Doniga Markegard is a rancher with a background in ecology and permaculture, and she’s here to share how regenerative agriculture can help to restore the biodiversity of prairie grasslands while simultaneously producing grass-fed, nutrient dense meat.
In her youth, Doniga was mentored by some of the leading wildlife trackers, naturalists and Native spiritual elders. She spent years alone and with a small group of passionate youth in the Western Washington Wilderness learning the ways of the ancestors, immersing in nature, bird language, survival skills and wildlife tracking. Fast forward to today, she now stewards 10,000 acres of land in California where she — along with her husband and four children — owns and operates Markegard Family Grass-Fed LLC raising grass-fed beef, lamb, pastured pork and dairy. Doniga is passionate about large-scale restoration of Western Rangelands through cattle grazing, and she and her family have developed grazing and conservation management plans that encourage a resilient and diverse landscape.
Doniga believes that humans are an integral part of the complexity of life, and in this episode, we hear how her family stewards land based on the principles and patterns found in nature. She takes us back in time to her wild childhood and her time spent tracking wolves in Alaska and Idaho. We discuss living with apex predators and her unique perspective on ranching alongside wolves, as a rancher with an ecological background and passion for wildlife. We also hear about her family’s misleading feature in the controversial film Cowspiracy, which sheds a grim light on the credibility of this film’s message. Tune in for a refreshing take on sustainable, holistic agriculture and Doniga’s captivating evolution from wild child to conservationist and rangeland steward!
- Show Introduction
- Introducing Doniga Markegard
- What brought Doniga to her work in sustainable ranching
- On grasslands
- The life-centric focus of regenerative agriculture
- Doniga reflects on her childhood and shares about her book, Dawn Again
- Living with apex predators
- The truth about “Cowspiracy”
- Life on Doniga’s ranch
- Transitioning back into the world after time spent in wilderness immersion programs
- Doniga’s prognosis for the future of the human species
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RESOURCES FROM THIS SHOW:
- Video: Wildness - Enrique Salmon on "kincentric" ecology
- Kincentric ecology
- The Role of Indigenous Peoples in Biodiversity Conservation
- International Forum for Agroecology
- ReWild Yourself Podcast: Why I'm Not a Vegan - Daniel Vitalis #94
- How to fight desertification and reverse climate change | TED talk by Allan Savory
Doniga Markegard has a background in wildlife tracking, holistic management and permaculture. Along with her husband Erik and four children, Doniga lives on a coastal ranch in San Gregorio, CA. Doniga is passionate about finding ways to regenerate lands and community through practices that build soil, sequester carbon, capture and purify water and enhance habitat. Doniga has an immense passion for the natural world and helping others live a life of balance with the earth and all living things, leading a life of example where her own actions are deliberated into the health of the future generations.