Making a go of 100% grassfed dairy

Just two years in, Lambrights see solid progress

By Martha Hoffman Kerestes

Wolcottville, Indiana — Grassfed organic dairy is working well for Alvin and Miriam Lambright of JerZ Acres.

Only five years into their dairy career and just two years after they began shipping milk to a no-grain market, the Lambrights are showing solid financial results while milking a herd of 40 Jerseys fed almost entirely from 80 acres of good northeastern Indiana ground.

Alvin’s Jerseys are producing 10,000-11,000 lbs. of milk that averages 5.3% butterfat in the winter. Calves are fed whole milk for just over four months, leaving about 9,600 lbs. for shipping as JerZ Acres moves from Horizon Organic to CROPP/Organic Valley’s Grassmilk program this fall.

Continue reading “Making a go of 100% grassfed dairy”

Tapping a big demand for raw milk

Dutch Meadows Farm sees rapidly growing no-grain, raw milk sales business

By Martha Hoffman Kerestes

Paradise, Pennsylvania — It all started with Alvin and Elizabeth Stoltzfus shifting from commodity organic to raw milk sales.

Customers started asking for eggs and meat, so they started diversifying. Almost two decades later, Dutch Meadows Farm is marketing a wide range of products from their own farm and 25 others in the area through a variety of avenues including home delivery, shipping, pickup locations and a farm store.

Raw milk cheeses are offered, and Dutch Meadows sells a variety of pasteurized products including butter, ghee, cream, yogurt, kefir, sour cream and cottage cheese. Raw goat milk comes from another local farm.

Grassfed beef sales are strong, and other offerings include pastured chicken and turkey, milk-fed pastured pork, garden produce, baked goods, and fish. Almost all of the farms supplying Dutch Meadows are within 20 miles of the Stoltzfus dairy..

Continue reading “Tapping a big demand for raw milk”

Regenerative ag aims to go mainstream

By Joel McNair

Organic and grassfed production practices have done great things for thousands of farmers and ranchers. Millions of consumers have benefited, too.

But looking at this from a broader perspective — and I think most organic and grassfed people do look at things this way — there’s a big problem here:

Very few acres are being farmed and ranched as organic and/or grassfed.

The things we want to achieve in terms of bettering people and the planet aren’t getting done. Indeed, by most reports the overall picture here is getting darker by the day.

Continue reading “Regenerative ag aims to go mainstream”

Catching up with some innovators

Karremans sharpen their focus at Reverence Farms

By Martha Hoffman Kerestes

Saxapahaw, NC — At Reverence Farms, (see Graze article, March 2019) they’re not just building soil and dairy genetics. They’re building community.

Whether it’s former dairymen in the area who pitch in to help, graziers across the country calling with questions, customers who come for pastured meats, or the employees who keep the farm moving, for Hubert Karreman and Suzanne Nelson Karreman it’s about the people more than anything else.

Honing in on the farm’s purpose has meant scaling back some of the farm’s diverse enterprises. Hue and Suzanne closed their restaurant, scaled back the pastured hogs and sheep, quit raising meat birds, stopped raising as many veal calves, and pivoted from raw milk sales to a creamery market.

The shifts were made for a number of reasons, including feeling they were spread too thin, difficulties in convincing customers to pay what it took to give restaurant help a living wage, and a concern that catering to vegetarian restaurant customers by using vegetable oils was compromising their vision of offering the healthier animal fats that are served at the Karremans’ own family table.

Continue reading “Catching up with some innovators”

Focusing on quality food — and life

Seasonality important to Jako Farm

By Martha Hoffman Kerestes

Hutchinson, Kansas — Quality of life is a major focus for the King family as they direct market a variety of grassfed meat and dairy products in central Kansas.

“The farm is here to work for us and not us for the farm,” explains Daniel King, who manages Jako Farm with his wife, Robyn. They took over the business from Daniel’s parents Ken and Judy in 2015.

To that end, Daniel and Robyn implement an array of time- and labor-saving measures started by his parents that include a seasonal milking schedule and once-a-day milking, nurse cows, frozen milk and more.

Continue reading “Focusing on quality food — and life”

A store added much to our farm sales efforts

Barn and farm store

By Cliff McConville and Anna Lipinska

Opening our on-farm store in May 2016 was one of the best things we have done to grow our farm business and stabilize our customer base.

After starting our grass-based farm in 2011, initially we were taking only online orders for grassfed beef and pasture-fed broilers, eggs and pork, with pickup appointments scheduled at our house in northwest suburban Chicago.

In spring 2012 we started offering raw milk through a herdshare program, with customers picking up their shares from the barn refrigerator on assigned days. Soon we began leaving eggs, yogurt, honey and meat orders in the barn fridge for herdshare customers on an honor system.

Continue reading “A store added much to our farm sales efforts”