Ranch Investor Podcast

How Pasturebird uses Poultry to Regenerate Farmland?

October 04, 2022 Ranch Investors Season 3 Episode 11
How Pasturebird uses Poultry to Regenerate Farmland?
Ranch Investor Podcast
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Ranch Investor Podcast
How Pasturebird uses Poultry to Regenerate Farmland?
Oct 04, 2022 Season 3 Episode 11
Ranch Investors

What is farming the right way?

In this episode, we sat down with Paul Grieve to discuss the benefits of his farming practices to the environment, animals, and human health.  He is the founder of Pasturebird which is now one of the largest pasture poultry producers in the US.

Pasturebird is a family farm that believes in the regenerative power of pasture-raised livestock for land, animal, and community. The end result is chicken that’s rich with old-school flavor, nutrient-dense, and environmentally responsible.

Show Notes Transcript

What is farming the right way?

In this episode, we sat down with Paul Grieve to discuss the benefits of his farming practices to the environment, animals, and human health.  He is the founder of Pasturebird which is now one of the largest pasture poultry producers in the US.

Pasturebird is a family farm that believes in the regenerative power of pasture-raised livestock for land, animal, and community. The end result is chicken that’s rich with old-school flavor, nutrient-dense, and environmentally responsible.

Colter DeVries 00:00.00

I'm Colter DeVries, owner of Ranch Investor Advisory and Brokerage Services. I'm an accredited land consultant with the Realtor Land Institute and a proud member of ASFMRA. 


The Ranch Investor Podcast is the most downloaded and informative industry-specific content that intrigues wild entertains.  

Colter DeVries 0:22.23

Paul Grieve finally got you on. I've been following you for quite a while now. It's exciting what you're doing. 

Paul Greive 0:35.64

I wanna hear a little bit about what you're up to. 

Colter DeVries 0:40.38

My audience is largely ranch brokers and people interested in owning a ranch, people who have a ranch and want to add value to it. I'd like for you to introduce yourself. Paul is the founder of Pasture Bird. Did you sell or move on from Primo Pastures, Paul? 

Paul Greive 01:02

No, it didn't sell. We started Primal as a family back in 2012, and it's always been a direct consumer business, kind of focused regionally. In 2015 we spun off pasture to really think like larger scale national brand and wholesale.

Colter DeVries 01:23

Well, Paul is a combat marine and a chicken farmer. I'm excited to have you on Paul. I’ve been doing some research before this call. I found a Tiktok of a much younger man than I'm talking to today. 

Paul Greive 01:48

Yeah. I actually hate that Tiktok. It's one of those ones where everybody goes, “Hey, I saw your TikTok”. I always kind of cringe because what I was trying to say was good the way I said it. There was a lot of room for improvement there. 

Colter DeVries 02:03

Well, I think the point of the power of making mistakes is a very good discussion to have. This is interesting to me because I'm a guy who's full of old bones in the closet. I could never run for politics because there's so much embarrassing dirt in my history. Now that everything's out there in perpetuity on the internet and you have a TikTok about the power of making mistakes from 2014. You didn't have any gray in your beard back then. Tell me what's changed. What have you learned? Tell me about what it's like to be an aspiring entrepreneur and now you're a successful entrepreneur. 

Paul Greive 02:58

Yeah. Still aspiring. I just don't think you meet a lot of successful, whatever you define that as, but successful people who didn't take a risk. If you take enough risks, not all of them are gonna work out. I'm actually sitting on a new venture right now. We're trying to pull off this community up– You Pick Orchard Organic. The number of stuff we've screwed up out here already is mind-boggling. I do think to do something new, do something different, you gotta just be willing to put yourself out there and probably screw up quite a bit before you kinda get it right. I think it's one of my superpowers that I really don't have a big problem with messing up. I think part of that is I'm like the first generation so I don't have dad or grandpa to show me the right way to do any of that. I just kind of stumble into it. I figure out my own way. Sometimes that's different than the conventional way. Sometimes that works. A lot of times it doesn't but it also kind of keeps it fun. 

