At Together Farms, our goal is organically-raised, nutrient-dense meat. To achieve that, we give the animals a very diverse diet, high-quality free-choice minerals & salt at all times, and high quality apple cider vinegar that’s dosed right into their water every day. On our farm, animals also have lots of room to roam so they can use their natural instincts and behaviors.
We need our animals to be healthy and happy, so they are given access to fresh air, sunshine, and actual pasture. Giving them lots of room to roam allows them to use their natural instincts and behaviors - a pig can be a pig here! Just doing this prevents 99% of the problems that require pharmaceuticals, cages, or mutilation (like teeth/tail clipping) in the conventional/factory world.
Our beef cattle and lambs are 100% grass-fed. We use Intensive Rotational Grazing with our livestock, which means our cows are moved to new pasture every day, and our lambs and pigs are moved as often as space and weather will allow. In the winter, the cows and sheep eat the pasture they couldn’t keep up with in the summer or hay we purchase from other local farms— no corn silage, oats, grain….just grass (either in it’s fresh-and-growing form or in a dried form in the 6 months when grass doesn’t grow in these parts).
A quick note on all the grass-fed beef available out there: We don’t play gimmicks with labels or marketing, but a lot of businesses do. Our beef and lamb are all 100% grass-fed and grass-finished (no grain ever) because anything less than that causes the floodgates open to deception. Any grain at all, especially at the end of the animal’s life, will totally alter the meat so it’s no longer a health-product, but is actually promoting disease. If you want to pay more for a product that has all the health benefits grass-fed meat provides, make sure it is 100% grass-fed meat— no grain, no corn silage, meat.
The pigs are heritage breeds and moved throughout the wooded areas as often as space and weather will allow. The driftless region of Wisconsin that we are in, specifically dominated by oak and the occasional hazelnuts, provides the ideal habitat for raising pork — they LOVE nuts, berries, and roots and boy do we have those in abundance here!
Speaking of pastured pork, it’s our number-one selling product. Why? Because grass-fed beef has taken off a lot over the past decade and is somewhat easy to find now (they are also the easiest to raise), however pigs remain more of an enigma to most (well, and still a little to us, ask to see our garden) and are the most difficult to raise on pasture.
Did you know? Pigs raised on pasture have extremely high levels of Vitamin D? Stop buying supplements and start eating our pork!
Pigs are the saddest to see in factories and are the most in need of us supporting a better way to raise them (that’s us!). Please do some research on this and stop supporting factory-raised pork. Start by googling gestation crates and ractopamine. I’m happy to help!
Then there’s what happens once the meat goes to the butcher. The default for most butchers or processing facilities is to add a lot of chemicals. So it was, and still is, a daunting task to find butchers that provide any kind of alternative at all. We work with one main facility (Conrath Quality Meats) that is Animal Welfare Approved and occasionally work with other facilities when needed (butchers are the bottleneck in what we do).
Finding pasture-raised pork that is not full of weird ingredients is truly difficult. Only about 1% of pork raised meets these standards.