Jason is a visionary who really gets it.
I am an orthopedic surgeon specializing in trauma and limb reconstruction. At work I am dedicated to bone health where diet is a crucial element. At home, personal health and the health of my family consumes my time. My wife, Ivette, is functional nutritionist, chef, and physical therapist whose passion and focus lies on healthspan and longevity through nutrition and exercise. She envisioned being a part of the regenerative agricultural movement which started with buying a farm. Our daughter, Fiona, worked as a WWOOFer on a regenerative farm and was the catalyst for our decision to buy land. She is in medical school and has a dream to integrate farming with medicine (regenerative health care) by opening a clinic on the property some day.
I first heard Jason Snavely speak on regenerative food plots for deer on an interview with Christian Berg on the Petersons Bowhunting podcast.
Jason was on fire with a deep knowledge of soil health and a passion for improving the nutrient quality of the food the deer eat. Healthy deer means a healthier hunter. This message resonated with me and Ivette. We are dedicated to healthy eating and living. Improving our gut microbiota has been a mission for us over the last 12 years. We bought pastures and forested land a few years ago and turned our efforts to improving soil microbe health on the property. At the same time, I picked up Bowhunting white tails and immediately loved the entire hunting process. Now both of my kids have vertical bows and are practicing for the Fall bow season. I knew I needed to get Jason onto my land to see how we could optimize our soils and deer health (and meat quality). I wanted my white tails to be the most nutrient dense in the area, and I wanted to attract more deer to feast on our superior forbs: a win-win.
Jason was immediately responsive to my initial outreach email. He was super organized offering a few well thought out options for land assessment. We had a phone consult and he gave me some great pointers. Later he helped guide me through the purchase of a used compact no-till seed drill. I bought some of the meticulously sourced Drop Tine seed. Ivette and I broadcasted Arctic Bloom for the early spring frost seeding. The clover blew up in all of our fields this year. In early summer a farmer friend brought over his tractor and we seed drilled Summer Reload into two deer plots. The Drop-Tine seedlings sprouted quickly keeping up with the native grasses and clovers.
The strategy is that the improved plant diversity will lead to improved soils attracting deer to the plot. We believe deer have nutritional intelligence favoring nutrient dense plants over conventional high-yield nutrient-poor ones. Ever have a peach that tasted like a potato? You would not go back to
that fruit stand. It’s the same idea with forbs and deer.
In late summer we will mow the plots and no till drill Fall Reload and Full Draw 7. I will add a new plot as well and seed Fall Fuel. We are excited to introduce new seeds every spring and fall and hopefully watch the deer feast while establishing ecodiversiry.
Jason is an inspiration to all people that work in any area of life science including agriculture, forestry, wildlife, and human medicine. There is an intersection between our gut microbiome and the soil microbiome which is clear to Jason. We are what our food eats. We hope that our fields will feed many microbes, critters, and people with nutrient dense produce improving the health of all plants and animals along the chain. Thanks to Jason and the Drop-Tine organization for helping guide us on this journey.
Dr. Austin Fragomen