Lazy S. Farms – La Plata, Missouri :
Larry and Madonna Sorrell have worked with Heritage Foods since the beginning in 2002, originally growing heritage turkeys and eventually becoming the undisputed royalty of Red Wattle pigs in the USA. Because of a fierce dedication to the genetic purity of the breed and thanks to relationships with the Amish community that took years to develop, Larry and Madonna are a major reason why the Red Wattle, once critically endangered, has been upgraded on conservation lists by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Larry, like the Wattle itself, is sweet and buttery but can also be tart and charmingly inconsistent!
Good Farms – just North of Kansas’ Little Apple, Manhattan :
Craig Good inherited the responsibility of maintaining a passel of the finest Duroc breed pigs in the nation from his father who taught pig husbandry at Kansas State. Craig began working with Heritage Foods in 2006 and over the years transitioned his farm to include numerous rare breeds like the Gloucestershire Old Spot and Tamworth which he also crosses with his Duroc to make deliciously marbled breeds with names like Spot-Rocs and Dur-Worths!
Craig introduced Heritage Foods to many farmers local to him in Manhattan, Kansas including a talented young lamb farmer and a student who raises pigs through the Future Farmers of America. Craig maintains his lovely farm with his wife Amy and it is a favorite stop along the numerous chef farm tours taken over the past decade. In addition to pigs, Craig raises 100% pure Angus beef, which Heritage Foods features once a year during grilling season.
Newman Farm – Myrtle, Missouri :
David Newman is a professor of pig science in North Dakota and along with his brother Chris, has continued the tradition of raising the old-line English genetics of the Berkshire breed started by their father more than 40 years ago on their family farm in the Ozarks. The Newmans are responsible for introducing the purest Berkshire genetics to dozens of farms throughout the country and remain among the fiercest proponents of pasture-raised systems that result in the best marbling in the business. First imported to America in 1823, today the Newmans deliver the closest taste to that original stock. Stay tuned for promotions featuring cross breeding experiments from the farm with Berkshires and rare breeds like the Red Wattle and Large Black.
Krapfl Farm – Delhi, Iowa and Halverson Farm – Benard, Iowa :
Tom Krapfl and Randy Halverson. Because the Berkshire is not endangered like the Wattle, Old Spot or Tamworth, it allows us to meet an ever-growing demand for pasture-raised pork nationally. Tom’s and Randy’s farms are both certified to be humane by Humane Farm Animal Care, the leading non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of farm animals in food production from birth through slaughter. Raising outdoors makes for healthier and happier animals that taste better than their counterparts raised indoors.
Norton Farm – Plattsburg, Missouri :
Eric Norton farms an immense property within a stone’s throw of our abattoir in Trimble, Missouri. His diversified farm includes grains, which he uses as feed for his cattle and pigs that run wild across vast stretches of the hilly landscape that has been owned by his family for generations. When Eric began working with Heritage Foods in 2006 his Berkshire line was but a small percentage of his overall production but over the years he has selected for the Berkshire genetics and today more and more of his pigs have the black color with white spots on the tip of the feet, nose and tail — trademark characteristics of the breed. Eric is a young farmer with a growing family giving hope that superior, non-industrial pigs have a vibrant future in the area surrounding Kansas City.
Keevhaver Farm – Trimble, Missouri; Baker Farm – Kiron, Iowa; Meyer Farm – Lawson, Missouri :
Ben Keevhaver, Trent and Troy Baker, Sharon Meyer. When Heritage Foods first started to ramp up production of heritage pigs at our abattoir in Trimble, Missouri, a number of local farmers called asking if they could also provide pigs for the program. The answer, like usual, was yes as long as they transitioned to raising the Berkshire outdoors, a breed that was readily available to them locally. So over the years the three farms started to ramp up production themselves and now provide excellent pigs on a monthly basis. They are also helping to grow the supply of good, clean and fair pigs in the Kansas City market, good news for the local restaurant scene, which has really taken off in recent years.
Doug Metzger and his family – Seneca, Kansas :
Doug Metzger was the first farmer to grow pigs for Heritage Foods and it was he who introduced us in 2005 to Paradise Locker Meats, an abattoir we have worked with ever since. We met Doug and his wife Betty through our original project to introduce rare breed turkeys to the national market and continued to work with him to raise Berkshire pigs and eventually Tamworth pigs, which are considered rare. Doug is a master of agricultural arts and has raised almost everything imaginable over the decades. Doug is a great connector of people and has played a major role in the local ag scene through his diversified farm. Doug is older now and we hope very much that his daughter and son continue to the tradition of farming in the family that was started many generations before. Life Magazine once wrote that Doug’s father had more living descendants than any American – and many of them were farmers.
Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch – Lindsborg, Kansas :
Frank Reese is a founder of Heritage Foods USA. In 2001, Marian Burros wrote a New York Times article announcing that Slow Food USA would sell rare breed “Ark of Taste” turkeys for the week of Thanksgiving 2002 in an effort to increase their population counts. Heritage Foods USA was formed as an entity to make the sale possible. Frank was the farmer behind that article and in the first year he raised about 900 birds. The second year he raised 1600. Today he raises about 10,000 a year and is also responsible for supplying rare birds to farms throughout the country, a great achievement for advocates of increasing biodiversity in the protein world nationally.
Frank learned the art of raising rare breed poultry as a child. As he grew older his mission evolved to keeping alive poultry lines that could be traced back to the original standards dictated by the American Poultry Association in the mid 19th century. Frank spent time driving to farms to pick up flocks of older farmers like Norm Kardosh who could trace the genetic lines back to the 19th century. Today Frank is considered the best poultry breeder in America and has dozens of breeds of turkey and chicken living on his farm. Also ducks and geese. He is also the only farmer in the USA allowed to use the word “heritage” by the USDA thanks to his certification by the American Poultry Association. He is also working with Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas to open a facility on his farm for their Environmental Studies program.
Tamarack Sheep Farm – Corinth, Vermont :
Ben Machin grew up in Vermont on a small organic homestead where his family grew their own food, and produced apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup. After some years working for the US Forest Service as a Smokejumper, Ben came back to Vermont to study and work on various natural conservation projects. Eventually he rekindled his interest in farming. Raising sheep has been in Ben's blood for generations. His great-grandfather started a Tunis flock in the 1920s and then Ben's grandfather began to work with Dorset Horn sheep for a 4-H project. In 2006, Ben had a conversation with his grandfather, Herb, during Herb's final days that encouraged Ben to dedicate himself to revitalizing the family flock. Grace Bowmer joined Ben in 2008 with a background in architecture, site design, landscaping and gardening. Together they purchased land and built a barn. They were ready to get serious about sheep. The Tamarack Sheep Farm is close to where Ben's parents live and he remains involved in his childhood homestead.
Shannon Creek Farm – Manhattan, Kansas :
Joseph Hubbard is one of the youngest farmers in the Heritage Foods network. Joseph learned the art of farming from his family and raises sheep and goats on the vast Flint Hill pastures around Manhattan, Kansas. The Flint Hills, a band of hills in eastern Kansas stretching into North Central Oklahoma, is a region that is not good for plant agriculture, but ideal for pasture raised animals. This ecological region is where the most dense coverage of intact tallgrass prairie can be found in North America including Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Indiangrass, Switchgrass, Prairie Dropseed, and Sideoats Grama. These tallgrass varieties are responsible for producing the tastiest grass fed animals on the planet. Joseph raises multiple breeds of lamb for different reasons: Katahdin for their multiple birth and high growth rate, St. Croix for the natural tannin in their gut that wards off parasites and White Dorper for their muscling.
Clover Creek Farm – Jonesborough, Tennessee :
Clover Creek Farm spans 50 acres of land at an elevation of about 1650 feet. Chris, Ray and Sarah Wilson practice sustainable agriculture but when Chris found the land nearly 20 years ago, the land had been depleted by previous conventional farms and was completely over grown. Chris spent 5 years restoring the land and creek; with a focus on soil recovery and establishing the native grasses so it would be a sustainable farm. Chris was named Conservation Farmer of the Year in 1999 for her efforts. Clover Creek Katahdin sheep graze on native grasses, such as blue grass, and clovers that are abundant in the Tennessee area. They are born outside and spend their entire life grazing with their mothers. Following the motto "farming in harmony with nature," Chris raises her sheep using rotational grazing methods.
Meadowood Farm – Cazenovia, New York :
Meadowood Farms L.L.C. is a 225 acre diversified farm in Madison County, New York. They produce award winning farmstead cheeses from a flock of pasture raised East Friesian sheep. They are also home to a world class herd of Registered Belted Galloway beef cattle.
Veronica Pedraza is a young and talented farmer there who we first met through the famous cheesemonger Anne Saxelby, proprietor of Saxelby Cheesemongers in NYC. Veronica is a great energy for the farm and the animals, which she raises with her trusty dog that protects them from annoying predators.
