Like many important issues, agriculture is a hot spot for differing opinions. Conventional and organic farmers are both passionate about their beliefs, as are the consumers who support them. But this isn’t a debate about organic vs. conventional. Here, we want to talk about the importance of sustainable practices in agricultural and why it’s really something that all farmers, and the consumers who support them, can get behind. It’s something that allows a farmer’s way of life to continue and to thrive for generations to come.
Agriculture is one of the most basic and most important of all human activities. Everyone knows it feeds the world, but did you know it’s also the basis for modern society? You can’t feed an urban center or build a complex economy without it. It was the mass production of food that enabled people to move off the land, congregate in cities, and pursue other passions with their newfound free time. Trans-local trade, commerce, the rise of towns and eventually cities, the development of a merchant (and then middle) class, the pressure these new dynamics put on old monarchies, and eventually, the democratic processes that arose from them…. All of it began with the commercialization of agriculture. It is the rarely-told story of the beginning of the modern world. Still today, it all rests on the ability of a small percentage of the population to feed the rest.
But…. Agricultural activities can also place significant pressure on natural resources and the environment. The future of agriculture, and the future of the world, depend on developing sustainable methods. Sustainable agricultural practices are intended to protect the environment, expand the Earth's natural resource base, and maintain and improve soil fertility. And that is exactly what we do here.
it all comes back to the soil.
Our system rests on the relationship between our beef cattle operation (Perry Land & Cattle) and our sister companies, CTS Greenwaste Recycling and its offshoot, CTS Civil. CTS Civil offers land clearing services (from rangeland restoration to construction site preparation) all across the state. It returns the organic materials it clears to CTS Greenwaste in Mesa. Our Mesa site is where we also take in organic waste that would typically burden the states landfills.
Through our unique (and patented) composting process, we use this waste to create a bio-rich soil amendment that we reincorporate into farmland around the valley. It provides a natural, recycled source of important micronutrients, reviving depleted soil, improving water retention, and producing vigorous crops. Much of the farmland treated with our soil amendment is used to grow the feed for our steers.
It’s a fully integrated loop, once dubbed “Sticks to Steaks” by AZ Family News. By improving Arizona’s soil, generating a serious carbon offset, and feeding our neighbors, we create a process where, truly, everyone wins.
So what can our neighbors and customers do to help? Simple:
- Money talks. Let your dollars speak for you by buying local, sustainable, and delicious.
- Find and support businesses that provide sustainably raised food.
- Tell everyone else! We didn’t just figure out how to do this sustainably, we’re also known for raising the best quality beef in town. This wasn’t by accident – we put decades into perfecting this process and the final product.
Share it with everyone you know and help us ensure we’ll be here for decades to come.
Alicia Perry, PhD, Owner/Operator and all around Hay Maven (see my blog post on the time I fell off a haystack...). I share industry insights, tips & tricks on grilling great beef, and my personal journey into the ranching world.