"It is both very frustrating and disappointing that I have to argue
merits of family farms and pastured livestock's role in sustainable
agriculture on a sustainable ag list."
I say, BRAVO! You're out there doing something different- pasturing hogs and seeking a sustainable method for your farm. You're obviously not a soybean grower, so why try. Keep on growing those porkers. I'm sure that carnivores (vegetarian myself) prefer pasture raised over feed lot raised.
Don't let the theorists get you down. I always say, "Well, let's see your ..." (fill in whatever the theorist is running down). It's my opinion that it's better to raise meat on pasture than the way we do most of it here in the USA. We'll switch to soybeans when the country is 100% vegetarian.
As a side note, organic soybean growers in Tennessee got $12 to $16 per bushel last year on the Japanese market. Try your figures at $14 per bushel after reducing average yields per acre by 10-20%. Also, take into account 3 to 5 years of rebuilding soil fertility and soil biodiversity after conventional farming. These farmers told me that the conventional farmers laughed at them because their yields were lower than the county averages. They said they laughed all the way to the bank with more $$$ per acre.
Keep On Keeping On,
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