Most of us know Dylan Ratigan as the outspoken political journalist and author of the bestseller "Greedy Bastards." After nearly two decades in the media industry, he left his successful self-titled show on MSNBC and joined up with Colin and Karen Archipley at their hydroponic organic farm, Archi's Acres. Ratigan is working with them to help former veterans learn about farming.
We got a chance to catch up with him and find out a little more about the the farm, the vets and how the whole process has changed his view of food.Question:
Tell me about your decision to leave your successful show. How did you come to the decision?Answer:
I didn't want to waste any more time talking about political issues like joblessness, food deserts, crumbling infrastructure, the misuse of veteran population, and education. I wanted to move from talking about it to doing it. ... Karin and Colin welcomed me with open arms and allowed me to enroll myself along with the proceeds from my book in [the] farm incubator. It was the opportunity of a lifetime.Question:
Where do you see this expanding?Answer:
As the director of national development for Archi's Acres my job is to secure the necessary funding to open an Archi's in every city in America and create hundreds of thousands of jobs for veterans and cure the food deserts issue. This may ambitious but it's just the [start].Question:
How do you determine which veterans are admitted to the school? What are some of the hurdles they encounter?Answer:
Everyone is admitted. If you can't do the first thing your asked to do, we find something you can do. Failure is not is option.
If you want to be a part of it we will find a way to help you be involved.Question:
How has this changed the way you see food?Answer:
I've always been a gardner and a cook and a food lover.
Ratigan said that hydroponic organic is the future of nutrient rich food. "To learn and see these pipes hanging with beautiful plants ... you think, 'this is the craziest thing I've ever seen.' It's only because of our cultural heritage and attachment to the earth that this is a novel idea, but historically this dates back to Babylon.
During our chat Ratigan said, "my joke the whole time I was in journalism was we're just going to quit this thing and start a farm." Looks like he made it happen.
Find out more about Archi's Acres here