You may have seen the link we put on Facebook over the weekend to a TED talk by Kendra Kimbirauskas, farmer and CEO of the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project. If you missed it, here it is again. Her speech—which highlights the differences between pasture-based family farms and factory farms—is an inspiring reminder of why responsible agriculture is a critical component of the good food movement and why there are so many conscientious omnivores seeking out food raised in ethical ways.

One of the most important—and often most difficulty—steps in contentious consumerism as it pertains to food is knowing where it comes from. Is your purchase truly healthy for you, your local economy, and the environment? If you’re reading this, we assume that you are part of the rapidly growing group of people who ask yourselves these very questions. And because these answers are important to us, too, we want to help you find what you’re looking for.

As you likely know, all our members are small-scale, pasture-based, family farms. So what else do we do—besides the daily attention to ethical animal husbandry—to further the good food movement? We verify the source of the food we raise. Every package of every one of our products can be traced back to the farm that it came from. You can read all of our production standards on our website. And we host group farm tours so that folks can see our animal husbandry in action.

This spring we had farm days Dettelbach Farms in Wynne and Falling Sky Farm in Leslie. Between the two events, we had about 200 visitors.

Ashley and Steve Dettelbach showing visitors the schooners where their chickens live.

At each event, the farm tours took folks from the brooders—where chickens and turkeys are sheltered until they are old enough to live outdoors—to the pastures where the larger animals graze. Visitors saw each outdoor habitat and listened to the farmers talk about rotational grazing, animal welfare, and the day-to-day chores involved in running a pasture-based agricultural system.

Cody at showing visitors at Falling Sky the pigs (who are hiding in the trees).

Reading about pasture-based family farms is important, but we believe that you should also have the opportunity to see them for yourselves.

We host our tours in the seasons that we think you’ll be most comfortable, the spring and fall. But if at any time you’d like to stop by, just give us a call and we can set something up for you. Group tours will resume in October, and as soon as we know the dates and locations we’ll post them on our website.

Michael Pollan is right, omnivores—the conscientious ones—really do face a dilemma. But learning about your food sources and choosing ones that fit in with your values goes a long way toward eating responsibly.