The Big Picture

There are many problems with the industrial agriculture. Both livestock and workers are treated poorly, quick profits are had the expense of the environment, cheap calories get produced instead of real food. All of these rely on people not knowing the realities of where food comes from. Building a real alternative requires the opposite approach. Eating meat is not something to be done lightly - it is taking the life of an animal to nourish and sustain ourselves. As Wendell Berry famously said (well, it's famous in certain farming circles) eating is an agricultural act.  Everything you eat contributes in a small way to how animals are treated, how land is used, how clean the air is, and a whole ever-expanding web of connections reaching outward. So I want you to know about Cairncrest Farm. I want you to visit. If you can't find the answer to a question in our  pages on Grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, grass-fed lamb, or pastured pork, or in the FAQs, or if you just want to be reassured that there is an actual person behind the website, please call or send an email.

What's Different About Us

We're exhausted by the clamor for attention that many websites push on visitors. We want every time you visit our website to be a pleasant experience and here are our commitments on the sales end of our business.

  • Customer Contact We keep our newsletter informative, interesting, and entertaining, not just product lists.
  • A la carte ordering You should be able to choose what you get to eat. Product selection should be up to the purchaser, not the provider. Otherwise the value of cuts can go against the consumer’s best interest.
  • Meat billed by the pound Charging by the package is more convenient for the person packing orders, but isn’t always the best for the consumer. We prefer that our pricing be as clear as possible and not require any mental gymnastics to figure $/lb. After you fill a cart and confirm the order you’ll get an estimated price. Once we pack your order and have precise weights we'll bill your card for exactly the weight of product you receive.
  • No subscription required order when you want food. Order a big box and fill your freezer or buy every week if that works better for your household. Have you noticed how many businesses try to push you into a subscription these days? Subscriptions are good for car insurance and phone plans where the service is identical month to month. But we think they’re a poor fit for perishables since variety is the spice of life and needs change week to week. Being billed for a subscription box when on vacation or other travel is a drag. We do offer some pre-built boxes for quick shopping if you don’t have time to select every item in an order.
  • No pop-up email requests we want you to join us because we care about what we do and how we do it, not because we push a sign-up form in your face.
  • Photographs the photos on our site, of our products, and in the blog are from our farm. When you visit our farm in person it should all feel familiar.
And here are our farming protocols.

  • Local you can visit us and see our animals in the field. We love visitors and "talking shop". Please contact us and stop by if you're ever near Cooperstown, NY. We limit our shipping zone to 1 day FedEx/UPS Ground. While we could put more insulation and dry ice into boxes and push the zone bigger we want to keep food miles low as possible.
  • No hormones
  • No growth promoting drugs Not all growth promoting drugs are hormonal. We don't use anything weird.
  • 100% Grass fed ruminants Beef and Lamb.
  • Pastured Pigs and Poultry. See this page for the difference between 'grass-fed & pastured'.
  • Organic - Chicken and turkey is certified organic. Organic is always non-GMO. Chickens derive a greater share of their diet from concentrated rations (grains) than do pigs, so we make sure they get feed of the highest standard.
  • Non-GMO Hog feed - None of the pasture/hay the animals on our farm eat is ever sprayed with anything and comes from non-GMO plants. We tested for Round-Up residue in the pig grain feed and according to the lab "it was one of the cleanest tests they've seen". While not certified organic, it was in the same neighborhood as organic with trace levels of residue. We attribute this good result to our neighbor Andy of Inverness Farm who is fastidious with his production and crop rotations. Our test was 2.9 parts per billion detected (organic is usually 1-2 ppb from drift on nearby fields, dust in trucks, wagons, and augers, etc), vs most feed that has hundreds of parts per billion.