Firsthand Foods sources pasture-raised pork and beef from a network of remarkable local farmers. While preference is given to farms in North Carolina, we also work with eligible producers within adjacent states (i.e., Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina), if they are within a viable distance to our cooperating processors.
Protocols for Pasture-Raised Beef
Raising and finishing cattle for local markets is a relatively new industry in North Carolina. Firsthand Foods has worked closely with NC State University Extension personnel to develop a set of pasture-raised beef production protocols that are appropriate for the southeast. Our protocols focus on good pasture management as the foundation for raising healthy cattle and require a range of practices related to animal husbandry, record-keeping and nutrition. Cattle graze on grasses & forages which comprise a large majority of their diet. Approved, low starch supplements can be used, particularly during times of drought or poor forage quality. This supports consistent weight gain, meat quality, and farmer profitability.
To view our beef production protocols, click here.
Protocols for Pasture-Raised Pork
We are pleased to work with the NC Natural Hog Growers Association, which aggregates pasture-raised hogs from participating NC farmers for sale to wholesale markets. All of the farmers in this Association, or otherwise in our network, must comply with the pasture-raised pork production practices stipulated by Animal Welfare Approved (AWA), a national, non-profit third-party certification organization focused on humane animal production. Their pork standards focus on important aspects of animal husbandry and welfare, record-keeping, pasture-management, and feeding & nutrition programs. For more information about AWA’s pork production standards, visit: http://www.animalwelfareapproved.org/standards/pig-2013/
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