Does all the meat you sell come from your animals?
Yes and no.
Our herd size is only about 60 animals. And we sell an average of 3 animals worth of meat a week (including wholesale and retail sales). We would go through all our animals pretty quick.
Almost all of our grass finished animals are raised on our farm. But we are starting to push the numbers a little too close to be sustainable. So we purchase animals from other farmers who have feeding practices similar to ours. We've seen these animals and know how the farmers raise them. Some are raised with grain, some are raised entirely on grass and hay. The grain fed ones go into the grain finished product line, the grass finished ones go into the grass finished product line. And we make it very clear to our slaughterhouses that we need to know which animal produced which package of meat.
Purchasing animals from other farmers has several benefits:
- It "spreads the wealth" throughout the local economy.
- It encourages other farmers to adhere to grass raised practices.
- Its better for the soils to have cattle working them instead of machines.
- Machines don't do well in most of New Hampshire's ground, but animals do much better.