Colter DeVries 03:59

Well, what you're doing would be considered very different. I'm glad you brought up dad and grandpa showing you the air quotes right way because there's also a YouTube episode out there of you talking about farming the right way. What is that? What is farming the right way that you have in your mistakes and as you just try and test new things? What does farming the right way look like to you? 

Paul Greive 04:30

I almost hate that term because what's right for me is not gonna be right for everybody. I got excited about, like, I grew up in downtown Seattle. I was a total city kid all the way through so all I ever heard growing up was like, eat less meat. Meat's bad for the environment. The best thing you could do would just be to not eat meat, to go vegan or vegetarian. That's the narrative that I heard growing up. I got really excited about 2010- 2012 when this idea came out that well our ancestors' and  Native Americans’ way their food was grown was actually beneficial to the environment. This doesn't have to be this zero-some game where it's either one or the other. The idea that we could actually raise animals in a way that's good for the planet and feeds people really healthy and nutrient-dense food was a revelation to me as a city kid. I got really excited about that. That ties back because I think good farming for me is farming that's actually beneficial to the planet more than it is degenerative. So I got really excited about the idea of regenerative farming. The reality is it's not a new concept. Our great-great grandparents who didn't have the benefit of a lot of the synthetics, antibiotics, and fertilizers that we have access to now, actually had to farm that way. Soil health was kind of the utmost importance to that older generation. So what we're doing is not new or sexy or different or cool. It's just really like taking it back a couple of hundred years probably. 

Colter DeVries 06:11

Well, I've been doing this podcast for almost three years now. I have enough downloads that it's monetized, but I suspect somewhere between 0-1% of my audience has heard of Pasture Bird.

What are you doing in your background for those watching on YouTube shorts or TikTok? I see a chicken coop with grass inside of it. So why did I have you on? What are you doing today? 

Paul Greive 06:44

As I said, back in 2012, we got inspired by this guy named Joel Salatin, who farms in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. He had brought this concept from Europe of these floorless mobile chicken coops. They were done at a very small scale, like 80 -100 birds per coop pulled by hand. But the concept is, it's mobile livestock rearing. So as opposed to a chicken barn, a feedlot, or a pig barn where everything's stationary, it's really just this idea that animals are best moved, not stayed put. It allows the birds to forage for grasses, bugs, worms, flowers, weeds and all this school stuff. It really is a manure management system. So by moving the birds all the time, we're spreading manure out over the field as opposed to like concentrating it in one location. We started just messing around with that in our backyard back in 2012. We were doing it for our own family and just kind of as a hobby. We saw this big opportunity to do it at a larger scale and to integrate it with row crops. The bigger we got, the more it looked like it'd be possible to integrate with corn, soybean, cotton, and peanut, and to jump on some of these fields, either in between crops or in a fallow period. It pretty much brings a whole bunch of fertility to that farm ecosystem. We graze it really hard with birds, rotate off to the next spot, and see crops come in behind us. It was a way kinda like bringing natural fertility into these big ecosystems and raising chickens in this differentiated way that's really good for the planet and good for the birds too. 

Colter DeVries 08:25 

Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you have the world's first and the world's largest fully automated mobile chicken coop?

Paul Greive 08:39

I don't know everything, but we're talking to the Guinness World Records because I think we have the largest land-based electric vehicle right now. What Salatin did with 10-foot by 12-foot coop is we basically took that and we said let's take the best modern grain augers, watering systems– nipple watering systems, feed pans, and the best of whole house controllers from the chicken house model. Let's put them into this mobile floorless coop. Let's just combine the two. So we came up with about a 7,500 square foot. It's a 150 by 50 self-driving unit. We didn't necessarily want to be solar powered, but because we're out driving around the middle of the field, we had to be solar powered because we needed the power to actually drive these things around. So it's fully electric and fully solar powered that just drives itself around. It's a slick environment to raise chickens in because they're getting off of their own manure every single day. They're putting down what we call an appropriate load of fertility every single day too. Grazing for a 24-hour period and not returning for approximately 90 days is sort of our rotation right now. 

Colter DeVries 10:07

Do you see this model replacing the conventional grow coops? 

