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  Eatwild Producers, This Page Is For You!

The Producers' Corner features information of general interest to Eatwild producers. (The public can view this page, but the content is geared toward producers of grass-fed products.) Some of the postings are from us at Eatwild.com. The rest are from you, the producers. We invite you to send us information about:

  • Upcoming conferences, farm events, and resources.
  • New discoveries, e.g., “Raw honey works wonders on pink eye!"
  • Questions you would like answered by other producers:

E-mail your information and we’ll post it online. (We reserve the right to screen the postings and make necessary edits.) Also, let us know what other content you’d like to see in the Eatwild Producers’ Corner.

Need to update your Eatwild listing? Visit our Request for Inclusion page for more information.

Upcoming Events


Friday, March 11, 2016, West Central Wisconsin Spring Grazing Conference, Grand Occasions Ballroom, Osseo WI. Speakers include:

  • Justin Morris – Regional Soil Health Specialist, USDA NRCS
  • Ken Anderson – Nutritionist & Agronomist, Anderson Feeds
  • And a farmer panel sharing their stories of direct marketing,sheep dairy, organic dairy and composting, and the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program

Lunch is included with your registration. More information here. Register Online or use this form. Registration fee increases after March 6.


Aspiring Livestock Producers Needed. Join Rogue Farm Corps in 2016! Applications now open for positions throughout Oregon

Interested in learning how to raise grass-fed meat? Want to know what it takes to run a sustainable cow or goat dairy?  How about pastured eggs? Many of our participating host farms specialize in sustainable livestock and/or dairy production, and a few focus on both vegetable AND animal production for the student who wants to learn it all. Please browse the listings of host farms on our website for more details: http://roguefarmcorps.org

Rogue Farm Corps' FarmsNext program is an entire season of hands-on training and skill-based education in sustainable agriculture for aspiring farmers and ranchers. This immersive on-farm experience combines field training with a mentor farmer, classroom learning with agricultural professionals and expert farmers, tours of local farms, and opportunities for farm-based independent study. Positions available on a diverse network of commercial family farms in four communities across Oregon. No experience necessary to apply. More info here.

Rogue Farm Corps trains the next generation of farmers and ranchers through hands-on educational programs. Our host farms are located in four cluster around Oregon: the Rogue Valley, the Portland Metro Area, the South Willamette Valley, and Central Oregon. For complete program descriptions, information on our host farms, and applications, visit our website: http://roguefarmcorps.org

Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) accepting applications from livestock and poultry farmers for Fund-a-Farmer grants.

Fund-a-Farmer Project provides grants to qualifying humane farmers who need assistance in improving the welfare of their farm animals.
Grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded for projects that help farms transition to and/or improve pasture-based systemsLearn more about pasture-focused projects and see funded project examples. They are looking to fund working, independent family farmers that raise pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, dairy cows, turkeys and/or beef cattle. Other species not on this list are not eligible for consideration at this time. Applications will only be accepted from farms already considered highly welfare-oriented as determined by holding or working toward a humane certification for their livestock or poultry. These certifications are:

a.  AGA Certified Grassfed    
b.  Certified Humane
c.  USDA Certified Organic
d.  Animal Welfare Approved 
e.  Certified Naturally Grown
f.  Global Animal Partnership Levels 4- 5+

Applications must be submitted online by November 3, 2015 for grants awarded in March 2016. View eligibility criteria & guidelines and apply online via the Fund-a-Farmer Project website. Start your application now! Online applications are strongly encouraged.
Interested in learning more about Fund-a-Farmer grants? FACT is offering two free online information sessions this fall, which will include a presentation by Humane Farming Program Director Lisa Isenhart about how to apply as well as time for a Q&A. You can register online for either the September 29th info session or the October 21st info session.

U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's Recommendations Fail to Distinguish Between Grain-fed, Feedlot Beef and Pastured, Grass-Fed Beef – Your Comments Needed by May 8

Ridge Shinn, a 100% grass-fed beef producer and Eatwild supplier, is the lead author of a letter to the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services regarding their recently released U.S. DIetary Guidelines. A major fault of those guidelines, according to Shinn, is that "The data on the production and consumption of factory-farmed meat is presented as if these facts applied to all red meat. While most of the red meat consumed by Americans is cornfed, feedlot beef, there is a widely available alternative that the Guidelines should acknowledge: 100% grass-fed beef, produced with no grain, and no feedlots.

