We’re fortunate to collaborate with so many incredible farmers and ranchers all over Texas. Since we recently expanded residential deliveries into Waco, we thought it would be the perfect time to highlight local area star, Blackland Farm & Cattle. Let’s take a peek behind the scenes of this family farm that provides beyond-organic food fresh from its sustainable, sunshine-filled farm just east of Waco in Riesel, Texas.
When Todd and Katherine Ehlers learned that the 100-acre farm that had been in their family since 1909 was going to be sold, they saw an opportunity. The decision to take over the farm didn’t happen overnight, however, as both Ehlers were in Lubbock finishing grad school at Texas Tech. Though both were proponents of supporting local farms and eating clean, they’d never run a farm and they knew the learning curve would be steep. Ready for the adventure, they began their in-depth research into sustainable agriculture and alternative farming methods. They took the plunge and moved to the farm in 2015 and never looked back. Since then, they’ve been running the farm as a family, providing the best grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chickens, and raw, beyond-organic honey to their Central Texas neighbors. Their two small children are also given plenty of exposure to animal life and farming, all while spending time with their parents on this labor of love.
The Ehlers’ philosophy is a holistic one – the cows and chickens are fed from the land, then provide fertilizer to make that land fertile. Their bees not only make delicious honey, but they pollenate the land, which brings more growth and sustainability. All of their animals share a good quality of life, with constant access to sunshine, grass, bugs, and plenty of space to roam. Their natural diet is supplemented with non-soy, non-GMO feed. Cattle are grass-fed and grass-finished, and are moved daily to fresh pasture. The pastures at Blackland Farm & Cattle are pesticide and herbicide free and all animals free of antibiotics and hormones. According to the Ehlers, “It is our ultimate goal to make our farm healthy – not just the animals and your food, but the grass and soil that sustains it. We can’t do that by adding unnecessary chemicals to our operations. Farm work may be dirty, but our food is CLEAN!” By farming with the natural ecosystem in mind, Blackland Farm & Cattle improves their soils and environment, ensuring that they can continue to feed their family and provide their top-quality products to their community.
Katherine laughed as she mentioned that the family learns something new every day. In that spirit, the Ehlers family shares their knowledge by hosting private tours of their farm, where those interested can get up close to see how a working farm is run, meet the animals, chat with the farmers and learn more about their practices and driving philosophies. It’s a great way to be connected to where your local food comes from and learn more about sustainable practices and clean foods. To learn more about Blackland Farm & Cattle, you can contact them to set up a tour for your family or group. If you can’t get to Riesel, you’ll find their products on the Farmhouse Delivery website and at www.blacklandfarmandcattle.com