Building the alternative cattle empire, from ranch to retail
By Joe Fassler February 15, 2016
For years, rancher-activist Mike Callicrate has argued that livestock farmers are in an impossible position: they can’t go big, and they can’t go small. Farmers who sell into the industrial system are paid market price for their animals at the slaughterhouse gate—but since meatpackers increasingly own their own herds, a practice called “captive supply,” some say they’re less inclined to give independent farmers a fair price (or even buy from them at all). At the same time, Callicrate doesn’t see farmers’ markets as a viable alternative, despite their popularity.
“Farmers’ markets are nice, but what farmers need are markets,” he says. “The farmers’ market doesn’t let you sell enough volume.” MORE