Stephanie and Blake Alexandre are the owners of the Alexandre Family Farm, the first regenerative dairy in the world. Fourth generation dairy farmers with over 40 years of experience, Blake and Stephanie Alexandre founded Alexandre Family Farm in Crescent City, California in 1988.
LISTEN TO THE CONVERSATION ON:
What does regenerative diary look like and how do you build a lighthouse example for many industrial dairies in the US? Plus can regenerative dairy be a medicine?
Regenerative Organic Certified
The Alexandre Family Farm, being a leader in the regenerative dairy industry, is the first officially certified regenerative organic dairy farm in the world. They do this through their high-quality and “correct” management which has evolved over the years. The Alexandre Family Farm wants to be the pioneer that shows other small-time or even big-time farmers that the rewards from regeneration are far more than the profit—regeneration results in better soil, and consequently, better food that would carry on generations after generations.
“We’ve been really trying to prove to a lot of folks that we can do organic, and we can do it right. We can do regenerative, we can do it right, and we can do it at scale.” – Blake Alexandre
Keeping Everything Natural
Stephanie and Blake emphasise the importance of keeping everything natural. As an example, they keep diversity by using new seeds and new varieties within the old pasture cattle graze. Whatever they feed the animals, they grow in their farm to keep everything organic. The Alexandre Family Farm does everything in cycle, in harmony, in moderation, and naturally as they believe that veering away from cheap and fast production allows better produce worthy of premiums, which means ensured profitability.
“We focus on what we can do and make a change right here in our little world that eventually just grows. And as our products lead, then we’re hopefully making a difference in the ultimate world.” – Blake Alexandre
Food as Medicine
There are a lot of autoimmune diseases that are part of the American food system, and Stephanie believes that this should not be the case. In fact, if anything, food should be part of the solution to these diseases. Stephanie recounts the many anecdotes from consumers where their organic milk has functioned almost like a medicine to children with autism, children with seizures, people with lactose intolerance, and even among people with autoimmune diseases. Both Blake and Stephanie believe that with enough research, we can soon unlock the connection of milk quality to people’s (especially children’s) health.
“We get calls all the time about people who can’t drink dairy, and they can digest our dairy. We’ve gotten people that have told us that they thought it was raw milk, and they could drink the raw milk because it still had the lactase enzyme for digestion of the lactose.” – Stephanie Alexandre
Start with Why
For Blake, to revolutionise the food system, it’s important that farmers understand the “why” side of regenerative agriculture. Farmers and ranchers have to understand first that “treating the ground appropriately” by keeping everything harmless and following the natural process will give far more sustainable yields and results. With consumers becoming more and more aware of the food they consume, providing a slowly produced but high-quality goods will allow farmers to ask for premiums, which will ultimately benefit everyone.
“They have to somehow get weaned off of all the current systems that they’re addicted to. There’s a lot of stories and a lot of education that needs to take place.” – Blake Alexandre
Other Points Discussed
Koen, Stephanie, and Blake also talked about the following:
- Understanding the soil makes organic farming simple;
- Sustainable is profitable;
- Honoring and understanding the system of ecology and biology that’s happening in the soil;
- Changing our farmers’ soil management is the path to regeneration;
- Building a brand not for selling, but to help the community;
- Adding value to farmers’ products everywhere.
To know more about Stephanie and Blake Alexandre and the Alexandre Family Farm, download and listen to this episode.
- Acres USA
- Weston Price Foundation
- Devil in the Milk: Illness, Health and the Politics of A1 and A2 Milk
- Wij land research on regenerative dairy profitability vs extractive dairy (in Dutch, use Google Translate or Deepl to translate :))
- Rumiano cheese
- Allan Savory TED Talk
- Will Harris, White Oak Pastures LCA
- Great podcast with Will Harris
Linked previous Interviews:
- Joe Baird, the view of an experienced impact investor on regenerative agriculture
- Jonathan Lundgren – Regenerative agriculture much more profitable than extractive ag?!
- Elizabeth Whitlow on how to change the ag world with the gold standard of regen certification
Feedback, comments, suggestions? Reach me via Twitter @KoenvanSeijen, in the comments below or through Get in Touch on this website.
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The above references an opinion and is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.