Learning about Sarah and Bobby Cannon’s southern Indiana farm is like getting a cool history lesson. The couple raises breeds that were prevalent before the industrial agriculture boom—old-world breeds like a Black Angus line dating as far back as sixteenth-century Scotland. Their Tamworth hogs are also an old English breed known for their ability to forage and produce a distinct flavor of meat. Then, there are the Delaware meat chickens, which had been commonly raised before the Cornish Cross breed gained in popularity among growers.
In 2013 Sarah and Bobby assumed ownership of Stonewall Farm, which was founded by Bobby’s brother Keith six years prior. While neither of the Cannons grew up on or around farms, the couple was drawn to agriculture by a desire for a profession that would maximize their health and that of their children. They have since devoted their full-time energies toward a 100% confinement-free livestock operation.
The Cannons raise their cattle slowly on lush pasture, at the animals’ natural growing pace. Sarah has found this patience pays off with a meat that yields high vitamin and mineral content. About two months before harvest they supplement the cows’ pasture-based diet with a mixture of corn and flaxseed, which adds fat and mellows the flavor of the meat – all while keeping them on pasture.
“All of our animals take much longer to mature than modern breeds,” Sarah says. “You can taste such abundant flavor in the meat, and that’s the difference that pasture makes,” Sarah says.
Nowadays the Cannons raise their beef, chicken, pork, sheep and lamb on their own land and several additional pastures throughout Posey, Gibson and Greene counties owned by friends and colleagues. All totaled they graze close to 100 acres. It’s truly a local effort, and the Cannons wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Every time we make the decision to support a local farm, we are casting a vote for our health, for the health of the food we eat and for the health of our soil,” Sarah says. “The local food economy is benefited by keeping it local as much as possible. Southern Indiana is a virtual Garden of Eden when it comes to growing food, so why not do it?”
Check out Sarah and Bobby’s pasture-based meat products here on Market Wagon.