Paul Greive 10:14

People ask me that. I don't really know. I think it's definitely an alternative with the rising fertilizer prices right now. There is something really special about reintegrating plants and animals back together. It's the way I think God designed nature to work where plants feed animals and animals feed plants. The fact that we've really separated and said, “Okay, well we've got our livestock operations here, and then we've got our cropping operations here. It feels a little bit odd to me. and so it feels like there's a big opportunity to reintegrate plants and animals back together. We've seen this done in beef cattle for quite some time. Even in our parents' and grandparents' generation, there's a lot of kind of grazing stubble or a harvested corn field with sheep or with cattle. It's been done with ruminants for a bit.  I think we're the first ones to really think about it at scale with poultry so far. It's fun to be thinking about this stuff maybe for the first time. 

Colter DeVries 11:19

Well, wouldn't you have to scale eventually because you can only charge $7 per pound on a chicken for so long until a number of other producers come in with their small boutique Salatins’ hippie commune rotation grazed chicken? So you have to scale and somewhat commercialize it, don't you to be profitable? 

Paul Greive 11:46

Nothing but respect for anybody growing food. But this idea of the $ 7-pound chicken just lost its luster for me after a few years of doing it. I didn't grow up with a lot of money. I was kind of square in the middle class, and it felt like I was producing food that my parents definitely wouldn't have afforded. My parents were busy when I was playing sports growing up. They weren't gonna run for a farm, do an on-farm pickup, go to a farmer's market, or something like that. I felt like there was room for accessibility and affordability to come into this pasture-based chicken system. I got really excited about what would it take to really scale this up. We're never gonna be the cheapest, but to bring it down to a price point where a lot more people could afford it. We could put it into the grocery stores where a lot more people shop. It's been a big part. The mission of Pasture Bird since 2015 is how do we make pasture raise nutrients, regenerative, all these buzzwords and how do we make it more accessible and more affordable.

Colter DeVries 12:58

Do you feel like the deck is stacked against you because you're a heretic? You're not a conventional farmer. You're not from a farming family. As you got into farming, you didn't go the route of row crops, Syngenta, or Dow AgroSciences. You are the lunatic farmer. I assume Joel is kind of your mentor. I think he's coined the term the lunatic farmer. The inflation Reduction Act has a bunch of money in it for CSP and EQUIP. USDA is really good about promoting conventional agriculture. Do you think that what you're doing is an uphill battle? Do you feel like a pacifist sometimes?

Paul Greive 13:51

Here's a brief history of our relationship with the larger ag model. We started out as those hippie commune market type of farmers. I thought big Ag in general was like the devil. They were the evil ones. What we realized about three years is that actually big ag done a great job at responding to consumer demand. For the last 50 or 60 years, I think the consumer has asked for affordable chicken, and they've done nothing but delivered on that. You've got some of the smartest people in the world that have figured out how to bring the cost of poultry down to where it is today. If you would've told like our great grandparents that in inflation-adjusted dollars, you could get a $5 whole chicken cooked at Costco, they wouldn't have believed you.

It was premium meat in our great grandparent's generation. They've done an excellent job responding to consumer demand. I also came to the realization that if we're gonna move the needle, we've gotta actually embrace Big Ag. If anybody's gotta start doing things differently and a little better, Big Ag has the best opportunity out of everyone. So now that I think these bigger companies have been hearing that demand is shifting away from just cheap. We still want it affordable, but we wanna see animal welfare and environmental stewardship. We wanna see nutrient density return to our foods. They're seeing these different markers being asked for. I think it's only natural. This conscious Capitalism 101 where capitalism is actually a beautiful thing that they wanna make money, they wanna sell what people are asking for and so they wanna start producing food in a little bit different way too. That's where Purdue Foods actually approached us back in 2018 and essentially said, “Look, we see a burgeoning demand for this regenerative pasture-based kind of farming system. We wanna know what it would take to link up, work together and do some pilot testing on some of your systems.”. We welcomed it. To be honest, we knew we were gonna need to team up with somebody within that vertically integrated system in order to get our costs to where we wanted them. They've got hatchers, feed mills, harvest facilities, logistics trucks, accounting, and support capital. They've got all these things that we just would never have access to. We welcome jumping in and working with Purdue in a kind at this high integrity level. We haven't changed a thing about what we do. I'm really proud of that. If there’s anything, we've only improved quality since we started working with them. I still feel like a bit of an outsider, obviously. I didn't come up in poultry and in ag at all. It's very fun when you have this kind of more mature conversation. I show a lot of respect for what Purdue's done and why they've done it. I think they've shown a lot of respect for what we do and why we do it. It's like more of how do we join forces and make something really special happen than it’s my way is better than yours, or your way is better than mine. That's like an unhelpful kind of conversation. I honestly don't hear a lot of that, so I think that's portrayed more in the media than it really happens in real life sometimes. 

