anyway, the pigs are comfortable in that and we, we don't go for 100% stocking density of the trailer. We go for about uh 85% stocking density. So that's how many pigs are in a pot load. Uh, a semi load. What was the other question?
Holly Arbuckle - 00:35:05
Anthony Corsaro - 00:35:06
how do you bring the supplemental feed? Like, do you feed it elsewhere? Do you put it in the pasture? Like how does that
John Arbuckle - 00:35:10
work? We bring it to the pigs. We have a great big wagon that we just call the chuck wagon and we drive it out there and, uh, and then, you know, my son or interns or our farm manager will bring them whatever that day's prescribed quantity is and we are rotating them. I, I don't know, the whole farm is a little bit less than 200 acres. There's about 22 paddocks. We just always keep them moving. And uh there are, are these shade structures that we built. If you've seen shade structures, you know, for cattle, you know, we made our own and uh they're 20 ft by 30 ft rectangles with greenhouse cloth over the top of them, shade cloth over the top of them.
John Arbuckle - 00:35:46
And every 36 hours we move the shade structures, we feed the pigs right in front of their shade structure. And then in this particular model, most of the time in the summer, every Friday. So once a week, we'll move the pigs to the next paddock. So what that means is they're usually hanging out by the shade. They're not going back to where they've grazed and maneuvered already and they're not just like, kind of frivolously like running around the whole, you know, 5, 10 acre, you know, temporary pasture. You know, they're, they're just kind of like they're, they're very relaxed animals. They'll go and they'll eat, they'll walk around a little stretch their legs and then they'll lie back down in the shade, you know.
John Arbuckle - 00:36:34
So at the end of a grazing event, a prescribed grazing session, it'll look like a rolling pin went over this, you know, 10 acre square and that's uniform. Even positive animal impact. It's all been trampled, it's all been grazed, it's all been maneuvered and, and then we move them just right over the electric fence. You know, we open it up. We, they, they run through on their own accord. We bring the shade structures, we bring their water tank, um, and they just run right on through and then they're in the next one and we have just successfully hit the reset button.
John Arbuckle - 00:37:13
Now, all of that grass, if every time we do that, let's say we get three or four grazing cycles in the span of a year. Every single time we do that, the grass is gonna rebound better than it was before. We will have given more than we took. That's the heart of regenerative, the regenerative movement. You know, whether it's in your human interactions, your human community, your co manufacturer, your packaging, people, you know, your truck drivers, you know, if you have to be giving them more than you're taking from them and it doesn't always have to be financial, just making sure that people know that you care about them, sending them cards, you know, sending them t-shirts, you know what I mean? Stuff like that, making sure that people feel that they are respected and cared for a piece of the puzzle super important in the regenerative movement.
John Arbuckle - 00:38:07
And that's how we regenerate our, a little bit of our human community and our pastors,
Holly Arbuckle - 00:38:21
there is a marketing question in there and how do you tell that story? And the answer is at the beginning very poorly. So what happens with us and everybody else is that you get excited about this and then you want to tell everybody everything right? You wanna talk about soil, you wanna talk about water, you wanna talk about wildlife, wanna talk about carbon se on and on and on and so the, the consumer right now, ha doesn't have a bandwidth to hear 10 different bullet points, right. And we are in pig farming, which is arguably the worst of the factory farms. Right. They're, there's a whole another level if you want to dig in. There's a great book by Barry Sterr called Pig Tails, which talks about conventional industrial pig farming. Like in China.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:38:50
They're building them like 12, 13 stories tall right now. Like there's a whole other thing. So my, my thing is like, you know, if this is industrial pig farming, factory farming, like we just have to be better than that. So anybody who's raising pigs, like in a barn, even if they're not rotational grazing is already up here right before you get even higher than that. So in the marketing Kyle, like what I have come to is that people recognize pasture raised more than they recognize the word regenerative and it depends on who you ask. But I saw one report that said 3 to 11% of the population are recognizing the word regenerative agriculture.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:39:30
You know, it's not a big movement yet. I think that we're all gonna wait and see what happens in California. Is it gonna, is California going to steer the boat by saying regenerative has to be organic like that's gonna shift things. So I'm not even sure that we're settled on the, the terminology. Um But pasture raised is on the heels of the grass fed beef movement. So you're seeing pasture raised and poultry and dairy and eggs.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:40:01
And I feel like that message also tells the consumers what's good for me, right? Because a lot of times they're looking for the health benefits. So that's what we're focusing on as kind of our primary messaging. And then people that are interested can like read blog articles or they can look at videos and they can dig in deeper to say, well, what does that look like? And what are the specifics about, you know, why you do what you do or what benefits you're seeing?
