144: How to Cut All Chemical Nitrogen on a Farm with James Foley

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I always enjoy speaking with farmers, whether on my podcast or when I’m out in the fields hunting and fishing. Therefore, I welcomed an opportunity to not only talk with James Foley, a dairy farmer from Co. Waterford, but to visit him and spend the day on his farm. Yes, that means it’s one of those rare episodes where I meet my guest in person, like in the old days, shake his hand and sit down in the same room while we record our conversation.

We discuss a wide range of important farming-related topics like getting rid of nitrogen inputs, multispecies pasture, soil health, organic farming and how to convert a conventional farm to a low input operation. James describes his journey to regenerative farming and how it helped both biodiversity and his pocket. Of course, we don’t shy away from important subjects like the perception of farming by the wider public.

It was a massive pleasure to spend time at the Coolydoody Farm and to hang out with James. At the end of the day, we swapped our logo hats and book recommendations. Of course, just like every farmer, James couldn’t let me go empty-handed so I left his farm not only with the recorded material for this podcast but also with a pack of organic pork sausages from outdoor-raised pigs.

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