In the heart of wintertime we are often asked how we care for our animals since they are raised outdoors on fresh pasture. As conscientious farmers who have the absolute highest standards for animal welfare, it’s important that our animals have the best possible lives - that includes knowing when to raise them and how to care for them throughout all seasons.
To answer this question, it helps to understand how our cooperative works. Our farms range in location from Oregon to North Carolina and as we know, the seasons are drastically different. This means each farm can raise animals in a way that suits the climate they are in while ensuring the animals’ safety and continued practice of regenerative agriculture.
This is where the seasonality of food comes in. With a large portion of our farms being in colder climates, many can only raise animals during certain seasons. For example, in Arkansas we have a specific poultry season. From spring through fall our farmers are up and at it moving our poultry once a day. When the ground gets too cold and frosty we stop all production until the weather warms again. Cattle and pigs are heartier, however, growth slows during wintertime. We provide plenty of hay for them to make warm beds. In addition, our pigs are forested meaning they have access to shelter within the trees.
Because many of our farmers live on their farms, they are able to provide continual care for them. So if a big storm is coming we will move them to more sheltered areas in addition to providing hay for warmth. Although meat is seasonal, our ultimate goal is to give our animals the best life possible and provide our customers with products all year around. This is why we freeze our meat at the peak of freshness and ensure your favorite cuts are available even in our off season.