The New Livestock Farmer: The Business of Raising and Selling Ethical Meat
by Rebecca Thistlethwaite and Jim Dunlop, 312 pages, 7½x9½, softcover. I sniff suspiciously at any single volume that claims to cover such broad and complicated territory as this book’s subtitle promises to deliver. How to raise chickens, turkeys, waterfowl, hogs, cattle, small ruminants, rabbits, bison, elk, and deer—and how to market them while keeping on the government’s good side? I condemned this book before I opened it for luring aspiring livestock farmers with bright promises and random wads of insufficient information. Well, Thistlethwaite and Dunlop astonished me. No, this book doesn’t have everything you need to know about all these subjects, but they don’t waste a single word in three hundred pages. As an experienced and opinionated hog producer, I found little to quibble with in their chapter on pigs and was impressed by the thoroughness achieved in such a short space. The sections on legal considerations and marketing are clear-eyed, humorous, and founded on good business sense. Highly recommended for the entry-level farmer, and probably useful to those with a few years’ experience under their belts too! -Alice Coyle
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