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Pasture Grazed Sustainable Meats in Clare, Illinois 

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Dan and Hattie Sanderson (center) with their son Trent, his wife Libby and their children Owen, Jack and Lane (at right); and daughter Rosie, her husband Corey and their children Violet and Calvin (at left).
Dan and Hattie Sanderson (center) with their son Trent, his wife Libby and their children Owen, Jack and Lane (at right); and daughter Rosie, her husband Corey and their children Violet and Calvin (at left).

We’re a local farm family committed to farming sustainably. We currently sell pasture-raised beef, pork and chicken from our farm in Clare, Illinois. We also work with other local farmers to include their locally grown popcorn and honey in our store (the bees are on our farm, but another farmer handles the beekeeping and jarring honey). We’re always exploring new ideas and striving to provide our community with the products you ask for.

We call ourselves Pasture Grazed because our pastures are at the core of everything we do. The pasture nourishes the animals, so we must nourish our pastures. Through our collective years of experience, formal education, lifelong learning and love of the land, we have discovered new ways of raising animals on pasture and continue to improve upon what we do.

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Our food is only as good as the soil it grows in, so soil health is at the core of everything we do. Healthy soil grows healthy plants for our cattle to eat – and they fertilize the soil as they graze.

We thoughtfully seed different species of plants in our pasture (in addition to the already established perennial grasses) to accomplish two things: to give the soil what it needs, or to give our animals what they need. Each plant has a different impact on the soil and the diet of our animals, and we test the forages in our pastures periodically to see what we may need to add or change.

If you drive past our pastures, you’ll see noticeable sections where cattle have grazed and where they haven’t. That’s because we open a new section of the pasture for the animals to graze on each day. They can still spread out and roam the area they have grazed previously, but they usually stay grouped together munching on the new, tall plants they have access to that day.

This grazing method is called “intensive mob grazing” and it is one of many things we do to improve the health of our soil. The cattle eat half of the plants and trample the other half back into the soil with the manure they leave behind to feed all of the microorganisms in the soil and help build organic matter. This way, the soil gets what it needs to regrow plants for cattle to graze again in the future.

You'll also see a variety of species grazing together – cows, sheep, chickens, pigs, and even a couple of goats! This also has soil health benefits (plus it’s fun).

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"Attending the Soil Health Academy was an eye-opening, emotional experience for my dad and I. We're from generations of soil conscious farmers, and the Academy had plenty of guidance to enhance our farming practices. Anyone who is going to farm, manage or own soil should attend the Soil Health Academy."

- Trent Sanderson, Pasture Grazed Sustainable Meats

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