"The unintended consequence of this omission," the letter continues, "is that the Guidelines will work against the continued growth and success of a new, regenerative, agricultural model that produces high quality food."

Read the letter in full for more information and to learn where to submit your own comments to the committee.

Ticonderoga, New York Slaughter Process Center Now Certified Organic

April 11, 2015. Adirondack Meat Co located in Ticonderoga NY is now open and looking to serve your business. They are a full service USDA inspected slaughtering and processing facility. They can process animals from hoof to hanging half, quartered, or fully process out in USDA-labeled packages ready for sale in your store. They can handle BEEF, PORK, GOAT, and LAMB, and arrange pick up of live animals. Facility tours available. NOFA organic certified, member Adirondak Harvest, AWA Approved.

Contact Jim Ward for more information: (518) 586-4645 (cell), or (518) 585-2333 (office). Email: James@ADKMeatCo.com. Website: www.adkmeatco.com.

FACT Offers Grants to Farmers to Attend Conferences

Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT), a humane farming and food safety nonprofit organization, broadens opportunities for humane farmers in the United States by providing Fund-a-Farmer grants that enable livestock and poultry farmers to transition to or increase access to pasture on their farms. (Note: the grant application period is closed until September 2015.) Their brand new Fund-a-Farmer scholarships enable livestock farmers who wish to learn about humane farming methods to attend a sustainable agriculture conference.

This year FACT will award scholarships for livestock and poultry farmers to attend select sustainable agriculture or humane farming conferences, a key way that farmers share resources and knowledge with one another. A limited number of  scholarships will be available to cover registration expenses to five specific conferences, including:

  1. EcoFarm Conference, Pacific Grove, CA – January 21-25, 2015
  2. PASA Farming for the Future Conference, State College, PA – February 4-7, 2015
  3. OEFFA Annual Conference, Granville, OH – February 14-15, 2015
  4. MOSES Organic Farming Conference, La Crosse, WI – February 26-28, 2015
  5. Southeastern Sustainable Livestock Conference, Atlanta, GA – March 28, 2015

Current livestock and poultry farmers who express an intention to learn about humane farming methods at a sustainable agriculture conference are eligible. Farmers must own or be employed by a working, independent family farm. Interns and volunteers are not eligible for a scholarship.Farmers seeking a scholarship should complete a simple application requesting funds to reimburse registration fees. They also require proof of conference registration. Applications are accepted via email and mail. Please email application materials to scholarship@foodanimalconcerns.org.

FACT’s will reimburse up to $400 for expenses associated with conference registration fees. FACT will not reimburse for conference meals, lodging, transportation, membership fees, or pre-conference workshops that are not related to livestock or poultry production. Scholarships will be awarded on a first come, first served basis to eligible farmers for one of the five conferences listed above until funding is depleted.

After attending the conference, scholarship recipients will be required to (1) submit photos, (2) complete a short questionnaire, (3) provide a testimonial, and (4) participate in our online forum for humane farmers. Recipients will also be automatically added to our monthly Fund-a-Farmer email listserv. If a scholarship recipient does not attend conference for which they received a scholarship, all funds must immediately be returned to FACT.

Visit Fund-A-Farmer.org for more information.

Polyface Farm offering DVDs

Joel Salatin, Polyface Farm, is working on a series of DVDs. The first is Pigs 'n Glens. This 40-minute video provides "a virtual hands-on lesson at Polyface Farm learning the ecological benefits and logistics of raising pigs in a patch of woods."

Follow this link for a preview... http://www.youtube.com/embed/ujkrm8FCUT4?rel=0

American Grass Association Calling on Producers and Consumers to Speak Up about Rancho Recall

February 21, 1014. The American Grassfed Association wants to make consumers and producers aware of the situation in California with the Rancho Feeding Corp. recall that hit small grassfed producers in central and Northern California hard. According to the AGA, the USDA has provided no concrete reasons for recalling a year's worth of production from small farms that go above and beyond to produce clean, healthy meat in a sustainable and humane manner.

Not only are the producers facing economic devastation, says the AGA, but they've now lost the only small slaughterhouse within 150 miles. Marin Sun Farms, an AGA-certified member and an Eatwild producer, has agreed to buy and operate Rancho, but closing the transaction and getting the plant reopened could take weeks or months. The AGA is asking stakeholders to speak up and demand transparency and relief for these family farms.

