All meat is grown on Sugar Haven Farms. The meat is then processed at USDA inspected abattoirs. The abattoirs are required to put their addresses and Plant number Seal on each package.
What is this label on my meat?
I am not allowed, legally, to sell customers a single cut of pork or beef, whether it is one pound of ground beef or one pork chop without the meat going through a USDA (federally) inspected slaughterhouse. The ethics and efficiency of this are for another conversation! Please know that the meat inside the package is raised on my farm and, despite the confusing labels, the meat meets all requirements for sale of a USDA inspected facility. We plan on farming at Sugar Haven for another 40 years, so doing something illegal at this stage of growth is certainly the fastest way to failure.
"My ground beef has a PA label on it!"
Yes, the slaughterhouse that processes most of my beef and my pork is located in PA. The name of the slaughter house is Sylvester Quality Meats.
"My cut does not have the weight printed on it!"
Sylvester Quality Meats, at this time, does not have a printer that can print the weight and price of the cut. Therefore, I use my, yearly, County inspected scales to weigh your cut and write the weight on the label. It does not look as professional as printed labels but this is a hurdle we must leap currently. Your understanding this hurdle helps build the trust between farmer and customer!
"Are you certified organic?"
I will let Joel Salatin take over this question. In the March 2017 edition of The Stockman Grass Farmer Salatin stated "The fallacy of certification is two-fold. First, it's a pass-fail system, which does not reward incremental progress toward a perfect goal. Beyond getting in, there is no incentive to improve. That's tragic. Second, people being certified have to pay money to be certified. Such a matrix incentivizes compromise. Growth is measured in more sign ups, and you can't get more sign ups unless you gradually reduce standards.
Many of us farmers feel like we are held hostage by these organizations. How do we get credibility, or standing with consumers, if we don't pony up and play along? Can we build a market, a loyal customer base, without these certifiers? What if a market we want to access demands the certification?
The skill set and willingness to slog through the compliance protocols, hypocrisies and minutiae is quite different than what is required for good farming. Most good farmers are 'git-'er-done' kinds of folks who find slaving away at desk-work and calling agencies to clarify word meanings akin to torture. As a result, certification models always prejudice small-personnel farms and encourage large farms with people on staff who like bureaucracy. This is not a healthy trend for agriculture in general, and certainly not for innovators drawn to grass farming."
Do you offer halves and wholes?
At this time, we do not provide this service. As a growing business with minimal personnel, the amount of time it takes to set up networking between farmer, butcher, and consumer is too costly. Hopefully this is something we can offer in the next couple of years!
We do reward individuals for bulk purchases. Under the "bulk bundles" tab, you will find a discount in price for purchasing bulk quantities. Usually in twenty pound increments. The bulk bundles offered change often, so check back!
Transparency is key!
Please call or email questions about your concerns. Understand that I have to work within the framework provided regionally that is structured for federal requirements. The requirements are met even if it is not in the best interest fiscally, physically, or psychologically for animal or farmer.