The Permaculture Podcast

    1803 – Jacqueline Smith: Animal Agriculture, Regenerative Enterprise, and Central Grazing Company

    In this episode guest host David Bilbrey sits down with Jacqueline Smith, the founder of Central Grazing Company, to talk about her entry into the world of animal agriculture, after having no previous experience with farming or even family ties to a farm or the land.


    Click here to download the episode. | Open Player in New Window

    They then talk about Jacqueline’s experience building up Central Grazing Company, using a slow money loan, into a regional farm to consumer business. They close with her mission of using animals, agriculture, and business to create regenerative ecosystems.

    Find out more about Jacqueline and her work at In addition to a link to that, you’ll also find information on slow money and other organizations and movements mentioned during the conversation in the resource section below.

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    I’m thankful that Jacqueline joined David for this conversation because of the way a bit of entrepreneurial spirit, a small initial investment, and a good bit of effort can create an ethical company that aims for social and planetary good. We don’t have to follow the existing models or old ways of being. We can take inspiration to give it a shot, try something different, and maybe, just maybe, change our little piece of the world.

    I also always enjoy the conversation that David leads because of his interest in the intersection between permaculture, the land, and business, from his years studying our design discipline while working professionally in sales. How he asked questions like whether or not Jacqueline would want to take her company and make it a national brand, or keep it regional. Would they become an umbrella for others to work under, or simply as models to create other regional farm- to-consumer supply chains. How she became involved with and used slow money to build up Central Grazing Company.

    I compare that to how I would have spoken with Jacqueline, if I were in the host seat rather than David and how I imagine I would have focused more on her background and transitioning to farming, lessons learned from her first business, and how that influenced her ethical choices, like ensuring all the producers are animal welfare approved.

    David reminds me that we all have a voice and a perspective, and it is in dialog between ourselves, earth, other people, and the other-than-human, that a unique story arises. That by having the conversations, we elevate ourselves and the way we can communicate with one another, and live a richly rewarding life of interconnectedness.

    If you are interested in starting a business or telling the stories of others, get in touch.


    Or drop something in the post:

    The Permaculture Podcast
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    From here, the next episode is my conversation with Emma Huvos about place-based outdoor education and her work at the Riverside Nature School.

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    Central Grazing Company
    Central Grazing Company (Instagram)
    Animal Welfare Approved
    Savory Institute – Land to Market Program
    Limits, Our Future, and Slow Money with Woody Tasch(Permaculture Podcast Interview)
    Slow Money with Nancy Thellman (Permaculture Podcast Interview)
    Slow Money Institute
    Slow Money NE Kansas


    1. April 4, 2018    

      Aggregating farmers is one way to compete with the global industrial economy. Our friends the Arbuckles do it with pigs here in NEMO. Organic Valley does it with dairy farmers all over, and there is a cheese company in Wisconsin that picks up milk from farmers all the way down here where we are. But I wonder if 1. you can compete in the long term, since your eco and animal care values will not necessarily maximize productivity. And 2. whether you are addressing the community building aspects of having a village scale economy, since you are still forced to distribute on a national scale. It seems to me that the CSA subscription model addresses these two concerns better, by 1. Not having to compete with the global economy, and 2. Building community by having the farmer interact directty with the consumers. It would be even better if we could figure out the way to locally close the loops, so that every consumer also produces for someone in the village. We could call this new (really pre-industrial, actually) model, a CSC (Community Supported Community). What do you think? I am trying to get funding for it to get it started here near The Possibility Alliance in NEMO.

      • April 4, 2018    

        Have you listened to the interview with John? I met him while at The Possibility Alliance in 2016, and co-host David Bilbrey knows John as well.

        Episode 1475: Perennial Pasture and Forage with John Arbuckle



        • April 5, 2018    

          Thanks for letting me know about that interview. John is very knowledgeable about livestock and permaculture. But Roamsticks (what was snacksticks at the time of the interview) as a cottage industry was not viable. The only way John can make a sustainable income (compete with global industrial mass production) is by aggregating farmers, and that is his main money maker now. That involves lots of petroleum transport, less connection between community members and probably less ecological practices due to market pressures (I think John is still using alot of grain for his pigs). So, in light of all that, what do you think about the CSC idea? Can you help me promote it?

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