First generation farmer Nate Powell-Palm shares his inspiring story of starting his farming career at the age of 12 and adding pulses to his grain and livestock rotation.
Nate is located near Bozeman Montana and currently farms organic pulse crops, oilseeds, cereals, and livestock. Beginning on his parent’s ten acres in 2004, Nate now farms around 1,000 acres spread across 12 different landlords. He also serves on the National Organic Standards Board and has been an organic inspector for about ten years where he has visited over 3,000 farms across 44 states.
In this episode, we talk about his story of getting started in farming, what his organic production system looks like, how his picture ended up on the box of Annie’s Mac N Cheese, and what he has learned from others on his farming journey.
“General Mills, owner of Annie's Mac N Cheese, developed a product saying we're going to make it with one-third yellow pea flour. And they said, Nate, you want to grow some yellow peas? And I'd never grown yellow peas, but I'm like, I'll try anything. And it just ended up being this super good fit for my region.” - Nate Powell-Palm
Nate has grown his operation and maintained it with an organic certification. He has found success in having a diverse production profile and that has included pulse crops. By incorporating pulses he has appreciated better soil health, improved soil fertility, better yields and an effective natural weed control.
“What I've learned through not only farming, but organic farming especially, is diversity pays. And so if you're going to be at all a producer you'll want to have more than just one stream of income.” -Nate Powell-Palm