Pasture-Raised Livestock Beginning Farm Tour

Randall and Connie Moores are beginning farmers, breathing new life into Randall’s grandparents’ farmstead, which they purchased in 2014, after it had been sold out of the family in the 1990s. When Randall returned home from active duty service in the Army in 2015, they built a mobile chicken coop, raised small flocks of chickens and turkeys, and purchased two freshened dairy goats. Last year was their first full season selling chicken, eggs, goat milk, fudge, and soap at two weekly farmers’ markets. They also raised pastured pigs and grass-fed lamb, which were sold as whole and half animals directly to consumers. They installed more than a mile of fencing around 32 acres and are in the process of reclaiming fields that have not been touched in nearly 30 years, with plans to certify their land as organic as early as fall 2017.

As beginning farmers, they have made plenty of mistakes but have learned a tremendous amount from other beginning and experienced farmers. They have worked with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ohio State University Extension, their local Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Ashtabula Local Food Council (ALFC). Join this tour, co-sponsored by ALFC, to learn about the Moores’ experiences as beginning farmers seeking organic certification, and what they have planned for 2017, including raising more pastured chickens, turkeys, and ducks; expanding their free-range egg layer flock; raising four litters of piglets; finishing 20 lambs; expanding their offerings of goat milk soap, and purchasing cattle.

Registration: Pre-registration is required. To register, email by October 13.

Directions: From Rte. 90, take Rte. 11 S to the Rte. 46 exit. Turn left, and drive north on Rte. 46/State Rd. S. Cross the bridge over Rte. 90, and the farm is the sixth driveway on the right. Limited on-farm parking may be available if conditions are wet. Overflow parking will be located at Plymouth United Methodist Church, 970 Plymouth Rd., and there will be a hay wagon shuttle running continuously. To get to the church, continue on State Rd. S for 1 mile until you come to a four way stop. Turn right on Plymouth Rd. The church is almost immediately on the right.