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Road to Damascus Moment

Road to Damascus Moment

Douglas Gayeton for Lexicon of Sustainability

Road to Damascus Moment

Road to Damascus Moment: A revelation especially about oneself, denoting a change in attitude, perspective or belief

Bill, a Georgia cattleman says: “I’m the product of three different land grant institutions. All my formal training was based on the ‘industrial ag model.' Part of my job required me to educate other producers. While traveling home late one night in the mid 90s after making a presentation to beef producers on the merits of the mainstream beef system, the futility of what I was doing suddenly struck me: Cattle were not put on this earth to be transported long distances, confined in feed yards and stuffed with concentrate feeds. They were put here to graze. That realization was my Road to Damascus moment."

Bill Hodge says, “My transition began in the mid 1980s when I was victimized by the government’s ‘dairy buyout program’ (paying producers to get out of the business by reducing their herds). I’d been “stockering” 700 head at the time (putting weight on the cattle as efficiently as possible) when the bottom fell out of the market causing me to lose quite a sum of money. From that point forward I began researching more sustainable beef production systems. My research revealed a very broken industry, one controlled by corporate meat producers preoccupied with shareholder wealth. Still, my love for meat animal agriculture wouldn’t allow me to quit for another ten years"

Location: Hodge Ranch Carrollton, GA