Episode 1

Published on:

18th Jan 2022

First Generation Farmer Nate Powell-Palm

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

This Week on Growing Pulse Crops:

Growing Pulse Crops Podcast is hosted by Tim Hammerich of the Future of Agriculture Podcast.

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About the Podcast

Growing Pulse Crops
The science and business of farming field peas, chickpeas, and lentils
This show features the latest in research, agronomy, and economics of pulse crops (peas, chickpeas, lentils, etc.).

Demand for these nutrient-dense, high-protein foods continues to grow. There is also interest from farmers to include more pulses into diverse rotations for benefits like nitrogen fixation and soil health.

But the industry continues to face challenges, and we are eager to address these head on. So if you’re a pulse grower or in any way interested in these important crops, hit subscribe and stay tuned for future episodes. We’ll be back with plenty of information about challenges pulse farmers are facing throughout the U.S. and what solutions are working.

Brought to you by the Pulse Crops Working Group with support from the North Central IPM Center and USDA NIFA.

About your host

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Tim Hammerich

I share stories about agriculture, agtech, and agribusiness on podcasts and radio.