Beyond Intent: Know Your Farmer
By Daniel Losekamp, Turner Farm Pastures and Livestock Manager
Behind every call to “buy local” or “know your farmer” is the energy of intent. That same energy drives the crop production team in their meticulous and tedious weeding of a spinach bed or entire acre of corn because organic standards forbid common herbicides. It propels endless hours of record keeping for organic certification, and it is what keeps me and my staff and volunteers so focused on rotational grazing, humane treatment of our livestock and providing an environment wherein each animal’s innate tendencies and living expression can unfold without unnecessary interference or confinement.
From the farmer side of the equation, it’s great to be known by, and in return, know our customers. Every week, Turner Farm’s open-door policy brings down our driveway many community members driven by curiosity and loaded with excellent questions about our livestock. With each visit, I’m blessed with the chance to speak to our community about the ways in which our methods help to sequester carbon and fight climate change. Taking a brief pause from moving electric net fencing or watering the chickens, I can engage with visitors about subjects that fuel my own passions, including ways to reduce food miles and the importance of animal agriculture in restoring damaged soils.
These questions come from folks with various dietary preferences, including those who don’t eat meat at all. I praise those men and women—vegetarians and vegans— who adhere to a diet driven by discipline and conscience. My sincere wish is that we find a middle ground, wherein those who choose not to eat meat will understand and support the necessity of livestock in the fertility cycle of an organic farm, while those who consume meat will eat a wider variety of cuts (in order to cut back on food waste) and only eat meat produced by farmers who grow using rotational, soil-building, carbon-sequestering methods.
As consumers, the dollars we invest in meat should subsidize soil health, carbon sequestration, and animal welfare. To stretch those food dollars, I look again to the delicious produce being grown here at Turner Farm (for which I can take a little pride because of the fertility provided by our livestock) and to the education provided by Chef Stephanie and the Teaching Kitchen. A healthy food system starts in the home kitchen.
So, if you’re budget is preventing you from sourcing meat that is grown in line with your sense of personal and environmental stewardship, I strongly recommend that you visit our farm and get to know your farmers. Witness the story of your food firsthand.
Pastured Pork for Sale
We are currently taking orders for pastured, non-GMO heritage-breed pork. Whole or half hogs are available. At $5.25/lb hanging weight, it’s a great way to eat local, sustainable meat year-round. Our pigs are processed every fall. Our next harvest period is late November.
Questions: Contact Daniel Losekamp at firstname.lastname@example.org