Joel Salatin is a niche celebrity to the Slow Money crowd by taking a commonsense approach to sustainable farming. In this Mother Earth News story, he continues a long-time thread about using low-cost, or no-cost, infrastructure and growing by internally generating cash flow.
He writes: "The eggmobile model was profitable as a tiny backyard prototype because the infrastructure cost next to nothing. The scheme could scale up with cash flow from the enterprise because the subsequently larger eggmobiles were also cheap and could be added as demand grew. We didn’t need to build the whole fleet in a day; we could add more of our movable coops as our skills and the market expanded.
Contrast this model with that of industrial agriculture. If I wanted to raise eggs for the commodity market, getting started would require roughly a million-dollar investment for a confinement facility. Even if we set aside for a moment the odors, effluent, animal-welfare issues or any other such considerations, the industrial model carries an enormous entry-level price tag, which prohibits most people from entering the business, and requires farmers to take on debt. That model does not scale down — you can’t start small."
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