Joel F. Salatin (born February 24, 1957) is an American farmer, lecturer, and author whose books include Folks, This Ain't Normal; You Can Farm; and Salad Bar Beef.
Salatin raises livestock using holistic management methods of animal husbandry, free of harmful chemicals, on his Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley. Meat from the farm is sold by direct-marketing to consumers and restaurants.
In high school, Salatin began his own business selling rabbits, eggs, butter and chicken from his family farm at the Staunton Curb Market. He then attended Bob Jones University where he majored in English and was a student leader. He graduated in 1979. Salatin married his childhood sweetheart in 1980 and became a feature writer at the Staunton, Virginia newspaper, The News Leader, where he had worked earlier typing obituaries and police reports.
Tired of “having his stories spiked,” he decided to try farming full-time after first getting involved in a walnut-buying station run by two high school boys. Salatin's grandfather had been an avid gardener and beekeeper and a follower of J. I. Rodale, the founder of regenerative organic horticulture. Salatin's father worked as an accountant and his mother taught high school physical education. Salatin's parents had bought the land that became Polyface in 1961 after losing a farm in Venezuela to political turmoil. They had raised cattle using organic methods, but could not make a living at farming alone...
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