The bulk of Louiaisna’s population, living in cities like Baton Rouge and New Orleans, probably don’t think much about it, but farming is a significant sector of the state’s economy. Nearly one-third of the state’s land is farmland!
There are 27,400 farms in Louisiana, though it’s a rapidly changing and challenging way to make a living. Even given the obstacles though, there is opportunity for a new generation of creative cultivators who are practicing new ways of raising livestock, growing crops, and creating new products with the output.
Galen Iverstine is founder and co-owner of Iverstine Farms and Butcher. The name of the company refers to a farm in Kentwood, Louisiana that uses sustainable farming practices in raising its cattle, and a full-service butcher shop, smokehouse and “eatery” in Baton Rouge.
At the Baton Rouge outlet Galen sells local, farm-raised meats, and supports local farming partners who prioritize land-healing methods.
Galen started the business in 2010, when he purchased his 65 acre farm. It grew out of his experience senior year at LSU, when, trying to figure out what to do with his life, he took an English class that focused on food writing and in doing so learned all about food policy, industrial agriculture models and subsistence farming. It might be the most unique introduction to farming, ever!
Natalie Noel’s connection to Louisiana agriculture is through our sugracane crops. Nathalie is CEO of Noel Family Distillery, a company based in Donaldsonville that uses locally sourced sugarcane to distill ultra premium spirits. Not only do they make tequila, rum and vodka, they also blend their spirits with natural flavors to produce a line of ready-to-drink, canned craft cocktails.
Natalie founded the Noel Family Distillery with her dad, Chip, who was inspired to open a distillery by his travels as a pilot, where he discovered Caribbean style and Central American rums.
Out to Lunch is recorded live over lunch at Mansurs on the Boulevard.