To get the most recent updates about the situation, visit AGA's Facebook page:

Farm Gets Creative to Expand Food Education Project

February 1, 2014. White Gates Farm, an Eatwild producer, has launched a "Kickstarter" project to expand their on-farm "Edible Education" project through the addition of a meeting-function room and commercial kitchen. The facility will be used for their farm day camp for kids; workshops, seminars, and cooking classes for adults, ongoing studies for farm interns, tours and dinners for the community at large, and other creative events with food, nutrition and sustainability as a focus.

The project will only be funded if the toal amount needed is pledged by Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 at 4:03 PM PST. Follow this link to learn more about the Kickstarter fundraising process and the White Gates Farm project.

New ATTRA Publication Gives Ranchers a Formula for Productive Pastures

A new ATTRA publication, Grazing Calculator: Extended Cow Calf Pair, provides producers with a simple means of analyzing their grazing program throughout the season. 

ATTRA—the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service—was developed and is maintained  through a cooperative agreement with the USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service by the National Center for Appropriate Technology, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Butte, Montana.

“Knowing how long your recovery period will be, that is, the amount of time it takes grass to fully recover between grazings is essential to a successful grazing program,” explains Dave Scott, Livestock Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology and co-author of the grazing calculator.

The user friendly spreadsheet allows producers to keep an accurate record of seasonal pasture production per field which will, in turn, make management decisions much easier and help keep grazing plans on track. Accurate record keeping will allow producers to identify pastures that may become a weak link in the grazing system and enable them to troubleshoot if a problem arises, ultimately making the operation more efficient.

Grazing Calculator: Extended Cow Calf Pair is available for free download on NCAT’s ATTRA website www.attra.ncat.org. Read the full press release for more information.

Eating on the Wild Side Selected for Best Books of the Month of June by Amazon.com

It's finally here! The newest book from Jo Robinson, founder of Eatwild. With this book, Jo has extended her research on healthy, nutritious foods from pasture-raised meat, eggs, and dairy products to include fruits and vegetables. Start selecting healthier, more nutritious fruits and vegetables to accompany your grassfed meats and bring yourself closer to optimum health.

Eating on the Wild Side tells the history of many of our most common fruits and vegetables (Did you know that orange carrots did not exist until 400 years ago? Sixteenth century Europeans grew red, yellow, purple or white carrots. It wasn't until two plant breeders in the Netherlands crossed a yellow mutant carrot from Africa with a local red carrot in order to honor the House of Orange that carrots took on their present-day color. They were so popular that most of the other colors have been forgotten and few realize that they were ever any other way.)

Look for Eating on the WiId Side for sale at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and here on Eatwild.

Family Farmer Blues

Thank you to Eatwild producer Big Oaks Ranch for sending along the link to this video of Family Farmer Blues...


Great New Resource for Graziers

Check out the new blog, On Pasture: Research and Experience Translated Into Grazing Practices You Can Use NOW. Billed as "a new tool to make your grazing management better and more profitable," we think it looks like a neat deal—and it's free.

Written by folks like Kathy Voth and Greg Judy, people you may have seen at grazing conferences, or whose work you've read, it provides current information about grazing management, pasture health, money matters, various kinds of livestock, and much more.

Don't miss out. Visit their blog on line.

Eatwild Producers Receive Scam Attempts

Two Eatwild producers have reported attempted scams in the last couple of months. In one case the farmer was contacted by phone by a man claiming to be with the United Kingdom branch of Eatwild (No, there is no Eatwild branch in the UK--or anywhere else.) The supposed customer wanted to place a large order. The farmer made several attempts to call him back after their initial phone contact, but the customer no longer replied.

The second scam, this one via e-mail, was also for a large order. Here is the first part of the email.

This is [name]. .i have a birthday party and so do you have ground beef also do you accept credit card so if you have ground beef i will be needing this information How much will be 300 pounds total cost ...... your address for the private carrier coming for the pickup .......

Fortunately, neither producer was taken in by the scammers, but it pays to be on the alert. Some things to look out for include unusually large orders that the customer wants shipped by private carrier; poor spelling and ungrammatical language; requests to pay by credit card; and e-mails from free accounts such as yahoo or gmail.

Let us know if you have been the victim of scammers who have used your eatwild information so we can warn others.