Colter DeVries 17:26

Well, how about your experience with labeling as you're doing something different in working with the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration? That can be a challenge for someone who's trying to promote something alternative in your case. It might not be an alternative for too long, but it certainly is right now.  What has Third-party certification and USDA labeling compliance been like for you? 

Paul Greive 18:00

I've got a game that I play. It's called, You name the label, I'll name the loophole. There's literally a loophole for every single label that's out there. I think consumers are finally catching on to this. You look and shop through the chicken aisle and you see literally, a few dozen labels, certifications, claims, and third parties. It looks like the side of a NASCAR truck. Nobody knows what any of those things mean anymore. They leave a lot to be desired. A grass-fed animal for your listeners would probably know that all cattle are grass-fed at some point in their life so anything can be labeled as grass-fed. Then, they came out with grass-finished. While grass-finished could be out in an open pasture or it could be in a feedlot where they're getting alfalfa pellets with a bunch of grain. Then you have organic. What does organic really mean? In the poultry world, organic really means you still got a 600-foot-long poultry barn with 24,000 birds inside of it. And now you switch out the grain to where it's got a USDA organic stamp on it, and that pretty much makes it organic chicken. That's not really what people necessarily thought it was. I get really frustrated about labels sometimes, particularly pasture-raised. There's no definition around it. There's no codification. It's like what you see behind me were raisin birds on pasture 24/7. You could also take a 600-foot long 24,000-bird barn, and open up a couple of pop doors for a couple of hours a day. Maybe not even do that. There's no audit to it and you could slap pasture raise all over that. It's like how am I supposed to compete with that? I could either sit here, I could get all upset and I could throw a big fit that it's unfair and they get to call their stuff pasture raises and mine's the real pasture raise. I can just go out, I can tell my story and I can really focus on making a better product and putting packaging out. I don't just rely on labels, attributes, and third-party claims. We're honestly kind of taking both routes. We're fighting for better definitions around pasture raise, but I'm also not holding my breath. We're out there in the market trying to tell a bigger better story than what our competition is. 

Colter DeVries 20:22

I've noticed that you are trying to be transparent in storytelling. I would agree with you about label compliance and third-party certifications. There are so many of them. They're worthless and there's a loophole around all of it. It just doesn't hold any weight or value because there's no gold standard to it. The auditing and the whole process are just completely flawed marketing bullshit. I've noticed your videos. You're like, “Hey, come out to the farm. Look at what we're doing. I'm actually out where we are producing chickens right now.”. The kind of what you're doing is inviting the public to see with their own eyes. 

Paul Greive 21:10

It doesn't mean we're perfect. I think we got lots of room for improvement just like everybody else. But I think it's resonating with people because it's different. It's like you're not used to seeing a poultry farmer. That's literally opening up their doors. Doing a live stream, showing the inside of the coop on a daily basis, posting videos, and posting pictures all the time are not marketing stuff. It's like just this is what it looks like on a day-to-day basis, and it's for better or for worse. A lot of people hear pasture-raised chicken, and in their mind, it's like a Rhode Island Red that's out in the middle of a year of like a 50-acre field, fracking in the sunshine, and it's not that either. We wanna bust up some of those preconceived notions and give people an honest story because we think what we're doing is really different. It's really cool. I'm proud of it. I got nothing to hide. 

