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Andy & Dave Jones, Grass Works Meat Farm

Member

Farmers: David & Andy Jones

Farm Name: Grass Works Meat Farm

Location: Seaford, Delaware

photo: Andy Jones

Farm Size (Acres): 225 Actual
Acreage in Production: 215
Year Established: Began selling products in 2006 through C&J Farms Number of Years Farming: 30+
Products: 100% All Natural Grass Fed Beef & Lamb, Pastured Pork, Chicken & Eggs

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, and your farm.

I am 55 years old and was raised on the family farm. I have been involved on the farm on/off for my whole life. I greatly enjoy being in the outdoors and handling animals.We are a very health conscious family and like to be able to provide wholesome products and help others live a healthy lifestyle. My son, Andy, has worked on the farm since he was 10 years old, and now at age 21 he still shares a deep love for the family farm. We are second­ and third­generation owners of the family farm, as my father Carlton Jones (C&J Farms) was the previous owner. We currently sell 100% All Natural Grass Fed Beef & Lamb, Pastured Pork, Chicken & Eggs.

For the benefit of our readers, what does your farm physically look like?

Our farm sits on 225 acres in the southern part of Delaware. We have flat land and open fields that span for many acres.

Have you always had grass­based/pasture­based system implemented on your farm? If not, what was the impetus for change?

My father made the switch from chemical farming and grain­fed animals to an all­natural way of farming over 10 years ago. He started by making a change with the beef, and we have now expanded to the many other products you can find on our farm today. We knew there had to be a healthier way to grow our animals and feed our customers, and this was a change we could feel proud of.

Describe your pasture and livestock management.

Our cattle are rotated daily across the pastures with temporary fencing. The broilers are raised in portable pens that are moved daily, and all other livestock has free range within their given pasture.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve encountered managing your grazing system and your livestock and how have you overcome these?
The biggest challenge we have had is adapting to the abundance of grass in the spring and the lack of grass in the fall. We have learned to overcome this by implementing a system of rotational grazing.

How do you market your products? What works best?

We are currently selling the majority of our products right here on the farm. We do provide meat and eggs for a few local health food stores and market our products through our website and Facebook page.

Have you seen an increase in demand for your grass­fed products over recent years?
Yes, we have most definitely seen an increase in demand. I think people are becoming more health conscious all the time. With the many studies that have been brought out showing grass­fed farming as a healthier choice, people are realizing that that there is a better way to eat and live.

Have you experienced any marketing challenges?

We have found that the younger generation connects well with online sources such as our website or Facebook page, but we know that not everyone cares to use these resources. I think word of mouth is one of the best ways people can find us.

What do you feel is the most challenging?

The most challenging is finding enough hours in the day to accomplish all of our work and growing while managing cash flow.

What do you find the most rewarding?

The most rewarding part is seeing people who are just as excited about our products as we are. We love to hear if people have enjoyed the products that they have purchased and we love seeing the smiles on the faces of those who come visit us on the farm to pick up their meat.

What is your favorite breed and why?

Our favorite breed is the Black Angus cattle due to the great flavor and quality of the meat and because they do well on pasture.

What advice would you give to aspiring grazers?

I would say to make sure you have researched and know that this the path you are wanting to take. Many hours of hard work and dedication go into raising our animals every day and it is not something to take lightly or jump into without prior knowledge as to how it is done.