Regenerative Practices / Grass-Fed Livestock / Organic Grain
About the Farmer
Zack Koscielny B.Sc. Agroecology
My name is Zack Koscielny and I am an owner-operator at Green Beach Farm & Food. Currently, I am on the farm full time, while the rest of my family is on the farm part time. Growing up, our farm was called Salt Lake Charolais, as we were primarily breeders of pure bred Charolais cattle. We have since evolved into a commercial cow-calf operation with substantial direct market sales of grass fed beef and naturally raised pork with plans of adding certified organic grains in 2020.
Growing up on a farm was an incredible experience that I consider myself lucky to have enjoyed. This farm life left me with a deep passion for both agriculture & the environment and led me to a degree in Agroecology at the University of Manitoba. At the time, I thought that an Agroecology degree would leave doors open to both the agricultural fields, as well as environmental fields as I had not decided on farming for a career at the start of my time at university. The Agroecology program at the U of M is meant to take a system based approach to agriculture, which is somewhat unusual as the current approach to agriculture is quite simplified, searching for point-and-shoot solutions in a natural system that actually thrives on complexity. As I worked through my degree, it became increasingly clear to me that I wanted to farm full time. The tipping point came in my final semester. I was enrolled in a class coined ‘Cropping Systems’ which was being taught by Gary Martens. To make a long story short, Gary spent nearly every class talking about Regenerative Agriculture, whether it was via YouTube videos, phone call interviews with farmers practicing Regenerative Agriculture, or having us design cover crop cocktails to address certain soil issues. The more I learned about Regenerative Agriculture the more I had a burning desire to get back to the farm and start implementing some of these practices that could benefit the environment so positively while also making agriculture a profitable endeavour for a young person. Primarily as a result of this class, I decided to take the leap and began full-time farming in the fall of 2018. My education did not stop with my graduation, as I continue to learn every day listening to Regenerative Agriculture podcasts and Soil Health Academy conference calls while working on the farm. I was also fortunate enough to get a spot in a Soil Health Academy school at the MBFI Research Station. Here, I heard from Regenerative Agriculture experts such as Gabe Brown, Allen Williams, Ray Archuleta, Blaine Hjertaas and Michael Thiele. Needless to say, the Regenerative approach to farming has made agriculture exciting and made me optimistic about choosing to farm full time.
As far as what the future holds, I hope to expand our direct marketing of beef & pork, as well as to diversify into direct marketing pasture poultry, flour, rolled oats & lentils. Ultimately, it would be great to find a restaurant to supply with some or all of the products we produce at Green Beach Farm & Food.