KENT, CT — To farmer, marketing entrepreneur and author John Suscovich, his axiom of wealth comes from inspiring the world to raise millions of chickens on grass. In the process, he hopes to provide an economic boost to countless communities around the globe. “When more farmers are on the land feeding their local food-shed, I’ll be truly rich,” said the former Eagle Scout.
From humble beginnings on rented land and minimal infrastructure in New Milford, to the established 52-acre diversified farm in the highlands of Kent, Suscovich’s passion for pastured poultry has only increased. “Change comes from many people taking purposeful actions toward a common goal. Globally, roughly 20 million chickens are consumed every day. Under such demand, poultry has become a commodity, as well as a uniform, tasteless, sad lump of biomass that requires a lot of spices to make it taste like anything,” said Suscovich. “Our movement of grass-based farmers seeks to bring the flavor and nutrition back into poultry and in turn give our customers a better eating experience — much akin to the way Grandma’s dinners used to be.”
“Thanks to the efforts of such people as the ‘beyond organic’ farmer Joel Salatin and organizations like the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA), there are a growing number of people putting the chickens back on grass. Pasture-raised chickens have increased omega-3 fatty acids, more beta carotene and a lot more flavor from a varied diet out on the grass and more exercise. There are many ancillary benefits from being outdoors to the health of the birds that we haven’t measured and documented yet,” said the Suscovich.
Being a tinkerer at heart, Suscovich created his own unique brand of “chicken tractor” that he states makes the daily care of the birds easier. This venture led him to self-publish his first book, “Stress-free Chicken Tractor Plans” which walks would-be pastoralists through a step-by-step process on how to build a mobile broiler chicken coop. Leaving no farmer behind, he has also created an extensive, free library of resources, including financials, on raising broilers profitably at his Farm Marketing Solutions website (farmmarketingsolutions.com) and Youtube channel.
To encourage others to create change and draw attention to the benefits of grass-based production models, Suscovich has created a social platform called the 1 Million Chicken Initiative. He surmises that with each copy of his paperback or e-book sold, it represents at least one chicken tractor built. With each chicken tractor comfortably housing 25 chickens at a time, 40,000 chicken tractors represent 1 million chickens in the hands of hungry customers. “In terms of economics back to farmers, that represents over 20 million dollars in sales, as well as millions of friends,” said Suscovich. “I like that compound interest.”