Thursday Dec 05

Luginbill Gary and Rebecca Luginbill own and operate Luginbill Family Farm in rural Pandora, Ohio with their sons Ethan and Jacob. Check their website or stop by and meet them at the Perrysburg Farmer's Market in downtown Perrysburg, Ohio, Bluffton's Farmer's Market in downtown Bluffton, Ohio or at their farm by appointment.

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Luginbill Family Farms by Gary and Rebecca Luginbill

It's spring and this time many Farmer's Markets start up for another season. The Farmer's Market is a wonderful recreation of how the farmers used to sell their fresh produce, meat and dairy products before big business took over. The Farmer's Market is a win-win situation for consumer and the small farmer.

For the consumer it offers them a place to buy fresh vegetables, meats and baked goods. The consumer can actually talk to the farmer and ask how their products were raised, cared for, when they were harvested and know that they were produced locally. Try getting that information on any product in the grocery store and you will get all kinds of beat-around-the-bush answers that give you no information and leave you frustrated and unsure of the value and quality of products.

For the small farmer, the Farmer's Market offers them a chance to provide a modest living for their family while doing something they enjoy and have a passion for. Most farmers participating in Farmer’s Markets are concerned about the environment and raising and producing products that contribute to the health of those consuming their products. The farmer can also charge a price that is a fair wage for his time and skills used in producing a product that is far superior to any found in the grocery store. In the grocery store industry, farmers’ products, such as meat, milk and eggs, are many times sold at low prices actually for a loss to draw customers, who then purchase those products but also end up buying other high margin items. This practice is actually unfair to the farmer because the consumer has no idea what the true values of the products are that the farmer produces.

The Farmer's Market has helped me to build a business that my wife and I are passionate about as well as proud of. When I graduated from college my two brothers and I entered into a livestock confinement operation. We were limited by our small acreage and chose to raise hogs in confinement. Confinement raising of any animal whether it be chickens, hogs, layers, or dairy allows you to produce thousands of units broilers, hogs, eggs or milk in a small area. Thus we were able to provide a living for three families. However, the longer we did confinement production the more we realized that the confinement system compromises the health of the animal and the quality of the final product. In the confinement system the health of the animal is challenged by limited space and not having access to pastures and soil for proper nutrition. Feed rations are formulated with least-cost formulas, which often use by-products containing waste and toxins. These practices lead to unhealthy animals that are heavily medicated in order to try to maintain the animals’ health. Who wants to eat meat or eggs or drink milk from animals raised in these conditions? I sure had a hard time being proud of my final product.

Being a Christian, I consider it God's grace that I was given a chance to transition out of the confinement system into a pasture based system, where animals are allowed to eat the foods they were designed to eat and maintain excellent health and growth. The meats and eggs have higher nutrition, proper omega 3 and 6 balances, and are high in CLA and trace elements.

GLCows Luginbill Family Farm specializes in total pasture raised and finished beef and lamb, pasture raised pork, broilers and turkeys and free range eggs. We offer these at several Farmer's Markets along with various baked goods, cookies, pies, granola cereals, and other tasty treats baked by my wife using high quality ingredients.

We enjoy the people we meet and new friends made through repeat sales. We are impressed with the knowledge of the market customers who know the nutritional advantages of pasture raised meats and eggs and organic produce. We enjoy being part of the markets and the community it creates, for the customers not only support the farmers and vendors but also the local merchants when they come to town. Where else can you look a producer in the eye and ask them about their productions practices and make a purchase that is good for you, the farmer and the environment? The Farmers's Market is definitely good for all.

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