We’re excited to introduce you to Firsthand Foods, a Durham-based meat business that works with small-scale farmers throughout central and eastern North Carolina to source their tasty pork and beef products.
In today’s economy, it can be hard to raise livestock on a small-scale and stay in business. Most buyers who are committed to local sourcing, like The Produce Box, need more volume than individual farmers can provide. That’s the value of Firsthand Foods to the farming community. They meet the demand for volume by focusing on marketing and distribution which allows their farmers to stay small and focus on what they do best – humane care for their animals and sustainable management of their pastures.
Firsthand Foods works with more than 60 small-scale farmers all of whom raise their animals outdoors, on pasture, without growth-promoting antibiotics, added hormones or animal by-products.
Meet Wade Cole, one of Firsthand Foods’ pasture-raised pork producers from Four Oaks, North Carolina.
His family has been raising hogs on pasture for four generations. Wade has 14 “momma” hogs that he raises on 10 acres of land. On the rest of his 100 acres, he grows crops to feed his hogs. Says Wade, “I like raising hogs on pasture because it means they have plenty of room to move around and explore.”
Here is Eric Deal and his family with Circle D Farm in China Grove
The Deal’s farm has been in their family for six generations, dating back to 1842. The Deals raise 100 calves a year on an equal number of acres of pasture. They are innovative farmers who practice management intensive grazing and maintain a diversity of plants in their pastures so their animals have a clean and consistent source of feed even during droughts and harsh winters. Says Eric, “Beef production is an enterprise our whole family enjoys but most importantly, its how we are holding on to our farm despite increasing development pressure.”
Firsthand Foods’ farmers raise their animals outdoors, on pasture, without growth-promoting antibiotics, added hormones or animal by-products. Their meat products contain no fillers, nitrates, preservatives, or additives and are gluten-free.