Down to Earth

The Biden administration has allocated significant funding to promoting healthy and resilient food systems, and they’re directing it toward smaller and midsize businesses, not the huge conglomerates. But how do you get money to the people who need it, especially when many of them are farmers and ranchers who aren’t well versed in grant writing, and who need help to strategically build their businesses?
That’s where Dave Carter comes in. He’s Director of Regional Technical Assistance Coordination for the Flower Hill Institute. Drawing on his background as a bison rancher, non-profit executive, policy expert, businessman, and former journalist, he’s coordinating a network of organizations nationwide that are providing technical assistance to meat and poultry producers who are doing great work on the ground but have limited capacity to navigate the maze of federal funding. By connecting people with the help they need, the funding can go to the right places and help to grow a genuinely resilient and profitable local and regional food system that no longer needs as much government assistance.
Dave Carter will be speaking at the Regenerate Conference this November 1-3.

2’40 what’s broken in the meat and poultry processing system
4’15 Biden commitment to resilience in the meat industry
5’21 producers have the most risk and least control
5’54 customers are recognizing the power of their choice in the marketplace
7’10 vision of building a local and regional food system, of which meat is a part, in which producers can connect with customers who share their values
7’47 the hidden costs of low cost
8’53 livestock done right as a potential solution for climate change
11’13 even if the government understands what needs to be done, it’s challenging to get the money to those who need it, as the people who need it most are the least exprerienced in bureaucracy
12’31 created a network to provide technical assistance and business development consisting of national and regional groups all over the country
14’20 how to help people actually deal with the intimidating process of grants etc.
16’19 helping people to sell the whole animal
20’26.2429 regenerate conference
21’33 the challenges and methods of building a network of small players
21’59 flowerhill.institute
23’53 the Pork Highway in Puerto Rico and the problem of subsidies
26’17 same problem on tribal lands, that don’t have access to the food they themselves produce for systemic reasons
27’57 carbon footprint and cost implications of keeping production more local
29’15 the idea of a national brand with regional sources
30’40 building a more skilled and better paid work force
31’46 environmental benefits of livestock impact on soil
32’06 the similarity between the microbiome of healthy soil and the gut of healthy bison
33’33 the problem of inequality and the cost of food
34’15 right now food producers bear the burden of keeping food cheap
34’34 making changes through the farm bill and food policy
35’54 making products that are distinct from mass produced meat
37’24 creating structural changes that would result in increased actual profitability and less reliance on subsidies and government programs
39’07 the multi-function nature of agriculture–they’re producing so much more than food and it needs to be recognized and compensated
42’00 how to phase out grants and subsidies in the long run
43’10 Dave’s own background in the West
44’05 1980s: dark period of trying to balance the federal budget by foreclosing on farmers