Interview With Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative CEO Cody Hopkins on the Future of Farming in America
Cody Hopkins, CEO and Founder of Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative – a collective of family-owned farms committed to the raising high-quality, pasture raised, grass-fed & grass finished meat joins Enterprise Radio. As a farmer himself, Cody’s mission with Grass Roots is to team up with farms around the nation to achieve more sustainable livestock farming.
Listento hostEric Dye& guest Cody Hopkins discuss the following:
- What was your inspiration in starting Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative?
- I understand Grass Roots farmers use rotational grazing and regenerative agriculture in raising their animals, can you explain what those are and what impact these practices have on the environment?
- So the farmers raise the animals, but where is the meat processed?
- How can consumers be in the know on their order through Grass Roots? Are they able to track the product all the way back to where the animal was raised?
- There is a lot of debate between plant-based diets vs. meat-inclusive diets. What should people know about meat consumption in relation to achieving optimal health?
Cody Hopkins has spent more than 12 years developing a vertically integrated sustainable livestock farm. He began farming in Arkansas, with no prior experience, in 2006, soon after launching Falling Sky Farm. He and his wife Andrea Tody founded Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative in 2014, with Falling Sky Farm as one of the founding farms. Since then, the cooperative has brought in more than 20 farms across the U.S., all with the common objective of sustainable livestock farming.
Grass Roots’ intention is to change the way meat is produced and consumed across the U.S., with the additional goal of authenticating the integrity of the food we consume. He believes, after all, it shouldn’t be so difficult to understand what you’re eating and how it was raised.
A physicist turned farmer and CEO, his vision when he began was to create a farming business that was good for the animals, good for the environment and good for customers. In order to create an innovative farming business, he is continually embedding the latest thinking into every aspect of the business — from regenerative agriculture to blockchain technology.
Cody has received a number of accolades for his work, the Wild Gift Fellowship and being named a Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur. He was also featured in Forbes as an “Up and Comer,” and in 2015, was also named an Arkansan of the Year by Arkansas Life magazine. He sits on the board of the Grass-Fed Exchange and is a regular speaker on the pasture-based farming circuit, commenting on the state of regenerative agriculture, animal welfare, sustainability and using blockchain technology in farming.
He has a BA in physics from Hendrix College and, before pursuing his career in agriculture, he taught high school physics and math.
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