Montana Ranch – Billings, Montana :
When Molly Descheemaeker and six other ranch women from central Montana started their branded beef business in 1978, little did they know the course they were charting. Descheemaeker, Grass Range, MT, was secretary-treasurer and chairman of the board of the small company that produced the premium “pure” canned beef the women sold literally out of the trunks of their cars — and via mail order. Today, Descheemaeker's husband Larry, and sons Pat and Greg, are partners in the company that's entered the fresh “natural” branded-beef business. Montana Ranch Brand's Authentically Natural Ranch Beef is raised without added growth hormones or antibiotics. The company's featured product lines are split about 50/50 between “natural” ranch beef and Certified Piedmontese Beef. A double-muscled breed, Piedmontese exhibits superior muscularity and leanness because of mutations of the myostatin gene. The gene is involved in control of the number of muscle cells that result in generally more tender beef with less marbling.
Long Meadow Ranch – Napa Valley, California :
Long Meadow Ranch Cattle Company is the owner of more than 350 outstanding Highland cattle with bloodlines that include the 2000 Grand and Reserve Champion cows and the 1999 Champion Cow/Calf Pair. The growing operation is based at Long Meadow Ranch's Mayacamas Estate where they maintain bulls and selected cows. The 500-acre farm in Tomales (in Marin County) is home to the mother cow herd. The weaned calves and yearlings enjoy lush Carneros grasses on the 157-acre Di Rosa Preserve along Highway 121 in southern Napa County. Long Meadow is also famous for their delicious wines and fantastic restaurant Farmstead headed by chef Stephen Barber. Housed in a former nursery barn, the restaurant is centered around an open kitchen, family-style dining, a full bar and an authentic farm-to-table menu.
Heartbrand Beef – Texas :
HeartBrand Beef, Inc., is presently producing natural Akaushi meat under rigorous quality guidelines and certified product testing in a source verified vertically integrated production system. Our, program is designed to provide consumers the healthiest and highest quality natural Akaushi beef. These Texas Akaushi cattle are 100 percent pure and are direct descendants of the Mount Aso region's revered Akaushi herds that are a National Treasure and protected breed by the government of Japan. HeartBrand Beef Incorporated has respected the deep Japanese traditions and embraced the healthy results of source-verified herd management in a natural environment.
Paradise Locker Meats – Trimble, Missouri :
Mario and Teresa Fantasma are the founders of Paradise Locker Meats. Mario worked in the commodity meat industry for decades before deciding that he wanted something better. So he went to the bank and got a loan to purchase an existing slaughterhouse in Paradise, Missouri, just outside Kansas City. The old plant, which had frequently been used as a local election headquarters, eventually burned down during a curing accident and the Fantasma family was at a crossroads. Would they open a new plant or call it quits and go back to working for the big guys? Thanks to prompting from their two sons, Lou and Nick, Mario and Teresa decided to invest in a new building a few miles away.
We first met the Fantasmas in 2005 and they immediately became USDA inspected (from state inspection) allowing them to ship across state lines for Heritage Foods accounts. Today their operation has expanded from 6 employees to 36 and they are now a Certified Humane facility. They process over 200 pigs a week for Heritage Foods USA as well as lamb and goat seasonally and a few head of cattle. They have won numerous awards for their injection-curing program, are a fixture of the BBQ circuit locally and are growing their retail store as well. Heritage is honored to have grown with them and looks forward to growing more in the future.
Twig Farm – West Cornwall, Vermont :
Michael Lee and Emily Sunderman operate the thirty-acre farm with a milking herd of about thirty-five does. Michael makes all of their cheese by hand, using traditional techniques and equipment for farmstead cheese production. Emily manages the business and marketing for the farm. Their goats are Alpine. Their coats range from light to deep red bay or even grey. The bulk of their current diet is pasture and fresh hay.
Asgaard Dairy – New York :
Asgaard Dairy which means "farm of the gods" in Norse mythology, is the name given to the farm by its founder Rockwell Kent, a renowned artist, writer, and farmer. David and Rhonda Brunner, the farms current owners, arrived in 1988. Today, Asgaard Farm and Dairy is a family owned and operated farm that produces farmstead cheeses and other dairy, meat, and poultry products for the local community. The farm is set on 1,500 acres of fields and second growth forests in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. The Brunner's have a boisterous herd of registered Alpine and Nubian and Saanens goats. In addition to pasture grazing, the goats also browse in the woods - foraging for food as nature intended.
