A project that I am working on for school (more on that later), brought me out to a Country Natural Beef ranch today. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dan Barnhart and spending the day with his family. The Country Natural Beef cooperative is a group of sustainable cattle ranches working together to supply a quality product to a growing market of health and environmentally conscious consumers. Their cattle are raised out at pasture without hormones or antibiotics, and when they do eventually go to the feed lot and processing facility, Country Natural Beef maintains control of their standards of care. Each animal can also be traced back to the ranch. These farming practices and control over the supply chain are what makes them able to supply beef to companies with some of the highest standards in the sustainable food movement.
I have to say though, I had just as much fun talking to the kids as I did their “Poppa”. It really brought me back to my days in 4-H raising and showing animals myself. They do a lot of things differently than we did when my brother raised “Rusty” the steer, but it reminded me of just how important it is for kids to have a connection with where their food comes from. This applies to carnivores and vegetarians alike. Not every kid gets to live on a farm, but every kid should take a trip to one. Find where your local u-pick farm is, or when your local county fair is scheduled and start the conversation with a farmer. Kids are full of questions, and farmers love to talk about what they do. It will be a trip they won’t soon forget. 🙂
Have you thanked your farmer today?