Rocky Mountain Organic Meats | Farm Meets Function
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Rocky Mountain Organic Meats | Farm Meets Function

September 4, 2019

I’m Rod Morrison, a certified organic farmer here in Park County somewhere halfway between Powell and Cody. Being certified organic, it just means that we’re farming the land like we did in probably 1942 prior to World War 2 meaning we, we use livestock to bring fertility back to the soils and then, you know, run a pretty strong crop rotation, pasture rotation, animal rotation around basically imitating mother nature is what it is. Well, we grow grass for the animals right now because our soils here have been conventionally farmed for a number of years, number of decades in fact and so we’re trying to build up some soil fertility with pastures and animals grazing on it and giving it a chance to recover Well being organic it and as far as those things all I mean that’s what it’s all about it’s about how it all works together We don’t bring any inputs in here. We don’t bring anything from outside of this place The feed that we raise gets fed to the livestock to live here and they lay down the manure that that we want. We’ve got probably close to three hundred and seventy acres of irrigated land and that means we have a right to put water on it The other lands which total probably a hundred and fifty are basically native lands that haven’t been cultivated or plowed or they don’t have water rights so we don’t grow a crop on them. I mean as a human being and living in this habitat, I’ve tried to improve it in the sense of planting more trees, trying to manage the soils in ways that allow for more, more, more and better habitat for wildlife. I don’t burn my ditches. I don’t burn my aftermath. I don’t… I don’t spray anything. We mow where the noxious weeds are. But as far as, you know, birds, aviaries, or bird places is probably the most important thing that Wyoming can can do to protect and help the environment. That’s one of the things that I see here. I wish I had more trees. I planted, oh, I’ve probably planted 500 trees and my problem is the habit that likes the trees so much they eat them and that’s the deer. So, you know, trying to fight them to, to let the birds come in, you know. Everything’s got a reason for doing what it’s doing and you can’t, you can’t argue with it. I think the argument needs to be done. I’m not real impressed with the Russian olive tree. I’ve got a lot of those and birds love them, but they are so prolific here, you know, and they are, they just grow anywhere. And they are, I know the state of Wyoming has put them on the noxious weed list and… they just need to be managed, that’s all, and I don’t know that I would consider them noxious because I think birds have a great place to be in Russian olives, but Russian olives need to be less. I allow hunting, you know, which I think is important because I do want, I do need to thin the deer and it’s a great way to do it. Birds, we do bird hunting on the place. We don’t We don’t devastate them at all because there’s plenty of cover and it’s a challenge to get them up and it’s a lot of fun and a lot of people have fun and kids come out with their parents and they feel like it’s a good safe place to go and… and they’re, they’re very appreciative to the facts and that, that makes me feel good. And the other part of it, just a little bit of tourism. We do this campground. We… We rent out a cabin up there at the house. We’ll probably bring out the old homestead at some point next year and possibly be some rooms in the big house. We built the house and the cabin, the building itself, the house is a, as much recycled material as we could come across. The beams were out of a grocery store that came down in Cody. So yeah, and any then two of the buildings, or barracks, is from the Japanese concentration camp, relocation camp. Then after that are all metal structures from the 70’s, you know, everything was metal shops so both, you know, so as yeah, it’s a time machine. My wife and I are members of the crow tribe. We were adopted. We’re adopted members of the crow tribe, the Obsolica. And they’re great people. We’ve, so we’ve been doing this pipe ceremony every, every summer in July, and they come down, we get together here in this place and we have a pipe ceremony and a tobacco ceremony, and we have a our crow elder by the name of Grant Bull Tail who his grandfather was born here. So I mean to me that’s just huge connectivity. It’s fascinating to listen to his stories and to talk about this place and what it meant to to his people and all the other Native Americans that were here in this place. If I had the resources and by that, the capital and the labor, I have the land, yeah, I would do, I would do a number of things that would really improve the habitat, make it better for everything that lives here, including myself. So it’s a balancing thing, and that’s the thing I think humans get wrapped up in sometimes you know, trying to figure out what that is and be part of it, and I think we can be good at it if we, if we study and learn what that, hat that balance is. But understand, you do something here it’s impacting something over there, you know, it’s never going to be just the way you want it. Mother Nature is going to say what she wants. So as a human that’s, you know, I’m trying to manage it in the way that allows me to grow a healthy food for humans, an organic way, a sustainable way and at the same time, interact with the wildlife that’s here.

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