Kyle Krull - 00:40:40
I think, I think that makes a lot of sense and, you know, sort of writing the coattails of food movements that have already established themselves as differentiators where consumers can understand, like you mentioned with, you know, pasture is something that is recognized in beef, is recognized in eggs and chicken. So that makes a lot of sense to me. Um I do want to bring it back to some of what John was saying. And John, I think you've painted a really great picture as to like how this operation works and the positive impact that has on the environment. And I think it's so important in today's world and, and, and I'm so deep down the regenerative rabbit hole that I sometimes forget where the rest of the world is. Um And I think maybe we all can, could kind of feel that way sometimes but in this day and age where like the plant based narrative of like environmental supremacy is like this high bar, you know, you can't have that type of impact that you just described without animals in an ecosystem. You know, and I just really wanna like touch on that because I think it's so powerful the way you, you, you spoke about the impact and the intentionality of the rotation and the positive lifestyle that the animals get to live and how you, we all as consumers can support that by purchasing brands like Singing Pastures, you know, so I just think it's really powerful.
Kyle Krull - 00:41:35
Um So commend you all for, for what you're doing there on the regenerative piece, you know, you know, this is something ac and I bang our heads against the wall on a regular basis trying to figure out like, how do we get more people to understand what this term means? How do we get more people on board with the same messaging? And, and for anybody in California who's listening, who may, may or may not have a say, like I think we all strongly feel on this, that reg regenerative should not be tied to organic for a variety of reasons. Um So I guess not to put words in your mouth, but how do you two feel about the certification space today? And where would you like to see the term regenerative? Go? Hm.
John Arbuckle - 00:42:30
That's a great question. So I don't have a super firm answer. You know, the jury is still out for me on that one other than, you know, if we're very simply put, if regenerative is giving more than we take and it's watching soil and ecosystems heal, right? Uh That doesn't have to be organic, you know. Um You know, uh I wouldn't be able to utilize all of the byproducts, you know, of the beer, you know, there's a, there's a craft brewery that's like literally like 400 yards away. It's the only business close to us and we get like £12,000 of barley from them every week. You know, that would be going to the landfill, you know, if it's not organic, you know, it is non GMO, you know, and I, the pigs love it. I feel so excited to participate in that kind of circular local economy. Uh Same thing with the, with the waste dairy that we get.
John Arbuckle - 00:43:23
It's not organic, but it's, you know, same thing, there's like £16,000 a week that we're able to feed, you know, between, you know, barley and dairy and then just the wonderful real world of our ecosystem of acorns. We planted 300 apple trees, you know, for our pigs, you know, uh just oceanic quantities of clover and green grass like we're, we're getting them fed to a pretty high degree on all of that. We would have to, if we certified organic, we would have to stop those practices allow all of that to go to the landfill and then truck in organic feed from God knows where, you know, I just, I don't, I don't see
Kyle Krull - 00:44:20
probably grown in a monoculture. Right.
John Arbuckle - 00:44:22
Yeah. And you know, in Iowa, you know, uh I just, I'm having a hard time seeing like, how, how is that, in, in my case, how is that better? Uh I don't think it is. And, you know, people like Gabe Brown, you know, like they have traditionally not been organic farmers. Gay Brown is a larger scale row crop and livestock producer in North Dakota. And uh he has been sequestering enormous, you know, quantities of carbon uh without being organic, you know. So, um, that, you know, that said, I just, I like to add one more little side guard to the story and that having grown up on a conventional farm where large quantities of chemicals were used, uh, personally, I am very adverse, you know, to the use of, of those chemicals. Like, um, we, whether we're organic or not, we will never ever, ever use uh pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, you know, that, that stuff is really, really to be avoided at all costs because it's the farmer that receives the biggest dose. And if I may share, this isn't too much of an overshare. On a little bit of a personal note. My father was a chemical applicator and he was diagnosed with Parkinson's at 47. Ok.
John Arbuckle - 00:45:36
So, yeah, so there are 100 and 11 independent studies that link that correlate glyphosate, you know, the most popular weed killer out there that correlate glyphosate with Parkinson's, you know, so, well, we'll never really know how much that played in. We kind of have to make a little leap of reasoning. Uh It certainly seems like there's a lot of data that supports that when someone is a chemical applicator and they get a Parkinson's diagnosis at 47 that there's probably a correlation. So I just share that for everyone out there. If there are conventional farmers listening, uh get rid of that stuff, you know, I love you guys. I care about you.
