In Community, Courses, Events, Featured, Joel Salatin

When sustainable agriculture superstar Joel Salatin agreed to come teach for us, we knew we had to make it count. Joel’s message of reclaiming farming and food production has been so influential to us, and to like-minded people around the world, that we knew his three days of workshops in Alberta weren’t going to be enough.

So we decided to offer up his dirt-under-the-fingernails wisdom and lunatic farmer passion beyond the classroom – opening the doors to students 50 or 5,000 miles away with his first-ever live-streamed appearance. But it still wasn’t enough. To use live-stream technology to spread knowledge beyond the normal geographic limits of an on-site training is one thing, but to build the solidarity of the beyond-organic farming movement is quite another. So we got creative and invited our students to think bigger – and they did…

Thinking of Joining Joel’s Live-stream Course?


Think Even Bigger: How You Can Use This Course to Build Community and Even Make Money!


This Tomato is feelin’ dollar signs!

Creating coalitions, creating community…those are the only benefits our on-site participants receive that solitary live-stream participants will miss: real-time, local, personal connections to support, challenge, and collaborate with you long after the training is over. So while you would gain powerful information and inspiration from experiencing this live-streaming training in the privacy of your own home, we’re going to invite you to think bigger…

Why not make it a community event, and jump-start those ideas and inspirations with group energy right from the get-go?


We’ve made it so easy, so affordable, so downright profitable, that we challenge you to find a reason to refuse!

For the cost of just one registration, Joel’s message can inform and inspire your church, school, or neighborhood association…your garden club or CSA…even your business.

Yes, you read that right: it will cost no more to educate your organization or community than it would cost to watch this live-streaming training all by yourself. We even know of organizations that are using this training as a fundraising event, charging a low registration fee to cover the cost of their one ticket, and taking everything over that as pure profit! 

Not sure what this would look like? Read on…


The Carrie Murray Nature Center in Baltimore, Maryland took our idea and ran with it.


Hands Across the Continent – Verge & Joel Salatin Give New Opportunities to a Baltimore Nature Center


When the tiny Carrie Murray Nature Center learned of Verge’s live-streaming the Joel Salatin workshops, it seemed like it was meant to be. The Center was facing challenges – cuts in funding, demands for fresh new programs, and a need to build a wider audience base.

Enter Verge, and Joel Salatin…

What could possibly be better than to host an affordable live-streaming program by an international hero, appealing to audiences that range from slow-foodies and locavores to organic gardeners, permaculturists, social and green entrepreneurs and cubicle dwellers….not to mention social-change organizations looking to build community resiliency and self-sufficiency in the inner city?

The Friends of Carrie Murray saw the opportunity not only for a wildly successful fundraiser, but also for a community-building event that could create real, sustainable change in the City of Baltimore.

The idea was well-timed on another level, too: the City had just announced a re-zoning plan that was designed to encourage just such community building and urban-agriculture efforts. On every count, it seemed, it was a win-win-win.

So the Friends started hustling around to find co-sponsors who would help promote the live-streaming event…and found enthusiastic interest on every side, from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future to the Mayor’s Green Ambassador, to the Baltimore RealFoodFarm urban agricultural enterprise… Not only were these organizations interested in the immediate event featuring Joel Salatin, but they were also interested in any future Verge live-streaming workshops that Carrie Murray might host.  It looked like the tiny nature center’s name was getting onto the map….

And all this for a single, two-day registration – after that relatively small investment, any income was pure profit.

“This opportunity is a real blessing for this nonprofit, and we can only say – Thank you, Verge!” – Phila Hoopes, Friends of Carrie Murray Nature Center


And now for the fine print… Of course, there is a small limitation… to get that group synergy, a group needs to be in one place, seeing the live-stream together from one computer. That’s all! They can be cozily clustered around your laptop, or sitting in a conference hall seeing the training projected onto a large screen – but one registration gives access to one computer, no more. *See the live-stream cancellation tab for additional information about turning your live-stream registration into an event.

