Ep 99. Luke Groce on Scaling Pasture-Based Livestock Eco-Harmoniously

What career path should you consider if you’re passionate about bringing high quality nutritious meals to your community’s tables and creating a quality-rich environment for animal livelihood?

Joining us today on the Thriving Farmer Podcast is Luke Groce of Groce Family Farm. Luke started Groce Family Farm near Louisville, KY soon after he got married to Katherine in 2009. In their first four years of farming, they focussed on chemical free vegetables. They soon came to believe that their farm should mimic nature’s rhythms more and more. In 2014, they started raising pastured pork, and in 2015, bought their new farm in Crawford County, IN.  Today they offer forest raised pork, open-pasture chicken duck and turkey, and 100% grass-fed lamb and beef through their meat CSA and at farmers markets in the Louisville and Southern Indiana areas. They work with restaurants and grocers and sell vegetables sometimes as well. Tune in today to hear all about Luke’s unique operation and how he keeps it thriving!

In This Episode:

How Luke got his start in farming 1:06

How the animals are raised on Groce Family Farm 2:32

How and when their turkeys are processed 8:11

What a typical week looks like on Groce Family Farm 9:45

What systems are in place to keep them organized 11:15

The hardest part about being a farmer for Luke 16:22

Who Luke’s mentors were throughout his farming journey 19:46

What systems Luke would go back and change on his farm if he could 22:22

How luke manages his team on the farm 28:02

How Luke managed to take time off after having his child 30:20

How Luke finds the right people to hire 34:37

How Luke goes about getting new customers 36:42

What mistakes Luke sees beginning farmers making 38:10

Luke’s favorite farming tool 41:42

Where you can find out more about Luke and Groce Family Farm 43:23

About the Guest

Luke Groce and his wife, Katherine Groce, operate Groce Family Farm in Riddle, Indiana. They farm full-time, producing six species of animals for meat on pasture: chickens, pigs, ducks, turkeys, lamb, and cattle. Their products are offered locally through a meat CSA, wholesale accounts, and farmers markets.

Beyond thinking, speaking, and sharing about ecology, business, marketing, and efficient farm management, Luke and Katherine spend their time raising five children. Luke is also the host of The Pasture Raised Podcast.

Resources and mentions

Website – https://grocefamilyfarm.com/ 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GroceFamilyFarm/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/grocefamilyfarm/

And if you want to keep the conversation going, join us in our Facebook Group to connect with us and other farmers looking to grow their business!

We also have six free eguides to help you be more effective on your farm (Winter Growing, Pastured Poultry, Washing Shed Efficiency, Profitable Farmers Toolkit, what to look for in a farm property, etc), which you can download here.