The senator praised Barbara Kingsolver’s book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” which he read last year, about growing and harvesting one’s own food and buying locally. He said his family tries to buy as much as they can from a local farmer’s market, but they still shop at the supermarket, too.
Paul also cited Joel Salatin’s “Folks, this Ain’t Normal,” another book about sustainable farming.
Paul said he took his son, Robert, to visit the author’s farm in the Shenandoah Valley last year, where he grass feeds his cows, chickens and hogs.
“He collects rainwater from the slopes of the mountain,” said Paul. “Manure is his fertilizer. He avoids vaccines, antibiotics, and hormones. His farm is idyllic and he trains interns on sustainable farming. He also sees the government as a troublesome meddler in the life of the small farmer.”
“Like many libertarians, he sees government regulations written to benefit the large corporate farmer but nearly impossible for the small farmer to follow,” Paul said of Salatin. “I hear the same stories from small banks, small medical practices and small retailers.”
His sermon for sustainability served as a broader point about politics.
“When we as Republicans wake up and tell voters that we want to be the champion of the small farmer and the small businessman or woman, then we will thrive as a party,” he said.
A presidential candidate who visits and quotes the great Joel Salatin? This is fantastic stuff. Next time he’s in the Dallas area, I hope Sen. Paul will go out to see my conservative farmer friends Robert and Nancy Hutchins at Rehoboth Ranch. He’ll eat well and learn a lot about what it means to love God, respect the earth, and raise healthy and delicious meat. Robert used to work in defense contracting before he gave it up to become a farmer. I bet he and Sen. Paul could have some interesting conversations on that front too.