Meet A Grass-fed Beef And Pastured Pork Farmer

Farmer’s markets are festive places. What’s not to love about artisanal foods, hand-crafted goods, and down-to-earth farmers? My all-time favorite reason for going to farmer’s markets is to meet farmers.

I like to ask them questions. Lots of questions.

Most farmers, contrary to popular stereotype, are an articulate, well-educated group. They have well thought out reasons for why they do what they do (which is why I like picking their brains). In the video below, you’ll get to meet a farming couple who raises grass-fed beef and pastured pork.

In just 5 short minutes, Jerry and Sam Williams managed to talk about:

Watch the video.

These people are passionate about what they do and obviously enjoy their work. (Hmmm… I’m starting to see a pattern here.)

If you want to get to know your local farmers, check out the links on my Real Food Resources page. You’ll find a handful of online directories listing local farms, ranches, farmer’s markets, etc. Then you can give them a call, visit their farm stands, and get to know them.


This post is part of today’s Real Food Wednesday blog carnival hosted by Kelly The Kitchen Kop.

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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for sharing that video Kristen. I think it’s refreshing to see more farmers with such a healthy perspective. I completely agree with them that there should be less (if any) regulation on direct farmer to consumer sales. We should have the right to make our own choices! I also found it interesting about E Coli developing resistance to acidity because of cows being fed grain.

    I also published an article today about grass fed beef discussing some of it’s health benefits (in the latest post link below). I think we all need to support these farmers as much as we can, especially since the government is making life difficult for them.

    Vin | NaturalBias.com

  2. Bill Sullivan says

    As a farmer I can sell you any animal that you wish to purchase and you can send that animal to any butcher you choose to have it processed. Where the regulations come in is when I sell meat after it is processed, I then am required to have the animal slaughtered at a USDA certified processing facility . There are many of them both large and small as many of them have the USDA inspector in once a week to be there while the animals are killed. The importance of this is sometimes the inspector might find a tumor for instance in pigs liver and they will isolate that carcass until the lab tests for safety. This seldom takes more then a few days. I personally feel that the current rules don’t restrict the farmer from marketing product and provide a safety net for the consumer. As an organic farmer I would be concerned with the statement ” we generally TRY not to use chemical fertilizers and pesticides ” this to me means that they are using chemicals and pesticides including worming poison which is a huge health risk. I understand not wanting government intervention but if you were in the Industry you may have seen abuses that warrant protecting the end user.

  3. says

    Bill — I’m all for protecting the end user, but surely there are solutions that scale down to a smaller farmers needs? For example, I’ve heard that Vermont has mobile slaughterhouses that can come directly to your farm to humanely kill & process smaller quantities of meat.

    Or, why not create some sort of USDA approval process for smaller artisanal butchering facilities so that it’s more affordable for a one or two man team to set up shop and humanely slaughter animals? As it stands now, someone inspired to do that has to jump through all the same legal hoops as the large-scale facilities slaughtering hundreds of cows/hogs per hour, when many of those hoops simply don’t apply given the small scale of the work.

    Plus, I’ve heard different things from different farmers in different states, which leads me to believe that a lot has to do with your own state and what’s available/legal in your area. So, the Williamses may be dealing with some sort of regulations you don’t have to deal with.

    Laryssa — I thought the same thing! Hearing her explanation of that is what swayed me from being just a viewer of the video to wanting to share it with all of you.

    Vin — I agree. I think the more we can connect with our farmers, the better. For everyone involved — farmers & consumers.

  4. says

    Great post! I definitely see a lot of the farmers and food growers that I talk to and deal with whom are fair, kind, concerned about the well-being of others, and their number one priority seems to be producing a product that is healthy for everyone – the consumer, the farmer, the animals, and the environment. It’s so sad that people cannot see this obvious sentiment through the actions of the people who work so hard to procure healthy food and land for anyone who wants to partake of it. It’s clear that these people are not engaged in their efforts soley for profit (which is more than you could ever say about the denizens of Agribusiness); they are individuals who care about ethical choices for the good of humankind. The fact that they make a living is important, though, because it proves that these types of businesses can be and are successful – both in the economic and environmental sectors.

    Raine Saunders

  5. says

    My family and I hit the farmer’s market every Saturday. However we’ve never actually taken the time to speak to them. I try it out this weekend. Thanks for this awesome post!

    AJ

  6. says

    Neat! I have noticed that listening to farmers talk about their work makes people really have a different appreciation for the way food is meant to be raised, whereas otherwise it’s often the bigger, cheaper, enhanced fruit, produce, and animals that we often buy.

    Matt (No Meat Athlete)

  7. says

    I’m not so concerned with the “Try” statement. Just sounds like loose wording. If you buy from them ask and I suspect you’ll find they do more than “try not to use pesticides and herbicides” but they actually do not use these chemicals. A good example of why communications and local is important – you can easily ask for clarification.

    Their issues about the processing are very valid. On the one hand we need food safety. Nothing is every 100% safe but we need to do a very good job, especially with retail sales through stores and restaurants where the chain of control becomes less direct. On the flip side, when dealing directly people should have the right to make choices. This issue is getting recognized. There was a time when very bad things were happening in the food industry about 100 years ago. Recently we had some new scary recalls although they were blown way out of proportion – sensationalism. The USDA is improving things for small and very small plants but it still has a long ways to go as do states. The pendulum swings.

  8. Eilish Foley via Facebook says

    when I first went to farmer’s markets in NYC the vendors were mostly from NJ and PA – but now I am able to find farmers from around the area I went to HS in NYS and other parts of lower NYS

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