One farm’s experience with the Salatin model

Forks farm sign

A look at Forks Farm’s 11 years of ‘grass-fed’ direct sales

By Ruth Tonachel, Orangeville, Pennsylvania — It is a “Market Day” Saturday at Forks Farm, and there is clearly more than business transactions taking place.

Todd Hopkins and her daughters Emily, Molly and Anna, greet customers by name and with hugs as they bag chickens and tote up bills. The constant stream of vehicles includes BMWs, rickety pickups and minivans. Customers range from retired farmers to massage therapists, housemaids to surgeons. They come to this rural setting from as close as down the road, and from as far away as Philadelphia and New York City. Continue reading “One farm’s experience with the Salatin model”

Oddball cowboy practices

Farmer with beef cow

Bending the conventional rules to produce quality grass-fed beef

By Tom Wrchota, Omro, Wisconsin — When Susan and I set out 11 years ago to establish a sustainable farm enterprise, we developed some simple goals relating to work enjoyment and profitability. We did not realize how many of the customary farm teachings and practices would have to be altered or omitted in order for us to meet our objectives. Below are just a few ranch management practices that might come with a warning label, “Try this at home at your own risk.”

• No grain for slaughter animals. I ate a lot of excellent, grass-finished beef many years ago while living in Costa Rica. When I launched my own operation, I felt that the quality grass growing regions of the Upper Great Lakes would be nearly ideal for a grass-finishing operation. Susan and I want to target a health-conscious clientele with our products, and we strongly believe that grass-finished cattle produce the healthiest beef. Continue reading “Oddball cowboy practices”