My family Farm, Blue Rooster Farm LLC, is approximately 94 acres of pasture, wetlands, and forest land where we raise Berkshire pigs, North Country Cheviot sheep, and Black Angus pigs. Our sheep and cattle are completely grass fed. They spend their lives on pasture and even have their lambs and calves on pasture.
Our pigs are free-range and although they are not on pasture, they do get a lot of space. The pigs are fed an organic mix of grain that we grind and mix ourselves. They stay in the barn and barnyard most of the time because they can be very destructive to pastures.
We sell our meat at markets in State College, Hershey, and Washington D.C. We don't process (butcher) on the farm because we don't have a butchering set up, so we have butcherers who we take our animals to. We are moving to selling more livestock than meat, though, due to the efficiency of having animals picked up on farm by a customer rather than having to haul them to the butcher ourselves.
Healthy pastures often means healthy animals. One thing that is different about our type of farming is that our pastures have a lot of biodiversity. The farms that grow grain to feed cattle tend to be large fields of grain with little biodiversity. The lack of variety makes these farms prone to pests and diseases, and the production of the crops is hard on the soils they are grown on. However, fields that have biodiversity provide habitat for many types of bugs and other creatures. The variety provides the habitat with stronger disease resistance and protects it from being wiped out from one disease or pest.
Living on the farm is something I am very thankful for. It makes me more aware of where my food is coming from. I am careful about not eating meats that come from feedlots or other places that I don't think are humane. I’ve learned how to take care of animals and the land they graze on. That is something I am grateful to have learned about since I was little, and that I keep learning about every day.
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