Food Labeling – Understanding What Labels Mean

We're not fond of calling anyone a dummy, but we do like Animal Welfare Approved's extensive list of particulars about common food labels such as grassfed, free range, uncaged, fair trade, heirloom, halal, etc.

The list is a good tool for educating your customers and yourself about what these labels mean--and don't mean. Find it here: http://www.animalwelfareapproved.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Food-Labelling-for-Dummies-screen-v9-041013.pdf

Beginning Farmer Land Contract Program Assists New and Retiring Farmers

If you're a new farmer looking for financing or an established farmer who's ready to sell your land and retire, the USDA's Farms Service Agency (FSA) has a program that may interest you.

The Beginning and Socially Disadvantaged Farmer and Rancher Land Contract Guarantee Program, a pilot program in nine states since 2002, is now available nationwide. It reduces the financial risk for retiring farmers who sell their farmland to a beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher by providing a federal guarantee of three years of "prompt payments" if the beginning farmer runs into trouble making timely payments.

The program also offers a second option of a standard 90 percent guarantee of the outstanding principal on the land contract. The retiring farmer has the option of choosing the prompt payment guarantee or the regular guarantee on the value of the asset.

To be eligible for this program, the seller needs to self-finance the sale of the land and sell to either a beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer. The buyer of the farm or ranch must 1) be a beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher, 2) be not larger larger than a family farm (in which most of the management and labor is provided by family members), 3) be the owner or operator of the farm when the contract is complete, and 4) have an acceptable credit history and be unable to obtain sufficient credit elsewhere.

For more information, read the FSA fact sheet.

New Forage for Rangeland Cattle in Western U.S. Provides Higher Yield, More Protein & Protects Against Wildfires

January 24, 2012. Cattle that graze on rangelands in the western United States may soon have a new forage option, thanks to work by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist.

Research by geneticist Blair Waldron, in Logan, Utah, suggests that the forage kochia (Kochia prostrata) can provide more nutritious winter forage than traditional rangeland vegetation. In a series of studies, the USDA found that kochia, a shrubby Asian native plant that sometimes survives wildfires and other environmental challenges more successfully than North American native plants, can be established on damaged rangelands, and that it can compete with cheatgrass successfully.

Waldron and his research partners also investigated fall/winter rangeland forage yields, rangeland carrying capacities, nutritive values, and the livestock performance of cattle that spent the fall and winter grazing on either kochia-dominated rangelands or grass-dominated rangelands. Forage yield on rangelands seeded with kochia was 2,309 pounds per acre, which was six times greater than the forage yield on traditional grazinglands. This difference meant that the rangelands with kochia could support 1.38 animals per acre, while the traditional rangelands could support only 0.24 animal per acre.

In addition, the experimental forage had a crude protein content of 11.7 percent, well above the recommended minimum, while the stockpiled grasses had a crude protein content of only 3.1 percent, which was below the recommended minimum.

Click here for links to more information about this study.

Grazing Lands Stewardship Award Announced

The Florida Grazing Lands Coalition (FGLC) and the Florida Section of the Society for Range Management (SRM) have awarded the third annual Grazing Lands Stewardship Award.to Eatwild producer Deep Roots Meat, LLC. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to the ranching community in the areas of grazing and wildlife management.

Deep Roots Meat, LLC, is a family owned and operated agricultural business located in Greenville and Madison, Florida. This North Florida ranch has raised Angus cattle for six generations. Harold and Troy Platt are the present managers..

The Grazing Lands Stewardship Award was presented to Deep Roots Meat, LLC.on October 20, 2011, during a joint SRM and FGLC meeting and tour of the ranch.

"Mobile Harvest Unit" offers USDA processing on site

Eatwild producer Coco Collelmo of Fair Oaks Ranch in Paso Robles, California is in the news. She, along with other cattle ranchers throughout the Central Coast, have a new “mobile harvest unit,” a 28-foot-long slaughterhouse trailer made entirely of aluminum.

The facility has been a dream of the Central Coast Agriculture Cooperative, a for-profit collective of ranchers from Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey counties, for nearly a decade. Learn more about it in this article from the September 6, 2011 Santa Maria Sun newspaper.

Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN): help for small-scale meat processing

NMPAN is a network / hub for people and organizations who want small meat processors to thrive. A part of the agricultural extension program, they develop and distribute tools and information for small processors and the people who depend on them — producers and small brands. Their website provides information for individuals who want to expand, upgrade, or build a new plant; information on meat processing rules and regulations; state listings of meat processors; extensive information about mobile processing units—and much more.

