The Beginning Farmer

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Welcome to Episode 15! So, what can happen when an active youth pastor gets the results from his life insurance physical? Today, you’ll hear how those results and what the doctor ordered drove the youth pastor to become the beginning farmer.

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grassfed-cattleEthan Book dreamed of being a farmer when he was a kid, but life’s necessities steered him in a different direction.

After having children, his practical wife insisted he procure life insurance. But that required a physical exam, which revealed Ethan had very high cholesterol.

The two options for treatment included a lifetime of medicine, which Ethan wanted to avoid, or a drastic diet change centered on grassfed beef.

Ethan opted for the latter approach, but there was a problem. Grass fed beef was expensive, and Ethan didn’t earn too much as a youth minister. So, he did the only thing he could do–he bought land, and became a farmer.

Today, Ethan blogs at, and has an excellent podcast called The Beginning Farmer Show.

Listen in to how Ethan and his wife feed their family of seven on less than $150/month at the grocery store, while producing excellent pasture raised pork, beef and lamb for local customers in Iowa.


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Production Credits

  • Story written by Tim Young

Music Credits

Small Farm Nation creates beautiful farm websites and offers online farm marketing courses that help farmers grow profitable farm businesses.