John Arbuckle - 00:46:29
I wanna give you a big hug, you know, like I don't want you to get Parkinson's at 47
Holly Arbuckle - 00:46:44
right? And I'm aware of the kind of contradictions of what we're saying because on the one hand, we don't use chemicals, our land is certified organic actually. Um and I often buy organic food, right? And I, and, and from the farmer whenever possible. So, and then on the other hand, I think that the concern that we have when we zoom out is that if it all becomes just about organic, one large scale organic can use an awful lot of time tillage, which is not what the soil needs. And that we need to remember that that tillage is as bad or worse than chemicals for soil health. And so that's one thing and the other thing is if we have to make big moves for millions of acres, you know, soon in the next 2030 years, we need to have a path to move people that direction and to try and go straight to like best case scenario, you know, might be a jump that actually while it feels like that's what we should do. Um, my concern is that that would actually slow down the movement. Um You know, if, if everything has to be, you know, there's some label that says it also has to be organic. So anyway, I think it's a really big conversation.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:47:42
I think that labels are problematic right now. I think people don't know what they mean. We have done. Uh We are, you know, a part of savory. Um We're not the main savory hub farm now, but we were in the past. Um And they're awesome people.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:47:56
And so we've done eov ecological outcome verification and we've started the land market program, honestly, we're not doing it right now because at the moment right now, it, when we have margins that we have to pay really close attention to, to keep this show going. You know, it just doesn't make sense to, you know, have that right now on our label because consumers don't recognize it, you know, and I know there are people working on changing that. I wish that we could come up with something that was easier for the consumer to understand. I've said to you Kyle in the past, the best label ever was Dolphin Safe Tuna. You put it on there and everybody gets it, you know, like you want, you want four year old
Kyle Krull - 00:48:52
Dolphin for sure. Yes.
John Arbuckle - 00:48:56
Yes, it is.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:48:56
Dolphin Safe. Yeah. And so landing market eov all these rock, they're just hard, you know, you're asking a lot of your consumers. So that's kind of a general just thought. But I also understand that, you know, people really want to be very specific where they want to see outcomes based and I agree with outcomes based, you know, it's just, and there's the question of who's going to pay for it, right? Because if we continue to put all that on the farmer or rancher like that already have razor thin profit margins, like is that fair? So all of these things I think need to be addressed and by somebody with who's smarter than I am
John Arbuckle - 00:49:34
and everybody should just remember. Pastor Farm is everyone's source for dolphin safe pork.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:49:42
Kyle Krull - 00:49:44
Give me a great sound. We need that.
Anthony Corsaro - 00:49:47
There's so many things coming to mind for me is as y'all talk through that and I think one thing to bring it back to elementary 101 average consumer is organic versus nonorganic to most people means chemical free or uses chemicals which is not accurate, right? And so we just talked about 50 variables for this regenerative conversations that were way more expansive than that one reduced, binary chemicals are not right. And it's actually much more nuanced than that. And so I think what we need to do on the regenerative side is make it more concise, more compelling and more simple. But we want to avoid ending up like an organic, where organic US d organic doesn't mean a lot more than that. But on the consumer end, what it has turned into to the, to most consumers is it just means chemical free or not. And you know what I see, I think what Kyle sees in the certification landscape is they've done the right things to date to get traction, to get going.
