Laura Freeman: "It’s my belief that the old-fashioned way of farming is healthier for humans, for livestock, and for the environment. Seventy years ago, farming was sustainable—small in scale, conservative in its use of resources, respectful of the land and our relationship to it. Whether they were aware of it or not, these farmers practiced a way of farming that honored the connection between ourselves, our food and our environment."
-Laura Freeman, in “Lessons from the Farm,” Laura’s Lean Beef Newsletter
Laura Freeman is more readily known as “Laura’s Lean Beef,” a reduced-fat meat produced from cattle raised with no pesticides and no antibiotics. She is a 7th generation family farmer who never intended to carry on the family tradition, but when her mother called for help, she came home to look at the possibility.
And she brought with her a fresh perspective that allows an entrepreneur to look at problems from a different end of the telescope. At first she sold sides of beef straight off the farm from newspaper advertisements. But in 1986, she approached supermarkets, and “Laura’s Lean Beef” was placed in so many Kroger stores that she could no longer raise enough cattle on her own farm to meet the demand.
Freeman spends a lot of time on the road, speaking before health groups and those who advocate sustainable agriculture. She is a good example of someone who finds time to combine work and public service by serving on the national board of Mothers and Others for a Livable Planet and Partners for Family Farms. She believes that "we must “buy naturally raised foods and support a way of farming that benefits the environment. If we rely on our common sense and collective wisdom we can find the solutions we need.”
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