Clean your water troughs

Animal scientists from Washington State University determined that 10 of the 320 water troughs they examined had significant amounts of E. coli 0157, which is one of the most harmful varieties. Scrubbing the troughs on a regular basis reduces the risk that your livestock will be contaminated with bacteria that cause foodborne illness.

Hancock, Dale D. et al. Multiple sources of Escherichia coli O157 in feedlots and dairy farms in the Northwestern US. Preventive Veterinary Medicine Volume 35, Issue 1, Pages 11-19

Meadow Fescue recommended for intensive rotational grazing

A dairy farmer discovers new/old pasture grass, Meadow Fescue. The grass is 4–7 percent more digestible and favored by the cows. Read more: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/2011/mar11/grass0311.htm

Eatwild producer Georgia's Small Business Person of the Year

Congratulations to Eatwild producer Will Harris for being selected Georgia's Small Business Person of the Year. Harris is the owner and president of the 1,000-acre White Oak Pastures, one of the largest pasture-based farms in the country. The operation employs 40 people and sells its organic, grass-fed beef to Whole Food Markets and Publix Supermarkets in five states.

SBA Georgia District Director Terri Denison said that "Will Harris and White Oak Pastures serve as a prime example of how innovation coupled with opportunity can transform a business or entire industry." One of Harris' many achievements is the construction of the largest solar barn in the Southeast. The barn generates 50,000 watts of electricity which is used to run the on-site beef processing plant. Harris is now installing a USDA-inspected poultry plant to process his pastured chickens and turkeys that will employ an additional 25 people.

Sweet-tasting grasses speed the growth of cattle and sheep and lowers greenhouse gasses

This April, British Agricultural Minister Jim Paice announced the results of a new study showing that raising cattle and sheep on high-sugar grasses can lower their greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent.

Everyone benefits from the sweeter feed. The ruminants like the taste of the grass and eat more of it. The sugars allow them to make more efficient use of the proteins in the grass. As a result, the animals reach market size weeks earlier, producing less methane overall.

Minister Paice said: “It is very exciting this new research has discovered that simply changing the way we feed farm animals we have the potential to make a big difference to the environment.”

The study was carried out by Reading University and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences. High-sugar pasture grasses are now available for sale.

Note: The UCS report is a well-researched blueprint for increasing the productivity of your pastures and lowering greenhouse gasses at the same time. We recommend that you read it thoroughly.

U.S. Scientists: “Grass-Fed Cattle Benefit the Environment”

Which is better for the environment—raising beef cattle on pasture or in the feedlots? On pasture, says a February 2011 report from The Union for Concerned Scientists (UCS) titled “Raising the Steaks – Global Warming and Pasture-Raised Beef Production in the United States.”

Although all cattle produce greenhouse gasses, the UCS has determined that a well-maintained pasture and careful management of the grazing animals can draw greenhouse gasses out of the air and store them in the soil where they fuel plant growth. The overall impact is positive. Feedlots have no living plants – just bare dirt and manure; instead of absorbing greenhouse gasses, they emit them.

We applaud the UCS for going one step farther and researching ways to make raising cattle on pasture even more beneficial to the planet. Here are some of their primary recommendations:

  • Improve the nutritional quality of the pasture by adding legumes such as red clover.
  • Manage the cattle so that they do not overgraze the pasture. “Rotational grazing” is the best method.
  • Manage the cattle so that they deposit their manure more evenly over the pasture.
  • Find ways to increase grass production throughout the year, not just in the spring and early summer.
  • Apply appropriate amounts of slow-release nitrogen fertilizer at the right time.

These best practices are in harmony with our standards at Eatwild. Read the Executive Summary Report: http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/food_and_agriculture/global-warming-and-beef-production-summary.pdf.
Read the Full Report: http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/food_and_agriculture/global-warming-and-beef-production-report.pdf

Grass-fed Beef: a $2 billion dollar market?

Since 1998, the annual sale of U.S. grass-fed beef has grown from $2 million to over $380 million, according to industry expert Allen Williams, president of Livestock Management Consultants, LLC. When imported grass-fed beef is factored in, the dollar amount more than doubles. “Grass-fed beef production really has gone from a miniscule industry to a thriving billion-dollar industry in just over a decade.”

