565: Donna Kilpatrick on Bringing Food Closer to Home.

Helping others understand the value of small farms.

In This Podcast:

Large-scale farming is known to be labor-intensive and supports practices that are harmful to the natural environment. However, Donna Kilpatrick has spent much of her life’s work as a land steward, facilitating regenerative and sustainable agricultural practices to bolster small-scale farmers and a thriving local ecosystem. Listen in to learn about how Donna made a career out of her passion, what she does to educate her community, and the importance of training new farmers.

Our Guest:

With over twenty years of experience in agriculture, Donna is a land steward, specializing in regenerative agriculture, and ecosystem health and abundance. She has been with Heifer USA since 2007, overseeing all agriculture enterprises on Heifer Ranch since 2017. Prior to returning to farming full-time, Donna was a volunteer for the Peace Corps in Ecuador, working with cattle and dairy farmers. She holds a degree in sustainable agriculture and literature from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC, where she worked on the college farm; and a masters in non-profit management from The New School in New York, NY. She is currently working toward her accredited professional status with the Savory Institute.

Listen in and learn about:

    • The choice that changed Donna’s life
    • What she discovered after working on a large-scale dairy farm
    • Heifer USA’s role in the community
    • What is the Grass Roots Farmers Cooperative
    • How marginalized communities are being supported  
    • Why is there a need for young farmers
    • Why smaller-scale farms are better for profitability

As well as:

Her failure – Working for a large-scale dairy farm that she was not passionate about

Her success – Going against the “grain” with choosing her career path

Her drive – How her work supports thriving local ecosystems

Her advice – “It is important for people to find their unique genius, regardless of the obstacles”

Donna’s Book recommendations:

Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, A New Earth by Charles Massy

How to reach Donna:

Email: Donna.Kilpatrick@Heifer.org

Instagram: @heiferusa

Twitter: @HeiferUSA



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