Colter DeVries 22:02

I imagine it would be hard for JBS Cargill to have their cowboys or their pen riders riding around doing selfies like you're doing if they're out there in the feedlots with the cattle. I don't think that would be too appealing and sexy to most consumers. That being said, I don't ever see a day in the future when I don't eat corn-finished beef. That's my thing. I won't move to grass-fed. It's just my palate. I prefer corn-fed. I know what a feedlot looks like and I accept that.

Paul Greive 22:42

Honestly, I think that's the best thing. When I throw shade or talk trash, I try to be really careful. It's not against factory farming at all. There are a lot of companies out there that are honest about what they do. They either don't show fake nonsense marketing videos, or they show photos and pictures of what they're really doing, I have nothing but respect for that. I actually think that's exactly what we need. Regardless of what you're doing, if you're being honest, genuine, and transparent, I got nothing against that. There's lots of room for many different styles of food production. Feedlots, Kfo Chicken Houses, Pig Barns, and pastures are one of them. It's all fine. Where I take issue is the fake marketing BS nonsense. That's either leveraging the third-party claims for your own gain or doing these like pictures of chickens running around outside of the house, these beef cattle out, or these big open pastures when you know they've been in feedlots and that's okay. I just don't like the games. I don't like when marketing departments get a hold of brands and just slap whatever flavor the day is on it because I think it actually puts the food system in a worse spot, not really a better one.

Colter DeVries 24:01

So looking into your crystal ball,  with a world population of 9 billion

and I think it's very important that we have animal proteins in our diets that our diets are dominated by animal protein, what you're doing is the ability to feed 9 billion people on planet Earth without AFOs and CAFOs?

Paul Greive 24:28

I don't know if it is or not, but I definitely don't think it needs to be. I think it's another common misconception that we're out here saying everybody should be doing it this way, if you're not doing it this way, you're wrong. That's definitely not what we're trying to say, but I do think there's something unique that happens when you use the fertility from livestock to grow crops, and actually think we might need a lot more chicken. So there are 9 billion chickens harvested every year just in our country alone. I think we might actually need more than that if we want to use it as a fertility benefit. A hundred or a million chickens a week would represent around a hundred thousand acres, 10,000 in poultry, and about 90,000 in crops in rotation. That doesn't even put a dent in a single county in Georgia.  We got lots of room to grow this and it's not at the expense or at the detriment of AFOs, CAFOs, or whatever. I don't really try to get into those arguments because I don't really know. I do think this gives a unique benefit of good high animal welfare, healthy, three-time higher like omega 3s, 50% higher vitamin A and E, and a lot higher micronutrients. It's a real healthy chicken that's out foraging and grazing in addition to eating corn and soybeans. I think it's a really differentiated product that's exciting, but it doesn't need to be the only way. It's not even possible to do this style in half of the country. You need to be in the Sunbelt states in order to do this year-round. It's obviously never gonna be a hundred percent of poultry production.

Colter DeVries 26:18

If I'm an absentee owner, I'm a ranch investor. I'm interested in what you're doing, maybe to put a little more money in my pocket to get another enterprise leasing my irrigated land in Texas, is there a ready market where I can just put an ad in the paper and some mobile chicken operator will come out and graze behind my cattle or do chicken graze that they pack, I guess? 

Paul Greive 26:46

Yeah, you can. We call it grazing just because they're on the land but it does overlay really nice with cattle. Chickens really don't like grass that’s more than about six or eight inches tall. When you can use the cattle to graze and then you can bring the birds in kind of behind them on that mode grass, it's really a nice way to stack enterprises. But to answer your question, no. There's no ready market. It's very early. We're the biggest by a long shot doing this mobile poultry thing, and we're still tiny compared to the industry. We're talking down hundreds of acres at a time. We're not talking thousands or tens of thousands yet. We're really focused on our two processing plants in California and Georgia. We couldn't do much good for anybody in Texas. There are over a dozen pasture poultry operators in the state of Texas. It's one of the best states out there for doing pasture poultry. If you put that in the paper, I wouldn't be surprised if somebody responded to it. It's not like a grazing lease where there are people lined up who understand the economics of it. It's not there yet.

Colter DeVries 27:57

Yeah. There's a saying in Montana that you can dial the wrong number and whoever picks up the phone will pick up your ranch lease for cattle. 

