Bernard Smith

Streaming Media

Publication Date


Document Type



47 minutes


Meat Industry and Trade, Sustainability -- Oregon, Agriculture


Interview of Bernard Smith by Kyle Dykstra on February 28th, 2010.

The interview index is available for download.


Bernard Smith owns and operates Full of Life Farm in St. Paul, Oregon. He grew up on the farm, and left it after high school. He earned a BA in Finance from Oregon State University, and a MBA from Santa Clara College. He went on to work in finance for Charles Schwab in San Francisco. After hearing a lecture on nutrition by Dr. Thomas Cowan, MD, Bernard Smith and his wife, Michelle, returned to the farm in 2003 to raise grass-fed meat.


Bernard Smith is interviewed on his family’s Full of Life Farm located in St. Paul, Oregon. Smith changed from an MBA business track, in San Francisco, when the nutritional value of eating traditional foods versus processed foods was brought to his attention (while attending a Western Price Foundation lecture). He then spent five years planning before moving back to work his family farm. He discusses transparency of farming practice, organic certification, and the process of rebuilding topsoil on family farms; he believes transparency is a more powerful tool than certification. Full of Life Farm utilizes a mobile henhouse to preserve grass for the chickens; following with the cows about 4 days behind helps breakdown the cow manure. Bernard discusses the difference between feedlots and slaughterhouses, the damage from the grain-finishing and slaughtering processes, as well as the economic sustainability of a smaller farm—including some discussion of potential avenues for farmers to be able to make a profit producing high quality, local food. Smith discusses a three-avenue approach to marketing (through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), farm stand, and farmer’s markets) and his idea to move, exclusively, to an online CSA model, once his farm’s presence is well established.

This interview is part of “The Sustainability History Project: Documenting Sustainable Development and Practice in the Pacific Northwest” at Portland State University.


This digital access copy is made available as streaming media for personal, educational, and non-commercial use within the parameters of “fair use” as defined under U.S. Copyright law. It cannot be reproduced, distributed, or broadcasted for commercial purposes. For more information, please contact Special Collections at Portland State University Library at: or (503) 725-9883.

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