2

votes

things to ask my local farmer

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 17, 2012 at 11:50 PM

Today I finally found local 100% grassfed beef! I found this vendor at the farmers' market and I just purchased some liver from him and placed a special order for beef heart. What kind of questions should I ask him next time I go?

Also, I want to help this guy get more publicity. He's a sweet old man who doesn't know much technology. He says he doesn't have a website. Have you guys helped local farmers promote their business and increase their marketability?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:13 PM

Somebody who cares for their animals, which occasionally entails using antibiotics, is much more important than a silly organic designation.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:13 PM

Also, organic does not necessarily mean superior. I'd rather buy from somebody who can't get organic designation because they do care for their animals. For example, organic dairies simply ship sick cows because they can't really treat them for what ails them. Inhumane in my opinion. Beef producers, even CAFO producers, will just let some animals die because they become unprofitable.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:09 PM

@coffeesnob, trust your farmer's word; or grow it yourself.

80a254f73e5c7406c4f9090f77f8917e

(10)

on July 18, 2012
at 03:06 PM

One of the most important factors is where his beef is processed. Ask him where, google their name and look for testimonials. Most contamination can occur at the butcher. A grass fed and finished cow taken to a large butcher and penned with other cows can contaminate them as well. Look for a small butcher. Hope this helps. Just have a casual conversation and things will go great. Noone wants to feel interrogated. Best of luck.

80a254f73e5c7406c4f9090f77f8917e

(10)

on July 18, 2012
at 03:02 PM

Ask him leading questions. Such as at what age are his cattle grass finished, does he raise his own hay or have to purchase it elsewhere, other than pasture and hay do they receive anything else (minerals)... If your interest is mainly the health of the meat and humane treatment then the key points would be: Is the calf raised by their mother? Age of weaning? Vaccinations used at any point?? (many say they do not vaccinate but do vaccinate with tetanus at castration and may also vaccinate for rabies.) How does he handle internal parasites in his herd?

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on July 18, 2012
at 02:37 PM

@Matt, then how else can I ensure the quality and sustainability of the product I am getting from a farm?

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on July 18, 2012
at 02:36 PM

Oh, I never thought about the liability issue. Organizing a group tour sounds unlikely for me--I haven't found many paleo-minded people around where I live. Then, how else can I ensure the quality and sustainability of the product I am getting from a farm?

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on July 18, 2012
at 02:12 AM

Great idea. It's like an hour away but it may be cool to visit the farm. So excited.

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on July 18, 2012
at 02:11 AM

On his business card it says certified organic farm, so I assume he doesn't use antibiotics or hormones. I will ask him to double-check though. Thanks!

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on July 18, 2012
at 02:10 AM

That's a great idea. I will talk to him about that next time I see him!

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 18, 2012
at 01:22 AM

I'd hope a guided walk-through of a few key areas wouldn't compromise anything. I doubt anyone would be sneezing on the cows or slipping a roofie in their water trough. I visit my local farm on a regular basis (they have a store there and it is only about a mile away) and they do corn mazes in the fall and make it haunted for Halloween.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 18, 2012
at 01:00 AM

I'd prefer folks not compromise biosecurity of my farm.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 18, 2012
at 12:08 AM

+1, that is a perfect answer! And, when at the farm, I bet you'd think of a lot more questions, too!

  • 92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

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4 Answers

3
03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

on July 17, 2012
at 11:57 PM

I would ask if I could visit the farm. If he says no, they I would be suspicious and wonder what he has to hide.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 18, 2012
at 01:00 AM

I'd prefer folks not compromise biosecurity of my farm.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:09 PM

@coffeesnob, trust your farmer's word; or grow it yourself.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 18, 2012
at 01:22 AM

I'd hope a guided walk-through of a few key areas wouldn't compromise anything. I doubt anyone would be sneezing on the cows or slipping a roofie in their water trough. I visit my local farm on a regular basis (they have a store there and it is only about a mile away) and they do corn mazes in the fall and make it haunted for Halloween.

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on July 18, 2012
at 02:37 PM

@Matt, then how else can I ensure the quality and sustainability of the product I am getting from a farm?

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 18, 2012
at 12:08 AM

+1, that is a perfect answer! And, when at the farm, I bet you'd think of a lot more questions, too!

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on July 18, 2012
at 02:12 AM

Great idea. It's like an hour away but it may be cool to visit the farm. So excited.

1
80a254f73e5c7406c4f9090f77f8917e

on July 18, 2012
at 01:35 PM

I agree with Matt. As well as the liability exposure factor. Kids visiting are the biggest concern without an insurance policy to cover the public visiting your property as part of your business. Time is also in short supply on a working farm so unless significant purchases are being made by the individual, time for tours can be costly to the farmer.

Another option would be to gather a group and offer some money for a tour as a group. Insurance would still be a question but it would benefit both farmer and customer. Set the date and time up in advance and be sure to specify the size of the group. Well behaved kids will likely be welcomed but there are a lot of hazards on a farm.

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on July 18, 2012
at 02:36 PM

Oh, I never thought about the liability issue. Organizing a group tour sounds unlikely for me--I haven't found many paleo-minded people around where I live. Then, how else can I ensure the quality and sustainability of the product I am getting from a farm?

80a254f73e5c7406c4f9090f77f8917e

(10)

on July 18, 2012
at 03:06 PM

One of the most important factors is where his beef is processed. Ask him where, google their name and look for testimonials. Most contamination can occur at the butcher. A grass fed and finished cow taken to a large butcher and penned with other cows can contaminate them as well. Look for a small butcher. Hope this helps. Just have a casual conversation and things will go great. Noone wants to feel interrogated. Best of luck.

80a254f73e5c7406c4f9090f77f8917e

(10)

on July 18, 2012
at 03:02 PM

Ask him leading questions. Such as at what age are his cattle grass finished, does he raise his own hay or have to purchase it elsewhere, other than pasture and hay do they receive anything else (minerals)... If your interest is mainly the health of the meat and humane treatment then the key points would be: Is the calf raised by their mother? Age of weaning? Vaccinations used at any point?? (many say they do not vaccinate but do vaccinate with tetanus at castration and may also vaccinate for rabies.) How does he handle internal parasites in his herd?

1
78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

on July 18, 2012
at 12:17 AM

Offer to make him/find someone to make him a website in exchange for free/reduced price beef :D

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on July 18, 2012
at 02:10 AM

That's a great idea. I will talk to him about that next time I see him!

0
7caec21ad66b572d9afcb1e24f7297aa

on July 18, 2012
at 12:17 AM

Definitely visit the farm - ask for a little tour of the place. You'll get a pretty good idea of how he runs things just by looking. Ask him if he uses preventative antibiotics, what he winters the beef on, etc...

If you like what you see, spread the word - word of mouth is the BEST advertising. He won't be able to keep up with demand. If you're net-savvy and so inclined, offer to set up a site for him in exchange for beef...

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on July 18, 2012
at 02:11 AM

On his business card it says certified organic farm, so I assume he doesn't use antibiotics or hormones. I will ask him to double-check though. Thanks!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:13 PM

Somebody who cares for their animals, which occasionally entails using antibiotics, is much more important than a silly organic designation.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:13 PM

Also, organic does not necessarily mean superior. I'd rather buy from somebody who can't get organic designation because they do care for their animals. For example, organic dairies simply ship sick cows because they can't really treat them for what ails them. Inhumane in my opinion. Beef producers, even CAFO producers, will just let some animals die because they become unprofitable.

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