The pigs on Todd Geisert’s farm in Washington, Missouri are free to roam around and play in the sunshine and fresh air. Little has changed in the way hogs have been raised on the family farm for 100-years – out on pasture with no growth hormones or antibiotics. The high-quality meat the animals produce has propelled Todd, his wife Katie, and their family into becoming a major supplier of locally-grown products.
Todd’s success started in 2008, when he took over the farm and began offering his pork to the community.
"Lion’s Club, we’ve made the pork burgers for them for years for fundraisers, and the ham sausage we used to make up and hand out as thank you gifts at the end of the year," says Todd. "People said, ‘you ought to sell that stuff’. Ok, well, I looked into it a little bit, figured out some labeling issues, and started out basically with bacon, pork burgers, ham sausage and a couple standard brats and stuff like that, and it’s gotten to where we’re at today."
And that is running his own grocery store and café, is a supplier of meat to other local stores and restaurant chefs, and has a roadside produce stand. He caters to different tastes and comes up with new products all the time.
In the meantime, Todd has also created relationships with dozens of area farmers and helps them get their products to market.
"A protein, an ice cream, or rices, nuts, jellies, jams. More of the proteins and produce is where we do a lot of that. The other stuff is kind of starting to come around," says Todd. "Most of the stuff is within a 100-mile radius, so as I’m making my deliveries I’m able to make my pick-ups too. I make a circle so like when I go to deliver meat in Columbia, I’m able to stop in Millersburg, which is right outside of Columbia, to pick up ice cream."
Todd is always looking ahead – he hopes to eventually start hydroponic and aquaponic growing systems for produce.
Learn more about Todd Geisert and his local food production
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