What is Long Dream Farm?
LDF is not a farm in the traditional sense, i.e. an agricultural operation devised to produce (and sell) food.
Our mission is to research better ways of animal based food production and educate -- and hopefully influence -- future generations of farmers to follow these practices; our products are, in essence, part of the marketing.
1- Dairy and egg farming have drifted away from traditional practices in ways that make them unethical to practice. These changes have been made, ostensibly, for economic reasons: produce more volume more cheaply. The irony of this is that, at least in the case of dairy farming, it is, despite all the horrible practices, still unprofitable and many dairy farms are dying. In the case of egg farms, no better illustration of the economic fallacy is the bird flu epidemic of a few years ago where millions of birds in highly concentrated chicken populations had to be destroyed. (This illustrates the 'tail risk' associated with undiversified practices.)
2- Meat, dairy and egg substitutes are rapidly gaining acceptance and market share. The stigma associated with consumption of the animal based versions-- and their production-- will only intensify. As soon as viable alternatives are available at an acceptable price, the transformation of the market may be extremely rapid. (This will leave the industry with a crisis of what to do with the millions of farm animals in the system; this is a problem we hope to help address with our not-for-profit.)
What do we do?
We are combining traditional farming practices
-- working with animals that are not overbred for short-term production but rather ones that are robust, long lived, can thrive on foods that are healthy for them, and are the best at caring for their young
-- animals living in uncrowded conditions, mainly outside
with newer concepts
-- birth control, fewer calves, and much longer lactation periods
-- complete decoupling of dairy & egg production from meat production
-- preserving animal family structures to the greatest extent as possible including with our bird population
-- full partnership of animals and humans, anticipating a time when machines have taken many jobs but (many) people are looking for the emotional connections with animals and some associated physical labor.
-- actively using our animals in soil improvement and water sequestration as well as grazing/browsing inaccessible areas to control fire danger. (New technologies will eventually greatly facilitate these efforts.)
-- we have reached a comfortable steady-state given the land and other resources we have available, though research continues into making our operation more efficient and into understanding of scaling strategies for our model and practices
-- our state certified dairy/creamery produces greek yogurt, cheeses, butter, ice cream and eggs that are fresh and delicious and come from working with animals that live long, happy and low stress lives with their families
-- we have developed an economically viable road-map for animals associated with standard commercial farms as their industry becomes disrupted by technological change