Paul Greive 28:11

One note on it is we're finding that our model overlays a lot better on irrigated cropland than it does on traditional cow-calf or stalker ground. You see this differently, but in Georgia and California, the cattle take to the hills a lot more where the croppers take the low flat stuff. We really like to be on that low-flat stuff. We'll typically go in with poultry first, then cattle, and we'll rotate out with crops. It's kind of the way that it's been working for us. Going onto that Hillyard stuff with these big 150-foot-long coops just provides an additional challenge that's not really easy to overcome. 

Colter DeVries 28:56

Have you done the tests and the research to show that your meat is more nutrient dense? 

Paul Greive 29:04

We have done it from about three different labs now and it's pretty cool to see. Daily move pasture poultry has been around for about 40 years in the US and so we're not the only ones that have done studies. When you're moving the birds to fresh grass, they're consuming a really mixed diet. People don't think chickens eat grass, but it's fun when you get them out on a farm tour. They see the area that was grazed 24 hours ago and it's really eaten down. They really do consume a lot of grass bugs, seeds, and legumes. They consume a lot of that green material, and that does quite a wonder for the quality and nutrient density of the meat. 

Colter DeVries 29:45

Well, I know that there are a lot of ranchers in Eastern Montana, and Central Montana that are wishing you had a solution on 30,000 acres of native range land because three years of locus grasshoppers have just decimated their forage base for their cattle. They're probably listening saying, “God damn it, I wish you could come out to my place, unload about 40 of those things, and wipe out the grasshopper population.”.

Paul Greive 30:15

These are the challenges that feel like it's an exciting frontier that we're gonna be coming into. We're really focused on meat, bird broiler production, and row crop land. There's a whole other subset of entrepreneurs out there that are doing layer birds. They would be your real answer for consuming a whole bunch of grasshoppers. I could see one of my peers in the layer space getting out there with a couple hundred thousand birds and big mobile open-sided coops doing a seasonal operation in Montana. You're not gonna be able to grace birds outside for six months, probably in Montana. For the six months, that they are out there, they could eat a lot of grasshoppers in a few days. That would be really cool. Then you'd need to combine that with KFO style house to put them back in and overwinter there, and kind of bust them back out in the spring when the weather's warming up. There's so much untapped potential with the size of the poultry and egg market. It's about these solutions for getting birds outside onto the grasslands, and I think it's a big new frontier that we're gonna see a lot of growth in over the next decade. 

Colter DeVries 31:27

Can you definitively say that grazing chickens improve soil, water hydrology, soil organic matter, soil resiliency, and I guess the minerals and elements in soil quality? Do you have control and are you able to take soil samples and test that definitively say, “Yeah, based on this many observations, this population, and we have a statistical analysis that shows what we are doing adds back 80 pounds an acre of nitrogen.”? Tell me about the soil health and what definitives are out there that you have. 

Paul Greive 32:13

It's a sample size of about four right now, so I don't think that's enough to go right up our scientific journal and say, “Hey, we've got the solution or something.”. First of all, to answer the first part of the question, no, you can't say definitively that grazing chickens are good for the land. There's a lot of nuance to it. I've seen everything from folks that will move the birds once every six months. To us, where we're moving the birds every single day. There's also just like cattle, there's a stocking density component. You can overgraze and you can under graze based on your square footage per bird and how often you're moving them. Right now, we're grazing 6,000 birds, 7,500 square feet in a 24-hour period with a 90-day rest. That's all scientifically calculated to be an appropriate amount of litter manure going down every single day. If we moved them every other day, we would probably go into a degenerative state where we're overlying nitrogen. If we moved them twice a day, we would not be applying enough manure to where it's really benefiting the soil. A lot of it is just figured out over those 40 years that we've been raising birds this way in our country. Part of it too is it's really easy to do regenerative agriculture on 50-year conventional potato ground. That's what we got onto in San Diego. We're under 1% organic matter. Your boot would drop in like over a foot into this sandy loam soil that just hadn't been really taken care of. Potatoes are notorious for being fumigated, heavy fertilizer, and just massive tillage every single year. To improve that really isn't that hard.

