Our Animals Are:
Listed on the Slow Food Ark of Taste
Raised on Pasture
Raised Without Antibiotics or Growth Hormones
Raised Humanely on a Small Farm
Grown Locally in Richland County,
Processed at an Animal Welfare Approved and Certified
Dissatisfied with the options available in the grocery stores, we began raising heritage animals on pasture, to provide our family with a healthy supply of meat, that was raised responsibly and humanely. What we discovered was flavor! Now your family can also enjoy the high quality of Doko Farm's heritage meats.
We choose to raise our animals on pasture for many reasons.
Pasture-raised meats and eggs are healthier for you. They contain less total fat, with higher levels of good fatty acids, such as omega-3s. They are also richer in vitamins, including vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin B12.
Animals raised on pasture have a higher quality of life, than those raised in confinement, on factory farms. Animals on pasture are able to move about freely and engage in natural behaviors. Because they are not in overcrowded and stressful conditions, pastured animals do not have to be routinely given antibiotics to prevent the outbreak of disease.
Pasture-based systems are also better for the environment. They use less fossil fuels than feedlots. The manure of pastured animals is a gift, rather than a toxic headache. When managed well, the animals spread their manure evenly over the pasture. This improves the quality of the pasture, which in turn, improves the rate of gain of the animals. This also makes pasture-based farms, good neighbors- no offensive odors!
Pasture-based systems provide better and healthier working conditions for farmers, compared to industrial feedlots and poultry houses.
While the definition of "heritage" varies between species, a heritage breed is generally one that: has been selected for a long, productive, outdoor life; can mate naturally; is an older breed that was developed prior to the mid-1900's; and has been, or is currently, endangered of disappearing due to low population numbers.
Heritage breeds grow slowly, often taking twice as long as their industrial counterparts to reach market weight. This slow growth allows them to develop the healthy organs and skeletal structures that they will need for a long, productive life. Only after this foundation is in place, do they develop their meat.
By selecting heritage breeds that are best suited for our climate and specific farm conditions, we are ensuring that the animals on our pasture can make the most of what we have to offer. These are the animals that were developed to run, fly, and forage on pasture.
We are also stewards of these rare breeds, and are doing our part to maintain diversity in our food system.
Doko Farm is a proud member of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC). To learn more about heritage breeds, please visit ALBC's website.
Slow growth, and actively foraging on pasture, results in a firmer textured and flavorful meat. We like to think that the products raised on our farm have a terroir, similar to that of wine grapes. Our soil, climate, pasture conditions, and management practices all influence how our food tastes. This most evident in our eggs, where even the change of the seasons is reflected in the yolk of each egg.
Currently, most of our heritage breeds, that we raise for meat, are also listed on the Slow Food Ark of Taste! Meats listed on the Slow Food Ark of Taste are identified by the Ark of Taste Logo.
"The US Ark of Taste is a catalog of over 200 delicious foods in danger of extinction. By promoting and eating Ark products we help ensure they remain in production and on our plates." - www.slowfoodusa.orgDoko Farm is also an active member of Slow Food Columbia.
So is it worth the extra time, work and cost to raise heritage breeds on pasture?
We think so, and we wouldn't do it any other way!