A 6th generation family farm
Farmer Jessica and I always knew we wanted to have a family farm. Both our families have significant roots in Lynden, Washington (going back to 1901) and equally enjoyed life growing up on our family’s farms. The challenging part was trying to decide on what we should farm. We agreed that we wanted to farm the way my grandfather did – no large factory farms were in our sight, our animals would not have contenious antibiotics and would live stress free and chemical free lives. We also wanted our children to experience the hard work and incredible benefits of growing up on a farm.
Dabbling in dairy and digging deeper
In 2001 we bought our first farm and dabbled in raising Jersey replacment heifers along with growing hay…lots of hay! Haying was something Jessica and I had done since we meet in high school. We rented land from Jessica’s Grandfather Lloyd Bernardy. This is where my intrigue with grasses began. I started to do research on grass varieties and learned a lot about the health benefits of pasture-raised meat. I became more and more interested as I dug deeper to discover some excellent resources and a big movement towards this kind of farming as well as it fitting our family vision and core values. Coincidentally, the local meat processor in Lynden advertised that they were doing USDA certified butchering and from this, we embarked on our journey of raising pasture-raised beef.
Planting our roots
By 2004 we were renting our current farm for hay production and raising our Jersey Heifers. We loved it and wanted to do more. So, in 2007 decided to buy the property and plant our own roots by building our home on the newly aquired land.. As our roots grew (we now have three children Hunter, Christopher, and Remington), so did our farm – we transitioned from Jersey heifers to pasture-raised Black Angus Beef, and then added pasture raised pork, chicken and eggs. We continue to grow hay…lots of hay! In fact, we grow hay on the original piece of property that my Great great grandfather homesteaded in 1901 on Van Dyk road. We also rent 20 acres that we grow hay and grain on from my Great Aunt. This piece of property is a part of the original homestead of my Great Grandmother Burns. All this in addition to our 46 acre slice of heaven on Van Dyk Rd.
We love our family farm, it’s a lot of work but we have fun and hope that you have the opportunity to visit us and try out our grass fed meat.
If you are interested in learning more about the health benefits of pasture-raised meat go to our Resources page for a list of recommended websites and books from Farmer Ben and Farmer Jessica.