Anthony Corsaro - 00:50:36
And they've been really, really focused on certifying the landscapes and the agronomy, which is the whole point, but we have not done anything or enough to talk to the consumer and we're not, we're not going to win by 10 different certifying bodies trying to do that and compete with each other. We're going to win by unifying under an overarching standard or framework that we can all get behind that actually sells product. Because if we don't do that, none of this matters. I
Holly Arbuckle - 00:51:09
agree with that. And I think that, that I
Kyle Krull - 00:51:11
also know what to say right now because ac just articulated like my, like my, my, my life force into such a
Holly Arbuckle - 00:51:24
and I just, yeah, I mean, I think that we really, this is exactly what you're saying. It is. And we're dealing with a lot of really smart people who like want conversations about complexity and they don't and they're very careful about words for good reasons. Very good reasons, right? And they don't want the conversation to be reduced. So, on the one hand, we're all being very careful about what we say. On the other hand, if we don't create uh an easy to understand, you know, message that says soil health good, we're all moving in that direction because everybody benefits, we stand that we, we risk losing the momentum behind this and it just becomes another jargon term that gets thrown away and on to the next, you know, and honestly, I don't know if we're there yet. Like I don't know that regenerative will stick to be honest, you know, I, I love the term and I think that that time will tell, but I fully support what you're saying, Anthony and I know John does too. Mhm Yep. Yeah.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:52:18
And I think how from,
Kyle Krull - 00:52:34
from our perspective based on the, the, you know, the data that's out there about what consumers really care about. And we sort of touched on this a little bit earlier in the conversation was the new nutrient density pieces really has to be the leading value proposition we give to those consumers because people care more about themselves as a self-interest market than they do. You know anybody else with the exception of maybe their kids, right? But even from the kids' perspective, they care more about nutrient density for their kids than they do about environmental impact. So, you know, I think the the studies you mentioned earlier are fantastic. Um What Steven Van is doing with his linkage of regenerative practices and nutrient increases in food is fantastic. Tina Owens doing some really great work with the ND A in that space as well.
Kyle Krull - 00:53:03
And we think at AC and I that to your point, Holly, we have to get everybody on the same page in terms of OK, this is what this means. And number one, it's more nutrient, healthier food for the consumer. And the secondary value proposition is that it's better for the environment and we can go as deep as we want to go there. But those are the two things that consumers need to understand like that's what regenerative means. And that's why I want to support it. It's better for me, it's better for the planet. And we can also throw in the fact that there are studies coming out that it actually tastes better, you know. So like those three things like if we can hammerer those points home and get everybody on board with it.
Kyle Krull - 00:53:40
Sharing that message. I think that this movement has, you know, all like the highest ceiling there is in food. So I hope that we can, you know, kind of coalesce and make that happen.
John Arbuckle - 00:54:01
Holly Arbuckle - 00:54:04
We're with you. You, you put it beautifully. I have nothing to add for once.
Anthony Corsaro - 00:54:10
Last, last thing I might throw in as well is just, I do think we're, we're on a path where we have to bifurcate between land management and products that are sold. Right? Because the definitions and the messaging for those two things about what's the definition of a certified reg generally managed piece of land and then what's a certified regenerative product? Those are probably two separate things with a lot of overlap. But I do think because of, you know, like consumers ultimately don't give a shit about if the land is regenerative, like if they're very environmentally conscious, they do, but they really care about how it affects the product. And so I just see that we're, we're gonna need to continue to probably draw a line there. I don't know what the perfect solution is there, but I do think it's gonna be really tough to come up with something that really does both of those things because it's a different, it's different messaging, it's different circumstances, different concerns, you know, II, I don't know, I just, that's been a thought in my head the last few weeks that I don't have a clear vision on, but I do think is gonna be a, a thing that's necessary
Holly Arbuckle - 00:55:12
like you could have potentially four or five different certifications for what regenerative would mean. But maybe one definition of what, for a product like it, it, as long as you have some of that in your supply chain, then you could put it forward, it would be, you know, nutri nutrient dense, you know, I don't even know what you call it because that would, you're gonna have to think about words for a while. Good luck with that. And, you know, I'd love to hear about it, but I, I get what you're saying, you know, something that's easier for the consumer to understand and then you can really have a lot of details and how you do, how you work with the farms and the supply chains to show that. And I understand why people want proof, right? Because we've been duped many times in the past and that keeps going on, you know. So uh it's, it's tricky, you know, now. All right, John's giving me the, let's go on to the next question.
Kyle Krull - 00:56:09
Yeah, I mean, we could, we could probably spend, I don't even know how much time talking about the certification landscape, but let's bring it back to the brand and talk about, you know, you mentioned the salami is coming out soon. Um I want to talk more about the future like what does the future look like? We've mentioned there's 40 different partner farms. So future seeing pastures. Is it about expanding into more, you know, new product types like the salami play? Is it about growing distribution? Is there you know, a goal to, to partner with X number of farms over a certain period of time. Like, what do you all have in mind for the next 135 years for Singing Pastures?
