Keeping it LOCAL with RA Farms, Rogue Valley
“Keeping it local.” This is one practice we continually strive to accomplish here at Standing Stone Brewing Company. While we proudly serve our very own beef and lamb, we don’t currently raise pigs at “One Mile Farm.” As such, we’ve partnered with local pig farm, RA Farms, to locally source the pork that we currently serve on our menu. These pigs are raised in the most humane and environmentally friendly manner possible. Not only that, the most interesting aspect of partnering with this farm is the fact that it’s founders are two teenagers who are taking steps to make a positive difference in our local community. Meet Alyson Scheffler and her brother Reagan.
In her own words, Alyson shares their story:
“My name is Alyson Scheffler, and my brother Reagan and I are the owners of RA Farms. I am a senior at Eagle Point High School and Reagan is a sophomore. We both became involved in agriculture through 4-H and FFA programs here in the valley. However, our love of agriculture started far before we owned our first hog.
We are sixth-generation hog farmers here in America. Our great-great-great grandparents moved their families to the United States from Switzerland and Germany, and began raising hogs. The first three generations had traditional farms: hogs, cows, chickens, crops, a little bit of everything. In the late 60’s and early 70’s, our grandparents expanded their hog operation where they raised 2,000 hogs per year, taking them through their entire life cycle. Though my father raised hogs through 4-H and FFA, our immediate family has moved away from farming, compared to past generations. Our parents are not involved in agricultural careers, and my grandparents also retired from farming. We have made multiple trips to visit my Great Grandma Betty on the family farm in Minnesota, which was established in 1874. We got to see the barn and the same house my grandpa grew up in. Seeing this heritage inspired my brother and I. To maintain our connection and the value of a farm upbringing, my brother and I began raising hogs through 4-H. Our business, RA Farms, began in 2011 after my first year of raising a 4-H hog to sell at the Jackson County Fair. After raising our first hog, we decided that this was something we would do year-round. My dad brought up the idea of raising butcher hogs in the off-season, and we raised our first two hogs in the winter of 2011. We have been raising and selling hogs for eight years now, and it has grown from raising just two animals per year to 40.
The amount of animals we raise per year depends on the demand; we usually base it off of how much pork restaurants and individuals in the community need. This business has become hugely successful for us in the past couple of years because of the farm-to-table practice that many restaurants are now adopting.
People want to know where their food is coming from, who’s raising it, how it’s treated and what it is eating. Consumers and restaurants count on us, and we don’t take this responsibility lightly. We focus on the local aspect as much as we can: we source all litters of pigs as close to home as possible, and we buy feed that was milled within the state of Oregon. Keeping everything in our business local is a large part of our business marketing strategy & mission.
Outside of our business, my brother and I are also involved in sports at the high school: Reagan competes in football, basketball and track, and I compete in volleyball. Balancing school, our activities, and the farm isn’t always easy. However, one guiding statement that has been passed down through the generations of Scheffler families is: “The animals come first. They can’t take care of themselves.” My brother and I have to coordinate our schedules to ensure we balance out the workload and complete commitments we have made to our hogs, our business and our school activities. Three hours are devoted each weekend to cleaning pens at both locations- our home and a barn that we rent down the road to accommodate extra groups of pigs. Added time is put on for moving pigs, extensive cleaning (with new pigs), and taking care of the pigs throughout the week. I have seen firsthand how hard work through RA Farms has paid off and want to continue to grow the business by supplying more high quality local pork to families and restaurant customers.”
Standing Stone will continue to partner with local farms like the Schefflers’ in order to accomplish our mission of supporting local businesses, as well as maintaining sustainability and environmental awareness to build a better future for tomorrow. When you choose to dine with us, you are joining us on this mission. Thank you, to our loyal customers, for your continued support. Stay tuned for an upcoming video feature that takes a closer look at our partnership with RA Farms.
If you are interested in contacting RA Farms, you may reach them at email@example.com