Nov 18 2011

Farmstead Meatsmith

I found myself smiling and nodding along to a video about butchery. BUTCHERY. There's nothing more inspiring to me than watching people who love their profession share their skills to make other's lives easier. In this case, Farmstead Meatsmith is a family artisan butcher created to aid small-scale animal farmers in the Puget Sound region of Washington State.

Brandon Sheard is a butcher. He and his wife Lauren live on Vashon Island with their two adorable children. Last year, Brandon and Lauren created Farmstead Meatsmith; they offer services ranging from slaughter, butchery, and charcuterie to small farmers around their region. The Sheards understand the intrinsic power of community that surrounds agriculture. As they say in their video, "agriculture is life". And agriculture is comprised of more than just farmers and ranchers. Agriculture includes everyone: bakers, artists, 9-5ers, bankers...and the list goes on until I run out of professions! "A healthful agricultural economy is one in which all parts are joined harmoniously to the whole."

The Sheards aptly recognized that animal processing is nearly a lost artform. Four massive corporations--Tyson, Cargill, Smithfield, and Swift & Co--are involved in raising, slaughtering, and processing the majority of beef, pork, and chicken in the US. In contrast, the Sheards are doing their part to slaughter and process animals in the same way the animals were raised: with care and respect.

I'm inspired by Farmstead Meatsmith and am thankful for operations like theirs that allow small farms to ethically complete the animal raising circle. It's worrisome that a small farmer can humanely raise his or her animals from birth, but then have no choice but to take them to a processing facility that can be anything but humane.

Farmstead Meatsmith has produced a series of webisodies called "On the Anatomy of Thrift". In this introductory video they ask for monetary support to produce these videos. After watching the video I had my credit card on the ready, but encouragingly many others beat me to it, helping the business successfully raise $10K via a Kickstarter campaign.

Farmstead Meatsmith has filmed these instructional videos and will be celebrating with a release party on November 20th. After the 20th, you'll be able to watch the series on their website, The Anatomy of Thrift. Having watched the introductory video several times and loved the music, illustration, filming, and message, I'm excited to see what they've created!