John Arbuckle - 00:56:45
Well, you know, if one of our big goals is to help to repopulate the American countryside with ecologically sensitive regenerative pasture based family farmers, then we've just got to keep that, you know, on our radar, you know, we, we the farmer population in rural America has dropped. We would really like to see that rebound. The way we'd like to help it rebound is by providing a market, you know, with a fair price to farmers who are creating uh what we want. You know, that's, you know, like I, I stepped out of my role as Chief operations officer. Recently, we hired someone, we gave them that title and then I'm the Chief impact Officer. So um that means a variety of things. One of those things is, you know, are we successfully e executing on our mission statement, you know, so moving into the future, we just want to do better and better and better at making the world a cleaner greener, cooler, more inclusive world for everybody with regenerative agriculture as the medium as the vector that helps make that happen, right?
John Arbuckle - 00:57:33
So Chief Impact Officer I wear my hat, you know, in that capacity, you know, part of the time um in terms of the mechanics and the logistics of how to make that happen. Uh, we do a lot with online wholesale right now. Uh, we're gonna keep on doing that. We'd like to, we'd like to push our e-commerce, you know, our direct to consumer more, um, and see how that goes and then we have an incredible sales team, you know, like, seriously, like the dream team, you know, of sales and marketing on our board of advisors, uh, who just does a lot of great stuff with, uh you know, grocery distribution. So we're getting ready to turn them loose, you know, here at, you know, about end of August or
Holly Arbuckle - 00:58:46
so we're going to Expo East. So that's gonna be our first trade show. And then from that, we're gonna be looking at select regional grocery chains. And so that is still unfolding. But I think that is like, while, you know, I, I wouldn't have known when we started that we would have ended up where we are right now, you know, like everything has changed and I think maybe that's one of the benefits of still being a small company is you get to pivot really quickly, you know, we pivoted when COVID hit, we were gonna go into grocery stores and guess what? They stopped taking uh new products because they were just trying to stay in stock. So guess what? We're not doing that anymore. We totally changed in plants. So for the foreseeable future, we're working on the product launch and getting into regional, you know, brick and mortar stores and our, our DC are direct to consumer and, you know, that's enough for us right now.
Holly Arbuckle - 00:59:25
You know, we're gonna take this on for the next couple of years, see how, how we go, how it goes. We want to increase our sales and then we'll circle back around possibly to talking to investors. But I feel like until we show our next steps and we grow more, it's not the right time for us. Like right now in this moment, you know, so I wanna see what we can do and you know, there, I have no doubt that we're gonna get up every day and do this because this is both of our full time job. It's our farm, you know, we use the farm as collateral for the business and that's just the way that it is and a lot of businesses do that. I've talked to a lot of people and they've said, yeah, yeah, we had to do that too.
Holly Arbuckle - 01:00:09
So we're still in the story, right? We're still in the story of like working our way through, but we're really committed and people like our product because we focus on taste, we focus on nutrient density and then, you know, then we back it up with like and this is why it's also good for the land and it supports family farms. And now I'm learning to stop there and not to tell everybody every last detail about why they should, every single time. Unless they really want to hear it, then you can just call me and ask them. Yeah.
Kyle Krull - 01:00:55
Yeah. Which is why we do podcasts like this. You can share every detail you want, you know. Um I also, I just want to make a very personal product request. Um, I don't, I, I eat almost no pork unless I know where it comes from because it's such a tough industry. Right? So I, of course, I eat Singing Pastures. Um But because I don't eat a lot of pork, I don't eat pepperoni anymore. Traditional pepperoni. I've had to switch to turkey pepperoni, which is just not the same. So I would love to see at some point in time a Singing Pastures pork. I don't know if it's a collab with beef or not, whatever that looks like.
Kyle Krull - 01:01:18
But if you, if you guys came out with a pepperoni, my God, I don't, I don't wanna think about how much I would consume because it would, it would be great.
John Arbuckle - 01:01:35
So we will really think about
Holly Arbuckle - 01:01:37
that. We'll work on that. And in the meantime, our son slices up the red wine and garlic and salami and puts that on his pizza. So that can be a stand in until we launch the pepperoni. But we'll circle up after this podcast and we'll start working on that Kyle
Kyle Krull - 01:01:55
and I'm, I'm, I hope I'm not the only one. Hopefully it's a viable market, you know, I'm just throwing it out there.
Holly Arbuckle - 01:02:01
It's a great idea. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, I, I think that we, we
Anthony Corsaro - 01:02:06
always love the pro bono product development consultant.
Holly Arbuckle - 01:02:10
I, you know, it's, it's a lot of things just happen out of conversations, right? Like little details, things that stick with, you end up making a big impact in your life and some things that you think were gonna be big things fall through and they never happen. So it's life is like a story, right? With all these little details of like, oh yeah, this person said something to me once and now like I really acted on that because that really stayed with me. So we appreciate the feedback. All right
Kyle Krull - 01:02:39
could be the first pastor Pepperoni out there.
