I recently visited with self-identified “meat geek” Patrick Beck from New England Grass Fed. NEGF is a group of local farms devoted to raising animals with respect and gratitude. He told us about his farming methods and brought us around to tend the rabbits.
I first met Pat at the South Kingstown Farmers Market in southern Rhode Island. I was struck immediately by his friendliness and chattiness about his meat—he was clearly passionate about what he does and wanted to share that excitement. It rubbed off on me—so (and also because I like knowing where my food comes from) I wanted to visit his farm. We hung out with his rabbits for a while. (The cows we will visit in the spring.)
After the visit and cooking with some of the products from his farms, I can say with confidence that Patrick stands up to his word by providing tasty, high-quality, nutrient-dense, humanely-raised, and environmentally-sustainable local meat.
Patrick, talking about his work:
(Patrick’s PS regarding their diet: “They are sustained on hay and pellets through the winter and are quite hardy with their double coats. Come spring they enjoy their daily move onto fresh grass with addition of different browse.”)
Patrick, in his own words, on his flagship cattle farming:
“New England Grass Fed raises top-quality grass-fed beef locally, naturally and humanely on excellent free-range coastal pasture with no chemical input (antibiotics or growth hormones).”
“We purchase yearling cattle from herds with old northern genetics (crossbred Devon/Hereford/Angus) that have shown the ability to finish on grass to a high standard.”
“Our local meat-growing operations deliver value to small businesses up and down the supply chain. We keep the dollars local.”
“Some of our cattle do get a 10-15% winter ration of chopped corn sileage (the whole plant chopped and piled up so it warms up and ferments) to supplement dry round hay bales. This warms up their gut and keeps them eating in the cold months and this small amount does not have the negative effect of a straight corn finishing ration.”
“A localized system of resource-distributed, pastured meat (based on stored solar energy) is vastly better for the environment than industrial-scale feedlots that create enormous pollution impact…. The corn and grain rations on which these feedlots depend are grown in monocultures of GMO crops dependent on large applications of fertilizer… None of this is sustainable with a view toward global climate change.”
“We have incredible passion for raising meat with respect. We understand that people want to know where their food comes from.”
Where to get NEGF meat:
- South Kingstown Farmers Market in Wakefield/Peacedale, Rhode Island;
- check out the shop page at NEGF’s web site;
- contact Patrick via phone (401-230-4027) or email to schedule a pickup in Hope Valley, Rhode Island;
- Patrick will deliver a Pasture Pack (20- or 40-lb. mix-&-match of your choice of cuts) for small fee.
Photos I took during our visit:
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