Caz Acres Farm – New York :
Cindy and Larry Casavant started raising goats seven years ago as a project for their daughter Lydia on their Caz Acres Farm in NY. They raise a herd of Boer meat goats on a 1.5 acres. Lydia started with 2 goats and the herd has now grown to include 46 goats. The goats spend their days between the barn and pasture. Lately the goats love exploring the hilly part of the farm munching their way through goldenrod, sumac and nettles. Lydia, now 17, is spending more time showing her goats throughout New York State and took "Overall Meat Champion" for one of her goats at the Cobleskill "Sunshine" Fair.
Strait Gait Farm – New York :
Holly and John Phillips run Strait Gate Farm on 7-acres in Branchport, NY. They have a small herd of ninety meat and dairy goats. The goats roam on pasture and also feast on local hay and spent barley from a micro brewery located near Keuka Lake. Their dairy goats are Saanens. Saanens are one of the most popular dairy breeds in America. All white in color, they make for a striking image out on pasture. The breed is known for its above average milk production, large size, vitality and "eager to please" temperament. Their meat goats are Boers, a breed developed in South Africa known for its excellent growth rate and carcass qualities. The name is derived from the Dutch word "Boer," meaning farmer.
Highwood Farm – New York :
Mark Baustian and Luce Guanzini have been farming since 1994. They raise a herd of Boer crosses on Highwood Farm in Spencer, NY. Although Boers are meat goats, Mark and Luce like to keep some dairy genetics in their herd, such as Nubian and Alpine, because they feel the increased milk production is good for the kids. The goats are pasture raised during the warm months and fed on hay during the winter. They also allow the goats to practice self-weaning, which they believe decreases the stress of the animals being separated from their mothers. While neither come from farming backgrounds, Mark and Luce connected years ago over their shared love of animals while pursuing degrees in Biology and Animal Science at Cornell, respectively. Luce now works at Cornell as a Veterinary Technologist.
Miz-inka Farm – New York :
Miz-inka Farm has been in the Stickler family since 1929 when Jim's grandfather bought a small plot of land in upstate NY. Over the years the family has purchased additional acres until Jim and his wife, Ruth, took over in 1964. The family farm was a dairy farm so Jim started milking cows at age 12. Jim and Ruth maintained the dairy farm for about seven years and then started to raise goats in 2008. Jim and Ruth Stickler raise Boer-Nubian crosses and pure bred Boer goats on their 365-acre farm. They also plant 90 acres of field crops every year, plus an acre or so of potatoes, which has kept them busy. They looked to goats as a tool for making the farm more sustainable, and because they are fun for the grandkids.
Jim and Jean Bright – New York :
Jim and Jean Bright work with their local 4-H'ers to show their goats around New York State. The Brights raise Boer-Alpine crosses. They milk several does by hand and Jean has become a whiz at making fresh cheeses. Their three-acre farm is home to 21 goats, enough to keep them busy and have plenty of milk.
Hawk Hall Farm – New York :
The goats at Hawk Hall farm in Trumansburg, NY are some of the luckiest around. They are raised by Tatiana Stanton the goat extension specialist for the state of NY. Tatiana works out of Cornell University's Animal Science Department.
Happy Kids Farm – New York :
Happy Kids Farm is owned by Patrick and Peggy McLenithan who raise a small heard of Boer goats in Cambridge, NY. They also have three adult llamas who act as watch dogs for the goats. Patrick is the auctioneer for Cambridge Valley Livestock, the regions primary livestock auction, you can see him in action every Tuesday night.
Swamp Hill Farm – New York :
Swamp Hill Farm in Richfield Springs, NY is run by Karen Fisher and family. The Fisher’s raise a variety of dairy crosses: Swiss Alpine crossed with Saanen and Swiss Alpine crossed with Nubian.
S. Wallace Edwards and Sons – Surry, Virginia :
We first met Sam Edwards when he placed a call into Heritage Foods in 2006 to inquire about our pasture-raised, Certified Humane, Berkshire hams for his 80-year old family business. As we researched we discovered that S. Wallace Edwards and Sons was an American treasurer that supplied ham, bacon and sausage to thousands of restaurants, butchers and shops across the South. Indeed Edwards was a household name to millions, but in New York where Heritage Foods is based, only a few pioneering establishments like Momofuku Ssam Bar featured his meats on their menu.