Holly Arbuckle - 01:02:43
Anthony Corsaro - 01:02:44
the the um Holly you also mentioned potential brand refresh or revamp is coming. Is that gonna be before Expo East or just wanna clarify that
Holly Arbuckle - 01:02:54
I would clarify that I would love everybody to come see us at Expo East and we're doing a brand refresh. And so we are working diligently every day to get everything lined up to go in that direction. So um yeah, I think that it's mostly about clarifying the message. Um and we did, we put, we're putting our image on the carton and on the salami not because I actually am a from a generation that the whole selfie thing and like take like looking at yourself like makes me a little physically ill for me. I don't like it. However, people will respond to photos before they respond to words. So we have our photo to say like look and then there's some pigs in the picture, just kind of in the background. It's like this, this is what a family farm doing, agriculture the right way looks like, right? And I feel like that is important that we convey that. Um And so, and then we have, you know, we farm like the world depends on it because it does.
Holly Arbuckle - 01:03:40
And I honestly feel that way this is important, you know, for our kids and our kids, kids like they are depending on us to switch agriculture. It's not some airy fairy idea like we gotta make some moves now, you know, and so I, we feel obviously very passionate about this and I think that comes through, you know, in, in our products and in what we do
Anthony Corsaro - 01:04:23
most definitely. And that's the perfect segue into our final question, which I'm I'm very excited for both of y'all takes on this one, which is how do we get Regen brands to have 50% market share by 2050?
John Arbuckle - 01:04:36
Mhm. You wanna start
Holly Arbuckle - 01:04:38
out? Oh I I can um I think that the obvious answer is always uh you know, you educate consumers and then consumers make different choices, but I have something to say about that. Like I we were really in the local food movement in the nineties. And I think in the nineties, we thought like everything was gonna change through local and regional agriculture and I still support local and regional agriculture. But having lived in places also that are low income places and rural places, like it's not all gonna change through that. Like that works as I said earlier, which is a quote from Will Harris actually, if you're in the right zip code. And so while I think that consumer choice is really important and education is really important that that is not this, that's not the silver bullet answer, you know, and I've thought about this a lot in terms of policy also because we didn't end up where we are by accident. You know, we kept giving more and more power to larger and larger agricultural corporations. And then we set up laws to reflect that to reward that. So the single, like it's all profit driven, nothing else matters, right?
Holly Arbuckle - 01:05:35
Labor doesn't matter, you know, fair wages doesn't matter, environmental doesn't matter. And so I do think we're gonna need policy to change things, but where I'm coming from with that, having thought about this both in health care and uh big and in uh big agriculture and big chemical farming, lots of different things is that we really need to get back to this idea that we have to separate out the corporations and the regulatory agencies because when they are one and the same, they're gonna make laws that serve them. Right. So, before we can even get to, well, we should do this policy or that policy. We need to, to move toward teasing those things out that the corporations are not controlling the, you know, the regulations or the, the safety standards. Right.
Holly Arbuckle - 01:06:23
Because a lot of work could be done and in all of this and so I would like to see the regulatory agencies move forward in protecting the consumers and somebody out there is laughing right now like that'll never happen. But we have done it better in the past and we could do better. And so that's my, I, I guess that's my thing but without going into any specific policy, I think that would be my starting point and then I think you'd see more people saying, yeah, like we're worried about diabetes and obesity in this country and we need better food. Let's support that. Let's not subsidize, you know, a diabetes epidemic. So that's, that's my answer. What do you think, John?
John Arbuckle - 01:07:17
I think um I don't think much about policy, you know, that's a little outside
Holly Arbuckle - 01:07:22
of my world.
John Arbuckle - 01:07:25
I'm aware that
Anthony Corsaro - 01:07:25
John's going philosophy. I know where John's going. Everybody look out.
