A conversation with Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, CEO of Tree Range Farms, farmers and producers which a focus on establishing or maintaining a “jungle like” habitat that honours the true natural environment of chickens. When they do this, they not only create a better habitat for the chickens, they create a better world. We talk about using indigenous knowledge to transform the food system, how chickens could and should be raised with a focus on soil health and how to structure business with an indigenous mindset.
LISTEN TO THE CONVERSATION ON:
Thinking and seeing the world from a chicken perspective probably is not something you do everyday, but actually it is a fundamental piece of the regenerative food system puzzle. Sounds weird? Get ready for a wide ranging interview on why chickens are such a perfect entry point into the regenerative production world, but also on regenerative mindset shift and decolonizing our food system.
HOW CHICKENS COULD AND SHOULD BE RAISED
Reginaldo’s observation of chickens over 2 years revealed their needs for protection and balance with other species’ nitrogen uptake, among other things.
”It needs protection at night; it needs protection from the air during the day. I’m talking to you from the perspective of the chicken, so this is what it takes to be able to see the world from the vulnerabilities of this species you are working with and from the needs of the species you are working with. It needs food, is going to have it from the ground, doesn’t have a chewing mechanism, so it can’t rip, is going to peck, and on and on and on it goes. And once you catalogue all of that, then you observe the chickens doing exactly what they do.” – Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin
”I just literally sat frequently and observed the ranging distance from their barns. I noticed that when you move the shelters, they get lost and disoriented, and then they get stressed, which then affects the immune system. It’s like a chain reaction. So, never moved the shelter. That was the first decision we made. Okay, so if you’re not going to move the shelter, then what’s the density of animals that you’re going to have that balances out within nitrogen uptake? […] So, now you start balancing out the nitrogen output, the behaviour of the chicken with the needs of those other species, and the needs of the chicken to be protected at night solid and protected during the day.” – Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin
HOW TO STRUCTURE BUSINESS WITH AN INDIGENOUS MINDSET
Indigenous people engage their own intellect and innate intelligence to see the whole picture before making judgements about what is better.
”As you go into that process of trying to figure out a strategic way to enter the food and ag system, but don’t want to do it from the extractive, exploitative, destructive ways of the conventional ways, but you want to continue to codify those ancestral indigenous ways into this new space, you got to find an entry point.” – Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin
THE INDIGENIZATION OF THE MIND AND THE COLONIZER
”So, there is a process we call indigenization of the mind. And then decolonization of methodology and systems. So, the indigenization of the mind comes from observation, meditation, sharing of the stories, listening to feedback, and then doing it all over again. And every time asking the question, what does the chicken see?” – Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin
”We need to kill the coloniser, meaning this spirit of coloniser within us. If we could just balance it out with indigenous intellect and in the indigenous capacity we have, if we can at least balance those two, we would see the other 95% of opportunities out there that we squandered when we focus on extraction, exploitation, and destruction.” – Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin
”No money on this planet is going to change anything. If our inside, who we are, doesn’t change, and that is fundamentally the problem we have, who we are right now, who we have become, as we evolve on this planet.” – Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin
”The indigenous engage the indigenous intellect and the innate intelligence and see the whole picture before we make statements about what is better or not.” – Reginaldo Haslett- Marroquin
SHORT-TERM RETURN VS LIFE CYCLES
”If you are a coloniser, you look at the feed conversion rate and the short-term return on investment. If you are looking at it from an indigenous perspective, you will look at the life cycles.” – Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin
OTHER POINTS DISCUSSED
Koen and Reginaldo also talked about:
- Wealth distribution
- Regenerative finance and shifting mindsets
- Investing in ecosystems’ health
- Paul Greive – How the biggest exit in regeneration led to millions of more chickens on pasture
- Will Harris – Why one of the largest pasture raised company in the US doing really well but stillbarely making any money
- Pierre Weill on selling 2b euro a year of animal protein as anti inflammatory food
- Ruud Zanders, the revolutionary poultry farmer about the role of animals in feeding the world
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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.