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Kate believes that a vibrant, diverse and thriving rural community is so important to the health of its people. Kate strives to promote sustainable and regenerative agriculture through our own farming practices, as well as through supporting our fellow farmers, producers, and makers. Whether it’s through co-managing our local Village Farmers Market, sharing other farmers’ stories through social media, organizing farm to table events, workshops, or other public events, Kate believes that if we want to see our rural communities thrive, we need to support small, local farms and businesses.
By shopping and eating local we can keep our money where our heart is; our small towns and villages. When you invest your money in locally, sustainably produced foods and goods, you not only invest in your own health but the health of our local economy as well.
For each and every dollar you spend, you cast a vote for the kind of community you wish to see. Small diversified farms that provide farmers with a living wage. Small businesses who provide hand crafted American made products. Bakeries with goods made with locally sourced ingredients.
It’s time we brought the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker back to small town USA.
We are living in a time where food labels can be confusing and misleading. Natural doesn’t necessarily mean organic, and organic doesn’t necessarily mean humane. Cage free doesn’t mean that a hen has the freedom to scratch and peck, and free range doesn’t even necessarily mean a chicken ever goes outside or sees a blade of grass or sunshine.
Consumers are confused or misinformed about what food labels mean and it’s no wonder. There are so many out there now and they often don’t translate to what we think they should.
Kate would be happy to help explain what each food label means (and often what it doesn’t) but more importantly we can tell you exactly what we do, and don’t do here at our farm.
We do treat our animals with respect. We value each life, and don’t take for granted the sacrifice that these animals make in order to sustain us.
Care is taken to reduce stress during their day to day lives, during transportation, and during their last day on this Earth.
Kate worked in veterinary medicine for over ten years and is a certified Fear Free Professional, and is also certified to train others to become Fear Free certified. What that means is she completed training to reduce fear, stress and anxiety in animals when being handled. Learning how to appropriately read and interpret an animal’s body language and handle them in a way that prevents them from becoming increasingly stressed takes time, patience, and skill.
Livestock are not house pets. They don’t require or want to be handled daily. However, good socialization, exposure to being handled occasionally, and a calm demeanor when working around them helps reduce stress when the time comes when they do require handling. Such as during transportation to the processor, or if an animal becomes injured or ill and needs veterinary care. Studies have shown that the presence of people on a regular basis, and talking to the animals reduces animals stress and fear of people.
We are animal lovers at heart, and handle our animals when they are piglets, ducklings and chicks quite often. Our animals do not fear us and greet us quite happily.
We do not give our animals any unnecessary medications, vaccines, steroids, or hormones.
Did you know that no poultry receives hormones? Many of us small producers feel it necessary to say that our poultry is steroid free only because that is what big name companies use in their labels because it makes consumers automatically believe that some producers DO use steroids or hormones. We don’t believe in the marketing tactics that these companies use, but unfortunately that’s the language consumers are now accustomed to and so we feel pressured to use those terms also.
Our chickens, duck and pigs are fed 100% locally sourced, freshly ground, unmedicated feed. We source our piglets from Acomb Acres who uses appropriate vaccine protocols as recommended from their licensed veterinarian. Our day old chicks are vaccinated against life threatening viruses, that if not vaccinated could put our entire flock, and livelihood at risk.
None of our animals receive unnecessary medications such as antibiotics. However, if an animal becomes sick and requires medical intervention, it’s done under the supervision of a veterinarian. We will treat our animals for infection, injury, or disease before ever letting them suffer. In the rare case that they do require any type of medication, there are withdrawal times that are strictly adhered to. Since starting the farm, Kate has only had to have one pig treated with medication; Grunt, her pet Kunekune boar who had injured his foot. He recovered just fine thanks to the help of Dr. Wilson from Perry Vet.
Our chickens are either raised currently in chicken tractors which are portable enclosures we move daily, or they free range and are locked in their coop at night. We do our best to protect them from predators such as fox, but wildlife sometimes wins. We still believe that with that risk in mind, our chickens still have a better life than those who are de-beaked, or live their entire lives with thousands of other chickens in confinement. Our chickens are able to live in their natural environment and exhibit their natural, instinctive behaviors. They’re happy. Just check out our videos on Facebook or Instagram.
We are currently making plans for new pasture in the woods for our pigs. This will provide them with lots of space and an opportunity to root, eat bugs and grubs, while also creating just enough disturbance to the soil to be beneficial before moving them to a new area of woodlot. During the winter our pigs are housed together in our barn, where they have 24/7 access to fresh water, they are protected from the elements, they cuddle together to stay warm, and we also provide them with toys for enrichment. We use the same enrichment toys and devices that are used in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries that stimulate their minds and encourage natural behaviors. This helps reduce stress as well.
Our ducks and geese free range during the day and are locked inside the big barn at night to protect them from predators. They play in puddles, preen themselves, eat snails and other bugs, and our geese can be spotted napping, sunbathing, and swimming in our little pond daily.
Our laying flock of hens free range and are locked in their mobile coops at night. We collect their eggs daily. They also receive leftover fruit vegetables from our kitchen, but chickens are not herbivores or vegetarians like some big ag marketing would have you believe. Chickens are great mouse hunters, frog catchers and snake snatchers. This is normal behavior for chickens; because they’re omnivores. Chickens have excellent eye sight which also makes them great predators. They eat a wide variety of insects, which increases the nutritional value of their meat and eggs.
We strive to provide our animals with a stress free life, where they get to do what they do best; be themselves! Chickens scratch and peck and take dust baths, pigs root and socialize, etc.
When it comes time for processing, our pigs and lambs are taken to Shrader’s Farm and Meat Market, a USDA inspected and Animal Welfare Approved butcher. They are handled with care on their last day on Earth.
We process our ducks and chickens ourselves and use humane handling techniques before we dispatch them. If you would like to know more on that process, please ask.
Our animals are seasonally pastured from May to November, which allows them to naturally fertilize the soil. Daily movement of our chickens gives the pasture the time it needs to rest before being grazed again. This also reduces our animals’ dependence on supplemental feed, which is locally sourced and free of medications. Raising then on pasture increases their consumption of forage and insects which results in healthier, nutrient dense meat and eggs. These sustainable practices not only allow our animals to exhibit their natural, instinctive behaviors, like scratching and pecking, but it reduces our carbon footprint as well. We are not just in the business of raising animals, but also building healthy soil full of life.
Contact us by phone or email, or come see us at the market in person!
We love getting to know our customers and value the relationships we build.
9944 State Route 36, Dansville, NY 14437,