Holly Arbuckle - 01:07:31
John Arbuckle - 01:07:31
no. Um I have uh, I guess four things, you know, one of them is I would like uh we can make our farming systems on a small and medium scale. Uh, more sophisticated without making them more complicated, you know, so just being good managers of our farming operations and that oftentimes requires hiring an accountant, you know, or having somebody. So, you know, farmers really, it's very relaxing to do, um, you know, I, uh, to do the minimum wage work, you know, it's really relaxing to clean out the barn. But most of the time the farmer needs to be exercising a greater degree of leadership in the management of the farm, that usually means hiring somebody to do a farm will have some minimum wage work. You know, it's hiring somebody else to do that, spending more time at their desk. And truly, you know, you're talking to your accountant every week and like, really like making data based decisions on what the accountant is telling you. You know, so that's one way that we can make it a little bit more sophisticated, um, the scale, you know, that we farm out. Um, I've heard Joel Salton say that America does micro, you know, tiny, tiny, like six pigs to the farmers market, you know, pretty commonly.
John Arbuckle - 01:08:35
And then we do like the Walmart kind of scale, you know, and there should be a little bit of middle ground. You know, we, we haven't done a lot in the medium scale space and, you know, when we stop using pickup trucks to move our product and we start using semis to move, you know, less than truckload. LTL pallette movement like that's a big jump, you know, and you can, you can be a medium scale producer, moving stuff, couple of pallets at a time uh and get a lot of economy of scale out of that. So scale is one thing I think personally that CPG you know, consumer packaged goods is gonna play a giant role in this because if somebody is getting paid, you know, uh at the sale bar and, you know, 25 cents a pound for your port for your pig live weight, pig weight. That person will not be thinking that the earth is a large macro organism that we need to care about in a way that increases the nutrient density of the food. There's a big difference between growing a commodity.
John Arbuckle - 01:09:45
You know, a, a commodity is a nameless anonymous ingredient that nobody really cares about. You know, except for economically, there's a big difference between raising a commodity and raising food, right? And I would like to see farmers raise food. Um And lastly, um everybody is motivated by the concept of fun, you know, like, uh people will do things because they are more fun. And what I'd like, you know, just people out there to keep in mind is that regenerative farming is literally a lot more fun. You know, after being someone of, I probably had 2500 hours driving tractors before I had a driver's license. You know, I've spent, you know, so many hours in the big, you know, conventional pig barns. You know, they're not fun places.
John Arbuckle - 01:10:40
You do not want to spend your time inside of one of those. Um, you know, just stuff like that, you know, that was that, you know, fixing the ventilation system. Um, you know, in a pig barn is a lot less fun than rotationally grazing and like picking wild berries, like, literally, like while you're moving the fence and being satisfied with what you've done and watching the wildlife, we have had so much wildlife come back to our farm. You know, the 01 Society has started doing bird watching tours here for, there's three species of ground nesting bird. One of them is a ground nesting northern harrier, which is a hawk, right? So if you can imagine ground nesting birds, you know, like just watching that stuff come back is extremely satisfying.
John Arbuckle - 01:11:38
But where CPG comes in is when you get out of, you know, the, the pig barn model selling at the sale barn or, you know, selling a commodity, um, you'll have to move into the CPG space, you know, and you know, like what they did for bananas, you know, there was like fair trade, you know, for bananas. Like we're trying to introduce that concept into the world of pork. You know, like we'll be paying farmers a fair price for their pork and that's gonna pay them for their time. They're no longer Externalizing their costs. As in what happens, you know, in the extremely large scale sense, you know, they're not Externalizing the costs of pollution and air quality and animal welfare and, you know, human rights, you know, and everything, you know, but, uh, instead they're gonna get paid for, you know, being outside in a beautiful place, raising nutrient dense food and hopefully having a good time while they do it and watching their farm, you know, rebound and grow and heal and uh their farm becoming like the crown jewel of their community. You know, that's what we'd like to see, you know, farmers experience because that's, that's a good time
Holly Arbuckle - 01:13:06
and who doesn't like it at the time?
Kyle Krull - 01:13:08
About, right? Um What I love about your combined answer is I think that both need to happen and this has been a recurring theme throughout the episode today is that you both have these very different viewpoints in this complimentary way of seeing the world, right, where it's different and that's good. And if if not all of those things happen together at the same time in parallel, really like this, this movement is not gonna happen. So I think you both did a great job of hitting the nail on the head and your own respective perspectives um because it all has to happen, right? And, you know, I think the policy is a really great point. If we, if we continue to incentivize poor practices, like how does anybody stand a chance, you know. Um and to your point, John like to boil it down if, if you could jump on the brand side and tell the story and not sell a commodity and have a great time doing it like that, incentivizes those who can transition to transition.
