Episode-1121- Darby Simpson on Pastured Poultry and Pork and Grass Fed Beef

A Pigs Life is a Good One at Simpson Family Farm

A Pigs Life is a Good One at Simpson Family Farm

Darby Simpson is the owner of Simpson Family Farm, a 7th generation family farm (1828-present) and a lifelong Indiana resident Darby grew up not realy learning anything about farming, became a mechanical engineer.

He worked in the engineering field from 1994-2010. Began small scale pastured based meat farming (Joel Salatin style) in 2007. Grew the business while continuing to work off farm full time. In 2010 like many Americans he lost his job due to the recession and took the farm full time. The farm now provides his family with a full time income.

Today he joins us to discuss some follow up on his first interview.  We will first go deeply into pastured poultry and discuss some of the new options for broilers that are superior for pasturing to the Cornish crosses.  We will discuss the difference between raising birds for homestead use vs. for market and why you should start small either way.

We will also discus pastured pork, grass fed beef and the views both Darby and I share on the future of farming.  The importance of supporting you local farmers, the opportunity in local and healthy foods and more.

We will also discuss Darby’s new business in consulting with people starting out with small scale farming or homesteading.  His new website is at DarbySimpson.com and remember he provides a discount to MSM Members as well.

 Resources for today’s show…

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18 Responses to Episode-1121- Darby Simpson on Pastured Poultry and Pork and Grass Fed Beef

  1. Great interview today! Fiberglass fencepost was something I had never thought of. Always nice to hear a local on the air, and the encouragement for more people to produce their own food. Makes me want to get out to rural land even sooner.

    Here is a link for the NRCS agency mentioned.

    http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/national/home/

  2. Fantastic episode. Trying to work it out to at least do a farm visit to the Simpson place, or even patronize Darby’s consulting business. He’s closer — and likely more affordable — than Greg Judy? 🙂

    • Would be happy to help you out. We could even do an on farm consult here so you can see things in action. Seeing and doing is the best teacher!

  3. Loved the episode. Just wanted to say howdy neighbor to Darby. My husband and I just moved to Martinsville. It is interesting to check out his farm on Google Earth. You can clearly see where the pastured poultry is kept. Very cool!

  4. I didn’t quite understand the fence post and oil rig used piping, tried to listen to it twice. Are they one in the same? Driving a fiberglass fence post in with a bucket… are they that strong? I have a piece of property that is under water by 2 to 3 feet, for 6 months of the year and the fence rotted away. The fence separates property and the neighbors cows wondered on it last year and did some damage to my newly planted orchard.

    I need to replace it and fiberglass fencing sounds great. Yes, eventually I would like to put in a pond and hold the water that way but for the next few years it is going to just flood out. Anyone have a link to these and the where to get used oil and gas gear?

    • Yes, the line posts are used oil rig piping. They come 30′ long, but get cut up to 7′-6″ and we put them in with the bucket of our International 756. I had the front tires of that 5-ton tractor up 3′ off the ground last Saturday several times and not one broke. They are only 2-3/8″ diameter! I can give you the contact info for the guy in Southern Indiana who has them. Don’t know of anyone outside of him. Contact me via the website and I’ll send it your way.

  5. Something I’ve always wondered about farming and donations.

    Could a person who is a farmer, i.e reporting farm income, donate excess produce, eggs, or even meat to a food bank, school, or church and have the donation tax deductible? If you have a history of selling organic, sunshine and rainbows, heirloom, pastured eggs for 10 dollars a dozen and donate two dozen to a food bank a week, would you be able to get a tax credit for that?

    I’ve never been sure, as I’m no tax master, but the answer interests me.

    • You can donate and take the tax write off but only for the cost of the goods, not your labor – at least that is what my CPA says. Contact your CPA for more info.

  6. What was the website you talked about that you said was better than Mother Earth and grit?

  7. And it is appreciated.

  8. @Matthew, I think it would be the same, but ask your tax professional. We have a Lawncare business and mow our church, each end of year, the church gives us a receipt to show the value of the services we provided which is put into our taxes as a contribution.

  9. I would like to find the source place described with the fiberglass products. It was so funny, I have been really struggling on how to fence my back, very swampy, (as in under water at the moment) area, which was where the RR ties as fence corner posts question came from. Last week I was in Deerefield supplies in Elkton Ky and they had piles and piles of these fiberglass pipes in bundles. Then I heard Darby saying he was using them as fence posts and the aha moment clicked. Unfortunately the ones close to me are 5′ long (50 cents each) and not long enough. He can order some in, but has to buy a semi-load. He is also Amish so I have to believe there is a connection there. One of today’s projects is to figure out how many line posts I will need.

    I just cannot say thank you enough to Jack and all the guests for doing this show and sharing this information and ideas.

    • The ones I buy are $7/each, but they have to meet NRCS specs. He has some lighter ones for $4. I don’t know what you could buy for $0.50 each that would be worth much – it costs more than that to cut them up. The blades used to cut these things are salty! But, if they look worthwhile, have him cut them to length for you. Or, contact me direct and I’ll give you the contact info here. He’s just and hour and a half from the KY line.

    • Forgot to mention, corner posts are $35/each. A friend of mine bought some lighter duty ones for $25 and is testing them out. The bigger ones we use are 10″ dia, 10′ long and weigh over 100lbs. Single end posts rock, it’s cheaper, faster and better than old school wood “H” braces. I’ve one 800′ on one of these single end posts with no problems. These do require a hydraulic post driver to put in, and a pretty good sized tractor.

  10. Could you use some sort of Dutch auction system when selling your beef instead of turning people away or putting them on a waiting list? I would think that if they’re willing to pay the listed price, that they would probably be willing to pay a little more to go from off the list to on it.

    • I guess that I could if I had no morals. The reason we turn customers away is multifaceted: We are still growing that aspect of our business, it is a vastly under-served market, and our customer retention list is very high for bulk orders. Once someone is “in” on our beef, they get first dibbs on staying in before we add new customers. I have folks who have been supporting us since the beginning. We are successful because of God’s grace and their patronage thru our growing pains. Why would I sell them out for a few bucks? If we had that mindset as our guiding principle we wouldn’t be where we are today.