Sam was always trying to improve the products coming out of his facility in Surry, Virginia and he believed that the Berkshire breed, raised outdoors, was the best way to do that, especially when it came to long-aged hams which need to stand up to 400 or more days of curing. Our first test load was sent in the autumn of 2006 and then we waited…and waited…until just over a year later when Sam called us again to say that the hams we had sent him came out tasting exquisite. We were ecstatic.
Batali – Seattle, Washington :
The patriarch Armandino Batali is older now but still very much involved at Salumi, the historic storefront in downtown Seattle. While his son Mario Batali has gone on to open numerous restaurants around the country, his daughter Gina and her husband Brian run the day-to-day operations. All products at Salumi are made by three people, making it one of the smallest production teams anywhere. These salumi are produced in extremely limited supply so we are all very fortunate that we can feature these products on our website.
American Tuna – San Diego, California :
Our American Tuna comes from six hook-and-line fishing families at American Tuna of southern California. Fishing with hook-and-line is the only way to ensure both the best taste and the humane treatment of fish. Only the finest center cuts of this fatty fish are filleted and hand-packed, cooked in their own juices which provides a deep buttery flavor and creamy texture. The American Tuna fishermen catch tuna that are 2-5 years old, so the mercury level in them is minimal to non-existent. Omega-3 rich, lean, protein-packed, with no carbohydrates, no additives, no fillers, no broth or water, this tuna truly deserves the Heritage label. It is "once-cooked" in its own natural juices so you can eat it right out of the can.
Sea Lab – Bra, Italy :
Our anchovies are Slow Food endorsed and hand crafted by our very own Serena Di Liberto’s father and brother, Saro and Gianluca, who have been in the business for over 30 years. Each one of these beautiful glass jars is painstakingly hand-packed with plump anchovies cured in the highest quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil to preserve the fresh flavors of the fish. We are so proud to have received a shipment direct from the artisan plant in Bra, Italy! Terrific right out of the jar, they are sensational over buttered bread. Anchovies have been traditionally used to add depth of flavor to food since Roman times. Almost everything can be improved with the addition of an anchovy whether in a salad (the Caesar in particular), on a pizza, in pasta, or in any fish dish. They infuse a radical undertone to dips or spreads such as a tapenade, bagna cauda, or caponata. These little fish will totally and absolutely redefine your perception of anchovies. Our anchovies are fished from the waters of Sicily while the olive oil is from Umbria.
Iliamna Fish Co. – Bristol Bay, Alaska :
Christopher Nicolson, of Iliamna Fish Co., was raised in a fishing community just like generations of his family before him. Fishing knowledge and connection to the local Kenai Peninsula of Bristol Bay, Alaska is part of Christopher’s heritage and his way of life. Lucky for us, Christopher is a neighbor and good friend of Heritage. Heritage Foods USA is proud to offer wild caught salmon fished from our friends at Iliamna Fish Company from Bristol Bay, Alaska, one of the last pristine spawning grounds for wild salmon.
At Heritage Foods USA we support family farms raising rare breeds of livestock – knowing that genetic diversity and gastronomy are important. We have partnered with Slow Food USA to promote their Ark of Taste project, an international catalog of endangered foods. We are proud to feature a selection of these products for sale year round including:
Breed Variety Chops - four pork chops each from 3 breeds (Red Wattle, Old Spot, Tamworth, Large Black, Berkshire)
Breed Variety Chicken - three 3-4lb whole chickens from a rotating selection of 24 varieties (Barred Rock, New Hampshire, Hamburg...)
Breed Variety Lamb Legs - two 4.5lb legs (Tunis, Navajo Churro, Horned Dorset)
Whole Turkeys - 8-25lb available, fresh Thanksgiving week (Bourbon Red, Narragansett, Jersey Buff, Black, Slate, Bronze)
Whole Geese - 10-12lb, fresh late December (American Buff, African)
Whole Ducks - 3-4lb, fresh late December (Aylesbury)
Rare Occasions -
A selection of 4 cuts from a single rare breed
Sign up for our weekly emails for more details!
Anishinaabeg Manoomin Rice - Native Harvest, Callaway, MN
White Sonora Wheat - Hayden Flour Mills, Phoenix, AZ
Shrub - Tait Farm Foods, State College, PA
Jacob’s Cattle Bean - Baer’s Best Beans, South Hamilton, MA
Sourwood Honey - Mike’s Honeybees, Raleigh, NC
American Native Pecans - Missouri Northern Pecan Growers, Nevada, MO
Blenheim Apricots - B&R Farms, San Benito, CA