In this episode, we discuss Marshall’s calling to birds and the prairies, the great influence of our indigenous populations on our past, present, and future grasslands, how birds are a strong indicator of the health of an ecosystem, and how we, as conservationists, along with well-managed cattle can call on our nation’s history to restore our soils.
Marshall describes the vital ecosystem services that ranchers provide as they raise food for consumers. He reminds us that when we shop, we often don’t pay for these services: currently, when we buy beef or poultry from a ranch, we’re only paying for the bottom line cost of production. But what ranchers give us, and their surrounding ecosystem, is so much more.
This is why Marshall and his team created a market-based Conservation Ranching Program that rewards ranchers and educates consumers to support them as they work to restore and preserve bird habitat on ranches and grasslands. This win-win initiative is growing rapidly and now enrolls more than 2,000,000 acres across 60 ranches.
We’ve discussed bird-friendly beef before with Blue Nest Beef and in this episode, we mention that you can visit the Audubon Society to learn more about conservation ranching and where you can find a bird-friendly ranch near you.
We could have chatted for hours about his work, but I look forward to continuing to follow Marshall and welcome him back to the show and blog again soon!