Williams credits this remarkable growth to the nation’s growing interest in wholesome food, an improvement in meat quality, and, surprisingly, the fact that “many people not eating meat have begun eating grass-fed beef.”

Williams sees a bright future for the fledgling industry. High grain costs are raising the cost of grain-fed beef, he says, narrowing the difference in price between pasture-raised beef and beef from animals raised in feedlots. He wouldn’t be surprised to see the industry “topping $2 billion this year.”

www.agriview.com Livestock news, January 20, 2011.

In Memory of Rob Hogan, 1956-2010

Eatwild was saddened to learn of the death of producer Rob Hogan, who passed away on Friday, October 8, 2010. Hogan, who turned 54 during a three-week stay in the hospital, had been in intensive care after he fell from his tractor on September 15. He had been working in the field until 11 p.m. and missed the last step while climbing down from the tractor, landing with his full weight on his hip. He died from complications resulting from the fall.

Hogan lived on Hogan’s Magnolia View Farm outside of Carrboro, where the Hogan family has farmed for more than 240 years. Hogan began his farming career growing horse food and straw for landscaping, then expanded to the firewood and wheat business. Eventually, he realized how many of his customers were buying feed for beef cattle, and decided to get into the grass-fed beef business, becoming the first such farmer in Orange County.

Our thanks to Carolynn Carson for sending us information about Rob and for making a contribution to Eatwild in his memory. Read more at Community bids farewell to Rob Hogan.

2010 USDA report on the economic prospects of grass-finished beef

The June 2010 publication of Livestock, Poultry, and Dairy Outlook includes a short report on the prospects for grass-finished meat, produced by the Economic Research Service of the USDA.

There’s not much to the report, and it is biased toward grain-feeding. Surprisingly, it does not discuss any of the negative aspects of grain-feeding such as the overuse of antibiotics or water/soil pollution from large feedlots. The nutritional comparison between grass-fed and feedlot beef is particularly weak, and there is no mention of animal welfare or the fact that grazed pasture is an efficient carbon sink. Only five references are cited. Overall, grass-fed meat is presented as an expensive, inefficient, inferior product. One is left wondering why consumers would buy it.

But the report does indicate that the USDA is waking up to the consumer demand for grass-fed products. Relying on an Irish Survey (when will we have a US survey?) the report indicates that grass-fed beef is now 3% of the total U.S. production and has been growing about 20 percent for several years.

Here’s the link. Scan down until you find the report titled: Grain and Grass Beef Production Systems written by Kenneth H. Mathews, Jr. and Rachel Johnson. http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/LDP-M/LDP-M-06-18-2010.pdf

The ERS and the USDA needs to hear that that the report is inadequate and biased and, most important, is not an accurate portrayal of the future of grass-based production systems. To register a comment, email: KMathews@ers.usda.gov

Midget White heritage turkey beats out the Butterball

On November 2nd, Ayrshire Farm in Upperville, Virginia, announced the winners of its 2nd annual “Timeless Turkey” blind tasting test. The test pitted eight heritage breeds against the industry standard, the Butterball.

Fifty guests and a panel of judges rendered their judgment. The Midget White was the favorite among the guests, while the panelists preferred the Royal Palm turkey for its “superior depth of flavor in both its white and dark meat.” All the heritage breeds earned high praise, including the Bourbon Red, the Black, the Bronze, the Slate, the Chocolate, and the Narragansett turkey.

The panelists included Anya Fernald, a regular judge on the Food Network’s Iron Chef of America and veteran chef Lisa Brefere, CEO of GigaChef.com. For more information about the test, contact Alice Ryan, Alice@Gita-Group.com.

It’s probably too late to order a heritage turkey for this year’s Thanksgiving but you can make a note to contact a farmer next April, which is when decisions need to be made about how many birds to raise for the coming holiday season. (Find a local turkey farmer by searching the Eatwild Producer’s List.)

My Beef Is Just Like Industrial Commodity Beef Except...

CUDThe University of Mississippi, The Southern Foodways Alliance, and Whole Foods Market partner each year to produce documentaries. These films focus on producers in the Deep South who embrace southern traditions in their effort to provide non-industrial food for consumers who appreciate fine dining. These documentaries embrace food traditions that honor sustainable, artisan, and humane production practices that are perpetuated by southern family farms.

