Big News!!

by 2 April 28, 2016

We have shared a lot of news already this spring: our new freezer expansion and Lucy, the newest addition to the Copicut family. But wait- there's more: we are extremely excited to share with you that this year we will officially be 100% non-GMO! Our journey towards this point has taken over two years. Since our first year farming we have heard from our customers and Members that they would like our animals to be fed non-GMO grain. We could see this was an important facet of our business and started looking into our options in 2014. At that time (and still today) we use Central Connecticut Coop (CCC) in Manchester Connecticut for our grain. When we approached CCC in 2014 with our concerns they were unable to accommodate our request as there were no local farms producing non-GMO grain at the time. We have always been happy with the high quality of grain CCC has milled for us and we wanted to remain loyal to them and to local grain production. We ultimately made the decision to stay with CCC and continue to work with them on the matter. Our efforts and patience (and those of CCC) have paid off and as of this season CCC will be able to offer Copicut Farms 100% non-GMO grain. The non-GMO grain will be grown locally, milled by CCC, and delivered to us at the farm. We had been planning for this outcome during the two intervening years and so have already made the necessary on-farm infrastructure additions and renovations to accommodate the new grain. We understood from the beginning that this was an important matter to our customers and are happy to be able to respond to such issues in a timely manner. From our perspective this is one of the biggest perks of knowing and interacting with your farmer directly, and us with you. With this exciting news out, let’s step back a moment and address why our pasture-raised livestock need grain as a part of their diet. Chickens and pigs, unlike cows, do not have digestive systems capable of digesting large amounts of fibrous material. A healthy chicken requires grain as the main component of its diet. The pasture and all it has to offer: grass, legumes, insects, (together known as forage) make up about 10% of a chicken’s diet. This might not seem like a lot however it has been shown that this small percentage leads to a huge increase in nutritional value for the chickens and, in turn for us. We call our birds pastured-raised because they live in the pasture and forage for greens as a supplement to the grain we provide them.  (You can read more about the inclusion of grain in the diets of pasture-raised livestock in our blog entry from June 10th, 2015.) This is why the quality of grain is a hugely important factor in the health of our animals, and why we have always taken the question of grain, where it comes from, and how it is produced seriously. Coupled with the demand we saw in our consumer base we knew this was the direction we wanted to go and now we are happy to say we’ve arrived! You may notice a slight increase in the price per pound of our meat this year to accommodate the increased cost of this non-GMO grain however we feel it is worth it and hope you do too! We see this transition to non-GMO grain as an example of the progress that can happen when customers are able to communicate directly with food producers.

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