Apr 19, 2013

McSwain Ranch in Lonoke

Pictures and story courtesy of Lyndsey Lewis.
Mike & Patti McSwain
A few years ago, Mike and Patti began reading and researching where and how our society gets its food. It started with the The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. “Everyone should own a copy of that book,” Patti insists.

This book, as well as works by Joel Salatin, Allan Nation, and Greg Judy, inspired the McSwains to rethink how they eat and what they could do to change things for the better. They had acres of underutilized pasture around their home. They had once toyed with the notion of boarding horses, but their new awareness of the farming industry persuaded them to raise animals for food instead.

This renaissance led to what is now McSwain Ranch in Lonoke, which provides beef to Central Arkansas’ upscale restaurants and lamb for ‘locavores’ and foodies from around the state. Now they are three years into their adventure with organic grass fed sheep and cattle farming. Using movable fencing, they use rotational grazing to keep their furry friends happy and well-fed with fresh grass.

Mike and Patti love sharing their passion for natural, healthy food and would love to give you a personal tour. You can learn about the underground water system that has been installed in the pastures and how they were awarded federal grants to pursue natural cattle and sheep farming.  

Also lambing season (March and April) is in full swing, so it would make for a great family field trip.  Don’t be surprised if you get to help out wrangling sheep or get treated to an impromptu jazz concert inside their cozy cabin while visiting. They are a welcoming and joyful couple, full of pleasant surprises. Call Mike (501) 676-1572 or Patti (501) 681-1782 to schedule your tour.

To learn about other farms in Arkansas that we've highlighted, click here or the label in the right column titled "Meet Your Farmers."

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