On August 20, 2009, Ole Miss filmmaker Joe York to produced one of these documentaries highlighting Georgia Eatwild supplier Will Harris and his farm White Oak Pastures. Joe named the documentary “CUD.” View it online at http://vimeo.com/6177004.

Eatwild Supplier Featured in Emeril Video "Why Grassfed Beef?"

A recent episode of Chef Emeril Lagasse's television show, Emeril Green, recommended grassfed beef for its taste, as well as for the benefits it provides for health and the environment. Featured on a video from the show is Eatwild member Hedgeapple Farm in Buckeystown, MD.

To learn Emeril's tips for grilling the perfect steak and to watch the video, visit http://planetgreen.discovery.com/food-health/grass-fed-beef.html

Time Magazine Article Links to Eatwild Producers

The June 15, 2009 issue of Time Magazine offers information on the benefits of families and friends getting together to buy meat directly from local farmers.

In an article entitled "Cow Pooling," writer Kate Pickert outlines the cost savings of buying directly from the farm (especially when compared to natural food store prices), the advantages of dealing directly with farmers, and the sense of well-being that a freezer full of healthy, delicious grass-fed beef can provide.

Where does the article send people to find a list of farms that sell sides of beef online or locally? Why, Eatwild of course!

Follow this link to view the article online.

Multi-Location Abattoir Opens in Alaska

On June 3, 2009, Eatwild producers Nathan and Bob Mudd of the Alaska Meat Company, announced the opening of their mobile meat processing facility called the “Multi-Location Abattoir.” It’s the first of its kind in Alaska and one of the most comprehensive in the United States. The abattoir is made up of four 28-foot mobile trailers. One is a support trailer for the other three. The three are connected in an “L” shaped configuration.

The first trailer is the kill floor, and it’s kept between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This is where the animals are stunned, gutted, weighed and evaluated by a USDA inspector. The second trailer is the cutting room, and it’s kept below 40 degrees. The meat is deboned, and some of the meat is packaged as individual cuts, the rest goes through the grinder. The third trailer is the “cook room.” Ground meat is stuffed into casings, smoked, and vacuum sealed. Then the packages are pressure cooked to high temperatures, killing all the bacteria. The meat is “shelf-stable” and does not require refrigeration. A live animal enters the first trailer and ready-to-eat sausages come out the third.

It takes seven people to staff the facility. One person manages the cattle, one manages the kill room, three are in the packing room, one is responsible for the cooking, and the final person oversees the entire operation.

Half of the funding came from the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the USDA. The project was set in motion by father and son team Nathan and Bob Mudd. (The operation is owned by Sitkinak Cattle, LLC) The abattoir will be fully functional in October 2009. The Mudd family hopes to process 150 cattle this year, which totals 45,000 pounds of meat. In the future, they plan to process bison and reindeer—hey! It’s Alaska.

Documentary Tells Story of Lake Village Farm Homestead

6/3/09–Lake Village Farm Homestead, has been a working farm for over 30 years and features grass fed, free ranging, all natural cattle and pigs. An Eatwild producer since 2005, the farm is also the focus of a new documentary.

Directed by Ryan Booms, the documentary tells the story of this intentional community in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Founded in 1971, Lake Village was once a "hippie community," but is now a thriving cooperative farm that emphasizes cultivating community in harmony with the earth.

The documentary captures feelings of nostalgia for our rural past while also offering a promising vision of the world's future. The film is a must see for anyone passionate about eating local foods and fostering community.

To find out more about the Lake Village Farm Homestead, visit their website at http://www.lakevillagehomestead.org/index.html. For more information about the documentary itself, send them an e-mail; contact information is available on the website.

More Resources

  • Grassfed Beef. This website is a collaboration between University of California Cooperative Extension Service and California State University, Chico, for the purposes of providing scientific information on grass-fed beef. It provides information on how to develop a label for niche marketing of beef products, recipes for cooking grass fed prooducts, and updates of grassfed beef research.

  • Livestock for Landscapes: Solving pasture problems one bite at a time. Are you wasting forage because you don't know that many weeds are edible? This website offers tips on what weeds your livestock can eat, as well as how to train them to eat them.

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The Eatwild Store has two new books that will be of particular interest to producers...


Jim Gerrish, author of Management Intensive Grazing, shows you how you can graze your animals year-round:


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Marketing Grassfed Products Profitably
by Carolyn Nation


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