Farm visit: Savannah River Farms

Posted on March 8, 2013

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Below are excerpts from my upcoming article in next month’s WellFED about my visit to Savannah River Farms. I plan to write more about my visit, which I really enjoyed, so keep an eye out for that. I hope to return on a day when they’re butchering and making sausage!

Many thanks to the Deens for their time and hospitality!

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I had the opportunity to visit the Deens at their farm a few weeks ago, and I was deliberate in choosing a day on which they’d be slaughtering…

…During my half-day with them, I saw the animals in their day-to-day habitats, “helped” load the animals onto a trailer, and rode alongside them to the processing facility, a trip which lasted only a matter of minutes. And then I watched a series of pigs get, well, slaughtered. I watched the kill, the bleeding, the de-hairing whatchamacallit, the gutting, and the final hanging. No, it was not easy to watch. Yes, I’m glad I did it…

…The Deens’ cattle number around 90, the pigs around 150. Most of their animals are birthed on farm; the remainder are purchased from a neighboring Animal Welfare Approved farm. Breeds of cows include Brahma and Angus. Breeds of pigs include Land Racer, Berkshire, Yorkshire and many cross-breeds. The farm’s pasture overall measures 200 acres. The cows are grazed rotationally, the pigs, open. They raise their own corn and sorghum, which comprises most of the animals’ feed; soybeans are purchased from a neighbor…

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