Farmer Feature: Jeff Dettelbach of Dettelbach Farms

Members of the Grass Roots Farmers' Cooperative gather for their first annual coop meeting at Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas. The Grass Roots Farmers' Cooperative is an Arkansas-based member-owned livestock producer's cooperative operating by the highest principles and standards of pasture-based production methods.

Jeff, Abigail, and Devanie Dettelbach

Brothers Jeff and Steve Dettelbach have been working together as long as they can remember. On their first farm—five hobby acres in northern Mississippi—they tended to a handful of goats, cows, and laying hens and to the occasional pot-bellied pig.

Of their decision to expand into pastured poultry, Jeff says, “Our start in the wonderful world of sustainable agriculture was sparked by Joel Salatin’s Pastured Poultry Profits. From there, we voraciously took in every bit of information available from a budding industry, including Acres USA and The Stockman Grass Farmer.”

In 2013, the brothers purchased 30 acres in Wynne, Arkansas, and Dettelbach Farms was established.

“We are focused on operating a diversified, sustainable farm that will be an inspiration for and connection to our community. We are determined to provide great food as well as innovation and education to the sustainable farming community. Our passion for farming is rooted in the fact that we can connect with nature and our families while providing the best food that can possibly be produced. Our hope is to make some major contributions—not only to the farming community, but to our local community and the world as well.”

Jeff’s daughters Devanie and Abigail enjoy helping out where they can, but—even though they love doing chores—it’s not quite enough to keep Dettelbach Farms fully operational. About why he decided to be part of Grass Roots, Jeff says, “We are able to have a stable market that reaches a large customer base. And we get technical assistance.”

“We joined the co-op because it is working towards the same goals as us, restoring local agricultural communities through sustainable practices. We are able to focus more on production than marketing at this early stage in our farm. This allows us to get the highest quality food out to more customers than we could reach working alone.”

The Dettelbach family raises chicken, turkey, and sheep and tends to a large vegetable garden. Next year they will be adding grass fed beef and laying hens to their operation.

“Our philosophy is to work with nature to provide great food while benefiting our families, communities, and the environment as a whole.”
For more about the Dettelbachs and the other members of the Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative, visit our website.