It is a rare pleasure to speak with a person of consequence and have their undivided attention for an hour. Ray Archuleta, who needs little introduction, has been a person of consequence in the lives of Buz Kloot (Soil Health Labs at the University of South Carolina) and Tanse Herrmann, NRCS Grazing Lands Soil Health Specialist working out of Rapid City, South Dakota.
In this podcast, Buz and Tanse host Ray Archuleta and catch up with him, but before that, both Buz and Tanse tell their stories of how they first met Ray and how he has impacted their lives.
A theme that runs through the podcast is The Goal of farming/ranching – making money is an outcome, but The Goal is to Follow the Pattern that Mother Nature has provided.
We talk to Ray about his journey since he left the USDA-NRCS (where he served for 3 decades) and what he’s been up to since then. Ray now has land near Seymour, Missouri and talks about having “Skin in the Game” now that he has his own land payment and his own livestock to manage! Ray talks about having skin in the game as being a great tool to make him more empathetic to the ranchers and farmers he speaks to, and he still does a lot of that. Ray also speaks from his own experience of farming with sheep, the mistakes he has made and what he’s learned in the process – infrastructure, animal safety and health, epigenetics and simplicity of design are discussed.
The conversation turns to the work that Alejandro Carrillo has done on the Las Damas Ranch in the Chihuahua desert and how transformational this has been to the landscape (see the Las Damas Case Study at the end of these show notes). Ray uses the discussion about Alejandro’s land as an opportunity to educate us on the principle of ecological context (often considered the 6th principle of soil health), in this case, he discusses ecological context in terms of the difference between rainfall on his land (~45” a year) versus Alejandro’s (8” – 10” a year).
Books Discussed in Podcast: Note we have links for convenience- there are other outlets that carry these books as well.
Movies: “Kiss the Ground.” Understanding Ag’s Ray Archuleta, Gabe Brown and Kris Nichols, Ph.D. https://kissthegroundmovie.com/kiss-the-ground-understanding-ags-ray-archuleta-gabe-brown-and-kris-nichols-ph-d/
Recommended Podcast: The Regenerative Agriculture Podcast – hosted by John Kempf. https://regenerativeagriculturepodcast.com/ Books Recommended by Ray Archuleta (these are all searchable, some of them available in pdf format)