Within those limits – a group’s participants will be able to take part fully in the training, interacting with Joel and the High River classes and asking questions via chat. (Note: there will be only one chat access per registration). At the same time, they’ll be building the base of local, shared experience, networking, brainstorming and mutual feedback and support that’s so critical to community-building…


Meet Joel Salatin, The Outrageously Successful “Lunatic” Farmer


If you’ve spent any time investigating food or farming, you’ve likely heard of him. The man behind Polyface Farms has been profiled in Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic, and Gourmet (among other media coverage), and was featured in the movie Food, Inc. and the New York Times bestseller, The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

With three generations of family farming history, a lifetime’s experience in entrepreneurial small farming, and growing international acclaim to back him up, Joel Salatin demonstrates conclusively that the dream of a profitable, healthy, sustainable, beyond-organic small farm enterprise is truly possible. In fact, Joel describes it as “making a white collar salary from a pleasant life in the country.”

Anyone who’s witnessed the shocking, stinking realities of conventional industrial farming knows that’s quite the achievement. But once you’ve read even one chapter of Joel Salatin’s eight books, you’re pretty clear that his pioneering work in sustainable farming presents a delightful alternative – one that trumps the horror-story farming model promoted by governmental agencies and underwritten by the petrochemical industry, hands down.

However, carving out this path isn’t always easy – especially given that the farming industry’s  laws, policies and bureaucracy are seemingly designed to not only regulate, but obliterate the small-scale farmer. That’s why we were so thrilled when Joel, international sustainable agriculture superstar, agreed to come to Alberta to share the secrets of his success!

Joel’s been bucking the mainstream since before he took on the leadership of Polyface Farms in 1982, and his war stories literally fill a book. Joel and his family, like his father before him, have gone dead-against industry experts’ advice and USDA principles to turn their run-down, hard-scrabble property in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley into the fertile, self-sustaining farm that is now Polyface.

As Joel trained to take on the stewardship of the farm, he witnessed the impact of USDA teachings in practice – dead animals outside factory farm buildings, the pervasive smell of drugs and manure – and he came away vowing to have nothing to do with the “agro-industrial monster.”  During his 30-year leadership of Polyface Farm, he has passionately charted a beyond-organic course, challenging the often absurd and exorbitant federal and state requirements, and developing his reputation as a “lunatic farmer” through his books, interviews and documentary appearances.

 Speaking of lunatic farmers…

We know Joel isn’t the only one with that reputation… all over Alberta, farmers and food producers are challenging the mainstream petrochemical farming model in order to maintain the integrity of their farms, the dignity of their animals and the fertility of their land.

If you identify as a lunatic farmer, or want to meet food producers that do, join us for Joel Salatin’s Lunatic Farmer “Meat n’ Greet” Event featuring Joel’s Presentation: The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer, March 20th at the Highwood Memorial Centre


The result? Polyface is now the world’s premier example of sustainable agriculture, producing popular, high-value products including beef, poultry, and pork. Roughly six interns and two apprentices train on-site at the farm each year, while Joel spreads his gospel of sustainable agriculture at workshops around the world.

And now, based on his books of the same titles: “You Can Farm”, “Pastured Poultry Profits” and “Salad Bar Beef”, Joel will teach 3 days of workshops right here in Alberta, arming farmers and aspiring farmers alike with a toolbox of practical how-tos – ranging from creative land acquisition and farm economics, to plant and animal relationships that improve soil fertility, and the A to Z’s of raising, butchering, processing and delivering healthy, tasty farm products to family and customers.

For more about about Joel and his classes: 



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Showing 6 comments
  • Nik

    Hi, is there a way of recording it or getting a dvd of it later??

    • Rob Avis

      Hey Nik – As of right now, the only way to get a copy of the workshop is to purchase the Premium livestream. We are unsure at this time if we will be able to sell the video after the fact due to licensing.

  • Alex Judd

    Hi Toni – You can find a listing of Joel’s events on our Courses & Events page (on the menu at the top of this page) with all the details. Also, I’ve included a ‘More Info’ button just above the comments on this page to point you in the right direction.

  • Toni Boot

    When, where and how do I SIGN UP!


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