Joel Salatin, a leading light in the local food movement, met with several dozen local farmers and ranchers on a warm February day that made him wonder aloud about returning to snowbound Virginia.

A practitioner of natural and organic farming, Salatin has little need for massive investment in machinery and other components associated with USDA-approved corporate food production.

"I'm into stewardship and creating value," Salatin said. "I'm into multiple-use equipment instead of the single-use equipment that enslaves farmers."

After presenting an overview of his Polyface Farm in Virginia at the Upper Applegate Grange, Salatin roamed nearby Yale Creek Ranch in the Little Applegate Valley, observing organic farming as it's practiced on 83 acres in Southern Oregon.

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