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A Little Bit About "Who We Are"!
Hello. We are Mike and Deb Hansen, and along with our three children, we own and operate an 80 acre farm named "Gifts From the Good Earth" near the central Wisconsin community of Milladore. We strongly believe in the benefits of organic production and raise our grass-fed Belted Galloway beef cattle in methods that meet and exceed the National Organic Program standards. In 1998, we achieved organic certification and are currently certified by the Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA). Over the years, we have been innovative leaders in the pasture raising of Pasture-Raised Chickens and Turkeys, and have included Pastured Pork and lamb as well.
Good Earth Farms, (not to be confused with or family's farm "Gifts From the Good Earth Farm" is the culmination of years of friendships between our farm and five other organic pasture-raised farm families in Wisconsin. Because time marches on, kids get older and move away, and life throws a curve ball at us once and a while, Good Earth Farms came into being so that we could continue to offer our friends and customers the humanely raised organic meats that they needed.
Our herds and flocks are grazed in an Intensive Rotational Grazing system to ensure that they are eating only from lush, tender pasture, which is grown from soils receiving only natural amendments such as compost, green manures and minerals. Because of this, we believe that you will find our meat to be a more pure, fresh and flavorful product than most.
Our beef and pork is processed in a USDA inspected butcher shop (Pete's Market) and packaged in easy to use portions. Our poultry is processed in a USDA inspected facility, packaged and frozen whole or in many different packaging options. We would love to hear your comments and questions; please call us toll free: 1-888-941-4343, or use our feedback page to send us an e-mail.
A brief history of our farming adventure
Gifts From the Good Earth Farm came into being in 1995 when we purchased an 80 acre dairy farm near the central Wisconsin community of Milladore. When we came to this land, the farming activities that had been in place for the past 100 years had just about exhausted the life from the land. There were very few trees, the cows were allowed to walk through the 1/2 mile long waterway leaving nothing but mud and canary grass, and the buildings had been neglected.
There were many days that we wondered what God had in mind for us when he landed us on this piece of ground. We eventually uncovered his plan, but it took trust and patience.
We immediately began working towards organic certification of our farm. In 1998, once our three-year transition period was complete, we achieved Certified Organic status through OCIA (Organic Crop Improvement Association). Two years later we switched to our current certifier, MOSA (Midwest Organic Services Association). We have maintained certification without interruption to this day.
We manage our farm following holistic farming practices and have worked each year to improve the farm where we live so that it not only supports us financially, but enriches our lives through its increasing diversity. In our early days we grew pasture-raised chickens and a few head of beef. We worked hard to improve the biodiversity of the farm itself by planting a few thousand trees each year, restoring wetland areas and planting native prairie grasses and forbs. We fenced the cattle out of the waterways and restored the original drainage. By 2000, we had diversified our farm with the addition of pasture-raised turkeys, pasture-raised pork, and a foundation herd of purebred Belted-Galloway cattle.
In 2005, we teamed up with two Amish family farms who are certified organic and share our commitment to animal welfare and quality products. As a team our production for 2005 included 15,000 Certified Organic Pasture-Raised Chickens, 2,400 Certified Organic Pasture-Raised Turkeys, 24 Organic Pasture-Raised Hogs, and 73 head of Grass-Fed beef of which 35 where harvested for meat.
As the years past, we added three more area family farmers to our group, each producing either organic beef, organic lamb, or organic pork. It is important to note that we work without contracts; no signatures on dotted lines, just trust and friendship and a shared goal of producing the best quality organic pasture raised meats at a fair price. Our farms are sustainable because we work with nature, not against it.
On our farm, all of the land we own or rent is kept in permanent sod. We try to minimize the disturbance of soil from cultivation so that the roots of our grasses can build the organic matter in the soil. When we do need to work the ground, it is worked and reseeded immediately, it doesn't sit bare over the winter to erode in the wind. Second, we protect and enhance the fragile pieces of the landscape such as wetlands, waterways and woodlands. Finally, we don't use man-made chemicals or fertilizers on our farm. We're not certified organic because it's a sales pitch, we're certified organic because it's what we believe in.
If you would like to call with questions, do so. We'd love to talk with you anytime before 6 pm Monday through Saturday. We don't answer calls or do business on Sunday. Farmers don't spend much time in the house when the sun is out so either leave a message or E-mail is a great way to contact us. We are very good at returning calls and mail daily.
If you will be in the area and would like to visit. Please call first. We would love to show you the farm, but we need to be here to do that. If we're not too busy, I'm sure we can make arrangements that will work for all.
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