What are farm transitions?

Farm transitions are a holistic approach to fixing our broken food system that benefits everyone involved.

From the exploitation of farmers by Big Ag, to environmental degradation and significant contributions to climate change, unequal access to fruits and vegetables, and the overwhelming amount of animal cruelty, animal farming does much more harm than good. When our food system transitions from farming animals to farming plants everyone wins–animals, farmers, the planet, and communities.

Why Transition?

Farms are struggling. Big Animal Ag exploits animal farmers. Many are deep in debt and unable to earn a livable income–all while corporate Big Ag (companies like Tyson and Perdue) make billions. Farms face the very real threat of being forced to permanently shut down their operations due to unfair pricing and pressures from large animal farming operations.

Animals are dying. Approximately 10 billion land animals alone are slaughtered for food annually in the U.S. alone. Each is a unique individual, with the ability to feel pain and experience joy. Animals killed for food are no different in their ability to love and form relationships than the dogs and cats with whom we share our homes.

The planet is being destroyed. Animal agriculture has a devastating impact on the environment. From deforestation, water pollution, and soil depletion to greenhouse gas emissions, animal agriculture is a leading contributor to environmental degradation and climate change.

Communities are suffering. There are vast disparities among communities in access to healthy food, and communities without abundant access to fruits and vegetables suffer from higher rates of diet-related illness. What’s more, in some of the most prolific agricultural regions in the world, much of the land is used to grow commodity crops that are used for animal feed instead of for crops that can go directly to people.

There is a silver lining. There is an opportunity to change all this. Demand for plant-based foods is skyrocketing. Government programs are shifting focus on illness prevention, including through diet. And Animal Outlook’s Farm Transitions Program provides farmers with the guidance and tools they need to exit animal farming and forge a new path farming plants.

How is Animal Outlook’s Farm Transitions Program unique?

Our program is run by a renowned fifth-generation farmer with a PhD in Agricultural Sciences. It is the only farm transitions program with a comprehensive blueprint designed to be a replicable model that can be used on numerous farms, ultimately removing billions of animals from the food system.

  • Our program is run by a farmer. Animal Outlook’s Director of Farm Transitions, Dr. Timothy Bradford, Jr. (T.J.), is a fifth-generation farmer from Mississippi, a Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, a former Professor of Agronomy, and former soil scientist with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. From the hands-on work of farming to the academic study of agricultural systems, T.J. knows farming, farmers, and farm communities. His expertise and his relationships with farmers are unparalleled across farm transition programs.
  • We have a detailed blueprint that takes farmers from the desire to transition to a fully transitioned farm. We have created a detailed, 6-stage, 36-step blueprint designed to take any farm from raising animals to growing plants. It begins with a comprehensive enrollment process that seeks to deeply understand the farmer and their existing farm. Then, it moves through subsequent stages–including providing legal assistance, offering partners to assist with and models of financing, guidance on architectural renovation and infrastructure, equipment compatibility, assessments of land capability, business planning, marketing consulting, and the rehoming of animals–all before a single seed is planted. 
  • Our blueprint is laser-focused on growth and replicability. Our blueprint capitalizes on what is standard across all farms while being flexible enough to be tailored to the unique needs of individual farms. This ensures that it is replicable across a variety of sizes, locations, and types of farms and farmers. Over time, our blueprint will remove billions of animals from the system.
  • We provide personalized, hands-on help from start to finish.  Animal Outlook’s Farm Transitions Program provides expert guidance and material assistance to transitioning farmers. We do not merely give money to farmers and send them on their way, nor do we simply provide information and hope they figure it out. Instead, we work closely with farmers every step of the way.

  • Our program removes barriers to exiting animal farming and entering plant farming. Animal farmers are often ensnared in a cycle of exploitation that does not fairly compensate them for their labor. They are faced with the very real threat of being forced to permanently shut down their operations due to unfair pricing and pressures from large animal farming operations. Our program removes exit and entry barriers, repurposing property and equipment and providing a path out of animal farming and into plant farming.

  • We know it doesn’t work unless it works. Animal Outlook’s Farm Transitions Program helps farmers move from full time animal farming to full time plant farming. We know that, when we are working with farmers, they are trusting us with their livelihoods, and that this is a big responsibility. If a transition is not successful, or if a farmer is not able to subsist by farming plants without other income, we have not been successful. Our program measures its success by the only metric that counts: whether we have helped a farmer remove animals from their farm and continue making a living farming plants.
  • We unequivocally want to remove animals from the system. While we applaud and support efforts to transform the food system overall, such as improving access to healthy foods and working to lessen the control of large meat, dairy, and egg corporations over farmers, we believe removing animals from the food system is necessary to significantly impact the exploitation, environmental, health, and animal issues mentioned above. Animal Outlook aims to fill that niche–to be part of the overall overhaul of the food system by focusing our efforts specifically on removing animals from the system and replacing them with plants.

Are You A Dairy, Poultry, Cattle, Pig, or Other Animal-Based Farmer?

We are currently recruiting farmers interested in fully converting their facilities from animal to plant-growing facilities. These conversions will form the basis for replicable models in a variety of types of farming and alternative business plans. To learn more or begin the intake process, email farmtransitions@animaloutlook.org. The consultation is free of charge to the farmer.

Key supporters:

Stray Dog Institute    David Reuben      Dr. Bronner’s