It’s this broad appeal that makes Salatin unique, says Teresa Heinz, the American philanthropist whose foundation recently awarded him a $100,000 award for his work.
“Salatin is a person who is accessible conceptually and conceptually acceptable to a huge number of people – not just the Massachusetts guys, but people from anywhere,” Ms. Heinz says.
What breaks Salatin’s heart is that the rest of the religious right has been largely uninterested in picking up the banner of environmental stewardship.
“I think the whole religious right community should be very apologetic and repentant that we – who should have carried the banner of Earth stewardship – got co-opted on that message,” he says.
But his position as a darling of the environmental left but with increasing cachet and respect from the religious right may make him the catalyst in bringing the two groups together.
“Buying food as a community is a very fundamental Christian value. It’s a value of many religions, and it’s a value of the liberal community as well,” says David Evans, who owns Marin Sun Farms, 40 miles north of San Francisco. “I like to believe that around food production is where we can become more politically neutral. Everyone should be around the table on these issues.”
Like Salatin, Mr. Evans refuses to sell his products beyond a roughly four-hour drive from his farm. By following Salatin’s model of marketing directly to local restaurants, farmers’ markets, and grocers, Evans has tapped into a community-based form of economic growth.