Will Harris is not a typical back-to-the-earth organic farming advocate: He’s a hard-bitten, fourth-generation, good ol’ boy, commodity cowboy who raised cattle in strictest post WWII industrial fashion. Addicted to ammonium nitrate fertilizer, hormones and antibiotics, Harris squeezed every penny out of every cow pound. Until he didn’t. In 1995, Harris began to change how he farmed. He began to pay more attention to the microbes in his soil than to his chemically sponsored beef yields. In the process, he went from liking what he was doing “every year a little bit less” to feeling good about everything his transformed farm had to show him — including things he never expected to see.
- Peter Byck