You start rotating some birds, get some organic matter down, throw some irrigation, native seeds start to grow, and get some root matter in the soil. There's no doubt in my mind. You can look at the numbers or you can just look at the farm. We've gone from under 1% to over 3% organic matter in about six years. The number of species that are grown out there is gone from basically zero or one I guess, and potatoes and a mono-crop to about 37 different species of grasses, legumes, forb, and different things. The wildlife that's returned were resident bald eagles,  deer, mountain lions, bobcats, squirrels, and just all this awesome wildlife that we're seeing out there. To me, those are all indicators of healthy soil and a regenerative environment. We started working with Land to Market, which does an ecological outcome verification. Now, that I've talked shit on all these different certifications, I'm gonna tell you about the ones that we do. What I thought was different about the Land to market. They're not looking at what practices you do, they're just looking at the 32 different biological indicators of soil health and ecological stewardship. They're looking at the organic matter, water infiltration, water holding capacity of the soil, and biodiversity. They're measuring them each year and they're telling you if you improve the land, sustain it or degrade it. We only have one year of basic baseline done with them so far. So it'll be interesting to see what they say, but I'm a lot more interested in outcomes than I am in inputs. I think that certification is differentiated in that way, and I'm interested to see what pops out from it.

Colter DeVries 35:55

Well, Paul, we're kind of nearing the end and I want to speak on behalf of all of our listeners that we appreciate your service to this country. We value that. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your leadership as a Marine. It seems like you're a leader now in the ag industry, and what drives you? What keeps you going? I like to leave these episodes on a positive note, like people walk away and be like, “Oh, I'm super motivated. That guy just got me jacked up to start a revolution.”. From your experience, when the videos I watched when you didn't have that gray in your beard to now, what are your life lessons and I guess your message for our listeners?

Paul Greive 36:48

It's a good question, man. I don't wanna sound cheesy, but I really feel like as Christians, we have this exciting opportunity to kind of partner in the renewal of all things. I think when I read the Bible, I don't think farming is off-limits. I think good stewardship and taking good care of land and animals are square in our calling as human beings. I mess up all the time but to feel like I'm trying to kind of farm in a way that is biblical and is caring for the land and animals. It's really fun. It's exciting also just like the idea of leaving things better for the next generation and leaving them with some alternatives that didn't exist when I was a kid. Another big reason why we've partnered up with Purdue is that I wanted to actually move the needle and doing that at farmer's markets is really tough. Doing it on a million acres with one of the largest poultry companies in the world is actually pretty possible. I like the idea of trying to leave the system better than we found it. When I camped out, I did a lot of camping as a kid, my dad would always say we're gonna leave the campsite better than what we found it. I love that as a principal for land ownership and business stewardship. That's always just been deeply ingrained. I think we're doing our best. As I said, we still haven’t this all figured out and if I'm leading, I'm a bit leading. Blind leading the blind a little bit. It's been really fun. There's a golden age with how much information's available now. I think that there's a golden age coming for livestock that's around transparency, authenticity, and storytelling. It's moving a bit away from the labels, attributes, and third-party certifications. I think it's gonna be really fun for those of us that are in a kind of at the ground floor. It'll be a really fun next 10-20 years. The plant-based thing is like the ship is sailing. When you look at the kind of performance of some of the meats and companies that are out there, I'm not saying anything bad about them, I just think consumers are not really responding the way those companies probably thought they would. So being able to do better within the meat is gonna be really critical. I think looking at the power that animals have to benefit the ecology is really exciting. 

Colter DeVries 39:15

That's a great message. I appreciate hearing that. Paul Greive of Pasturebird, do you have any wants from our audience? We have a lot of brokers, real estate agents, and landowners mainly interested in kind of your trophy ranches, production ranches of the Great Plains of the West, but good diversity of professionals in the land business as well, as appraisers, etc. Do you have any wants or asks of our audience?

Paul Greive 39:51

Man, if I ever make it big, just sell me one of those really nice ranches with a river, a lake on it, and a nice cabin. I do some hunting and fishing. ]I'll let you know when I'm ready for that. We're not quite there yet, so. 

Colter DeVries 40:01

All right. Your inbox is about to blow up with a bunch of properties. Thank you. 


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