After a 10 year professional career in baseball, I moved to Tennessee and started a farm. What really started off as a desire to raise high quality meat for myself and my family - quickly turned in to full blown operation of beef cattle, meat chickens, egg laying hens, and hogs.
I diligently moved all my animals daily and searched high and low for the best products on the market to feed and supplement their diets - just like the books told me. The cows ate grass. The hogs rooted through the woods and pastures getting a non-gmo ration of corn, wheat, oats, and bean meal. The chickens followed the cows when they could and were the foundation for nitrogen application on the pastures. We didn't use any chemical inputs, drugs, or hormones. The animals were raised outside, with ample room to roam, root, and forage. We didn't have sickly animals because we stayed as close as we could to a natural model. That farm is still alive and well today - it's called Whitaker Farms.
I learned a lot those first few years of 'grass farming', but I felt like there was some untouched middle ground between the filtered instagram photos of happy cows on pasture and the demonized pictures of feedlots and CAFO's. I made the decision in the Winter of 2020 to select a couple of steers from the Whitaker Farms herd and finish them out on Alfalfa, non gmo corn, and spent brewer's grain we get from a local brewery.
These animals still live 100% of their life outside and on pasture, and won't ever receive hormones or antibiotics. After tasting some of the first ribeyes that came back from our processor up in Kentucky - I can say that you won't be disappointed.
But What's Peanuckle Hill? Back in the woods theres a tiny little hill that all the locals refer too as 'Peanuckle'. There's some fun stories about teenage kids getting into trouble back there, especially one that involves my neihbor, a stick of dynamite, and broken windows. Stop by, I'll tell it to you sometime.
There's many places we can show our appreciation - but giving back to those who sacrificed it all is our calling.
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