Leading the conversation with local food

Growing up we raised corn, beans, hogs, beef cattle, dairy feeders and sheep. My dad bought me my first horned dorset sheep when I was 4, and we have been developing one of the strongest purebred flocks in the country ever since. Being involved in 4-H and FFA was a huge part of my youth. At an early age I learned that I loved to be involved, learn and take leadership roles.

In 2000, I decided to launch Local Flavor Foods. I was cooking for a my real estate friends and clients and saw the potential for a small business. I wanted to not only provide a quality product, but also share the true agriculture story. Many of my co-workers were getting misinformation about our food system. I looked at starting this business as a way to open up the lines of communication between the farmer and the consumer.

As farmers we have such amazing stories to share. Currently with our flock of sheep, my Dad and I make all the management, breeding and care decisions. We also have a flock of laying hens producing eggs which I direct market along with my broiler chickens to my customers through Local Flavor Foods. We partner with a local butcher/grocery store to provide our lamb. Our sheep are pure bred so we work very diligently to better our genetics and market those to breeders around the country. To feed the sheep in the dormant grass months, we raise grass and alfalfa hay. I work with the hay from the fertilization, cutting, tedding, raking, baling and getting it in the barn.

I also am in charge of the marketing, promotional material and communications for the farm and Local Flavor Foods. I have an online social media presence to share what we are doing on the farm via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a blog. I love driving the tractor and doing all the manual labor on the farm, but I also feel it is vital to share with others what we are doing on the farm and why we are doing it. What better way than to welcome on-farm visits, which we love to host.

This blog is part of Reese’s turn as featured editors of the Growing Our Generation eletter. Read her full eletter or browse the archive of past issues.

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Callie Wells 

Callie Wells is the director of digital communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.