In the newest episode of SFA’s ‘Dirt Rich’ podcast, we chat with Tony Wells of Regeneration Farms.
Tony and a few partners are years into developing a regenerative and resilient poultry production system that provides opportunities for small farm profitability, which they’ve implemented on a 40-acre farm. The model attempts to replicate a forest habitat for poultry, incorporating perennials like hazelnuts and elderberries into a silvopasture system. Not only do the birds enjoy the shade and cover from aerial predators provided by the canopy, but the hazelnuts thrive on the nitrogen-rich chicken manure and offer an additional income stream. Tony says that after 5-7 years, the hazelnuts will make up 30-50 percent of the farm’s revenue.
Years before Tony joined the venture, his partners Wil Crombie and Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin were working on developing the system. Regi worked with many breeds, researching which would be most suitable for their design. The breed of chicken they’ve found success with? Aptly, Freedom Rangers.
The goal is for this model to be replicated on other farm sites. “It’s really, really hard for one farm to make it on their own and market their own products,” Tony said. “It’s always going to work better if multiple farms can work together.”
Tony and Reginaldo were also interviewed for SFA’s new Silvopasture Case Study series, which was just published in March 2021.
Listen to Dirt Rich on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Podbean, and wherever else you get your podcasts. You can also listen on the SFA website. Do you have ideas for future episodes? Comments? Drop us a line.