In the new piece by journalist Barry Estabrook, he tells the tale of two beef producers. They’re right across the valley from each other, but are worlds apart in their practices. Harris Ranch Beef Company has over 100,000 animals standing around in their manure, fed grain and antibiotics, with not a blade of grass (the proper food for ruminants like cattle) to be seen.
Open Space Meats is a family ranch that raises 75 cattle on 1100 acres — “doing what God intended a cow to do” — roam around and eat grass. Thank goodness there are so many Central Illinois farm families raising their animals as Nature intended. They include the Morses of Trail’s End Farm near Putnam, IL; Wettstein Organic Farm near Carlock, Organic Pastures near Eureka, Triple S Farms near Stewardson . . . and many more. In fact, it seems like every day I’m hearing of new farmers starting up with a few livestock — many of them are the graduates of The Land Connection’s Farmer Training Program, Central Illinois Farm Beginnings. If you want to find delicious meat and other foods raised in a way that’s good for the animals, good for the environment, and good for your health, find a local farmer at Local Harvest.