Kyle Krull - 01:13:51
And if we can prove out that that's a successful viable model, like we should absolutely be doing that. So like Anthony mentioned earlier, like kudos to youtube for trailblazing within this industry specifically and trying to prove that we can do this regenerative and have fun and make, you know, fantastic nutrient dense products that are beneficial for the planet. Um So kudos to you guys, um also, we, we had mentioned DTC and E com a couple of times. I want to make sure that those who feel called to support Singing Pastures after listening to today's episode now where to find your product? It's just Singing Pastures dot com. Is that correct?
Holly Arbuckle - 01:14:36
Singing Pastures dot com?
Kyle Krull - 01:14:37
Ok. Awesome. And then you mentioned thrive market, go to search Singing Pastures. It'll pop up there, ok. Misfits
Holly Arbuckle - 01:14:45
on thrive, misfits, imperfect foods, Amazon. Um And then we're in select independent grocery stores, you know, but uh you know, it's just here and there. We're not in any established chains yet. So we'll talk about that. Hopefully in the next six months, we'll have a different answer for that one.
Anthony Corsaro - 01:15:04
Uh Awesome. There's so that was, that was amazing. That was one of the best answer we've had to that question. Um One thing that came up for me that I just wanted to share was we also need to spend our energy on the right things and we need to define the correct enemies. Uh And what I mean by that is Bear had this big event last week where they called regenerative agriculture, $100 billion opportunity. And they came out with their own definition and then Yara did the same thing last week, right? And it's like those are enemies, not the other sub $10 million CBG brand that has a different representative certification that is so dumb that we're trying to like inf fight about that and I don't think there's a ton of that. So I don't want to paint that picture, but I'm just saying, I do think collectively as a group, we need to all come to the table virtually or in person or whatever and say, hey, these are enemies and this is what we're going to spend our time fighting because like it is going to be a fight like we need to have the fun piece. We have all those pieces that, that John just mentioned, but like there is hardcore grass roots policy, economic like dog fight that like is going to occur.
Anthony Corsaro - 01:15:59
And so that, that comes up for me a lot where I just want to make sure we're we're calling that out appropriately and spending the right time and energy there.
Holly Arbuckle - 01:16:16
That's absolutely true. I mean, we know a bunch of other brands and we don't see other brands as our enemy, even if they're in the same space, if they're trying to be regenerative, you know, free was on your podcast. Like we've talked to those guys because obviously there's a commonality in our name and, you know, we worked it out that we were like we want to see you succeed, you wanna see us succeed. We're in different proteins, right? So I think that we can do that by being human and talking to people and, and having those relationships, right? And when we go, when people say, oh, there's this other pig farm, are they better or worse than you? They're like buy from the other pig farm. It's not me against my other local farmers. It's all of us against Smithfield, right?
Holly Arbuckle - 01:16:56
And so I, I think we need to keep coming back to that point, but it's really hard to do because it's so much easier for people to focus on like who's right here next to you because Smithfield's like behind closed doors and a barbed wire fence somewhere, you know. So, but, you know, I totally agree. We need to keep bringing the conversation back to, you know, what are we really fighting? Right. And how do we get on? We need to, we need to move the needle on every level on policy on, you know, personal farmers, like being inspired by my poet, Farmer over here and, and, and share, bring their inspiration of what brings them to life fully, you know, helping consumers to understand that there are better choices out there that are more in line with their values.
Holly Arbuckle - 01:17:28
You know, it goes on and on and on and I, there's a lot of energy going in that direction if we could just somehow bring it together. So we're gonna be looking at you guys to do that. We'll be here tending pigs and
Anthony Corsaro - 01:18:03
no pressure, no pressure. All right. All
Holly Arbuckle - 01:18:06
Anthony Corsaro - 01:18:09
Yeah, this was fantastic. Thank you. Thank you
Holly Arbuckle - 01:18:11
guys so much for having
Kyle Krull - 01:18:13
us. Thank you. Great, great. Appreciate your time.
John Arbuckle - 01:18:16
Thanks everybody out there.
Holly Arbuckle - 01:18:19
Anthony Corsaro - 01:18:23
for show notes, episode transcripts and more information on our guests and what we discuss on the show. Check out our website Regen-brands.com, that is Regen-brands.com. You can also find our Regen recaps on the website Regen recaps. Take less than five minutes to read and cover all the key points of the full hour long conversations. You can 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 five star rating on your favorite podcast platform. Subscribe to future episodes and share the show with your friends. Thanks for tuning in to the Regen brands. Podcast brought to you by the Regen Coalition and Outlaw Ventures.
Anthony Corsaro - 01:18:51
We hope you learn 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.