ABOUT OUR PRODUCTS
We raise Beef, Chicken, Pork, Turkey, and eggs. All of our animals are fed GMO-free feed, most of it is grown right here on the farm. Many people are not sure what GMO means.
GMO Stands for Genetically Modified Organism. This is not to be confused with Hybridization. A commonly used description of the differences between the two is:
“Genetic engineering is the process of breaking the natural boundaries that exist between species to produce new life forms that will produce a variety of desired traits. For example, genes from salmon can be spliced into tomatoes to make them more resistant to cold weather, thereby yielding a larger crop when the weather is less than favorable.”
“Hybridization is the fertilization of the flower of one species by the pollen of another species-or artificial cross-pollination”.
You will have many folks arguing over this statement. The pro-GMO movement will swear by their science, feeling that GMO’s are perfectly safe and will have no negative impacts, now or in the future. While others have doubt about the “science” that supports the claims GMO’s are safe and feel that the rapid government approval of these “tests” is more profit-driven than concerned about potential long term health or environmental issues. There are multiple studies on both sides proving the claims of both sides.
You have two sides that are very passionate about their own beliefs and basically, you are not going to convince one to switch to the “other side”. That would be about as likely as converting a Democrat into a Republican….as they say, “never going to happen”
So why do we raise NON-GMO crops? Because we choose to do so! We are concerned that there could be long term effects on GMO’s and would prefer to avoid them. We also think it is important that people can make their own choice on what they want to eat.
All methods of farming are essential and it should be up to the farmer to choose which method they want to use. We do not think we should all be forced to only utilize GMO seed that is engineered to withstand being sprayed with roundup. It is important to maintain a balance of organic farms, GMO-free farms, family farms, hobby farms as well as large corporate farms. The same reasoning applies to the consumer, they should feel that they can choose between GMO, GMO-free or organic food. I also believe in letting the customer know what is in their food. If you are eating something that contains GMO inputs then it should be labeled. If there are not GMO inputs then label it. It is not that complicated, other ingredients are listed why no go the extra step to label GMO or NON-GMO. When I buy something I want to know what is in it and where it is from. Just because my grapes come from Mexico does not imply they are bad, however, I want to know where my food is raised. The same argument applies to GMO’s, I want to know if it has GMO inputs or not. I am not out to convert anyone to my way of thinking about GMO’s, but more interested in full disclosure. Be proud of what you do and do not be afraid to label it!
But enough about this argument, there is no “right” answer. Groups can debate this one for as long as they want and never come up with a solution that will please both sides. I am not interested in cramming my beliefs down any one’s throat – I just want to raise our animals the way we choose, raise the type of crops we choose and be able to offer our product and give people the choice they deserve.
Basically, we offer meats and eggs that have never been fed genetically modified feed. It is pretty simple! The following is a list of how our animals are raised, we are also more than happy to chat with you anytime you stop by the Country Market.
Our animals are raised on our farm in Kuna, are not confined in closed dark buildings and given room to roam. Our beef spends most of their life in our pasture, when they are weaned they will be moved to smaller fields away from the bull when they are getting close to their butcher date, they will be moved to one of several corrals.
We are not a high-density feedlot as we have under 20 mother cows, and normally have under 30 calves
Our beef is not vaccinated or fed antibiotics.
If we have a sick cow we would give that particular cow an antibiotic so that they would recover, but that rarely happens.
We raise our beef on pasture grass, Alfalfa hay and NON-GMO corn. They are finished with a mixture of corn and hay.
We do not intensely grain our beef but give them enough to get the wild flavor out of the meat and give it some tenderness.
Our beef has the classic farm raised meat flavor and our ground beef is the best around. You cannot compare the sublime flavor of farm fresh products to the meat you buy at the big grocery chains.
Our chickens have access to a large indoor barn or a large outdoor fenced yard and have plenty of space to wander and flap their wings, scratch about for bugs and take dirt baths.
The laying hens have plenty of laying boxes to choose from but some insist on laying their eggs in the corner.
We collect eggs three times a day and they are immediately put into a cooler.
We wash and candle our eggs once a week on Monday and distribute them to the various stores and restaurants that use our eggs. Our meat chickens are raised in the same manner as our layers but without the laying boxes. Our birds will move about freely from the time they are chickens until they are ready for butchering. They have an indoor space as well as a fenced outdoor pen.
We try to raise all of our meat birds in Spring and Fall as the weather is more moderate and easier on the birds. We raise our meat birds for 12 weeks before butchering giving you a larger bird.
Our Turkeys are raised in large open pens with access to an inside barn or allowed to wander in a fenced section of the orchard.
Our Hogs are raised in an outside pen with an open-ended shed where they get a lot of dirt to rout in and mud to roll in. We only raise 5 hogs at a time so they are never in overcrowded conditions.
All of our animals are allowed to grow at their own rate, which means that sometimes we may be out of or low on the selection available. But one thing you will be guaranteed is you will get the best tasting, farm fresh meat and eggs money can buy.
In summary, the most important thing for us is that we are able to offer you a choice of NON-GMO meat and eggs and the ability to buy your food directly from the farm. You also get to meet the folks that raise your food and we are always happy to show you around or answer any questions. The more you learn about your food and where it comes from, the more you are going to want to buy local and fresh off the farm.
ABOUT OUR FAMILY
Vogel Farms was established in 1950 by Edwin and Wilma Vogel. They moved to Kuna Idaho from Nebraska ready to embark on a new adventure with their two daughters, Caroline and Mary and son Eddie. Like most small farms of the era Edwin and Wilma Vogel had a small herd of dairy cows, some hogs, and a few beef cattle. Edwin was one of the few farmers to plant corn in the valley and also raised hay and wheat. The first generation Vogel’s were able to make a comfortable living on the farm. Things were much simpler— factory farms existed but were not dominate—Genetically Modified Crops were still 50 years away, Fast food was not a staple, Kids actually played outside and TV was a luxury.
Caroline and Mary grew up on the farm, but once they graduated they ventured off to the “big” city of Boise and both embarked on careers outside of the farm. Eddie was bit by the farming bug. Once he graduated from Kuna High School he started to help his dad on the farm. He worked for a few seasons at the Sugar Beet Factory but his heart was in Farming. Eddie bought his own farm a few miles away from the main place, married and had 4 kids. Eddie and his dad grew and farmed over 300 acres. The small dairy gave way to the expanding hog operation. Eddie and his first wife went their separate ways and Eddie was suddenly a single father of 4 kids. At the same time his father became ill and Eddie found himself living back on the main farm. Wilma helped Eddie with the kids, and Eddie helped his father. After his father passed Eddie stayed on at the Home place and together with Wilma the main cook, he raised his 4 kids in the comfort of their little farm. Things were not always easy with the price fluctuations of the 80’s. They stuck together and kept the farm together.
In the mid 90’s a girl (Debi) from Seattle came to visit her parents who decided to retire in Idaho. One Fall day she went to a Pig farm for a tour. She found the farm fascinating as well as the farmer, Eddie. The rest is history. In 1998 Debi moved to Kuna from Seattle, married Eddie embarked on her new life in Idaho living on a farm! The Farm was going to experience quite a change in the new Century!
Third Generation: Vogel Farms Sunset
Charlie, Ben, Janell and Jake grew up on the farm and helped Eddie with Every aspect of farming possible. Charlie loved Tractor work, Ben loved working with the pigs, Janell loved irrigating with her dad as well as working with the pigs. Jake being the youngest was pretty good at getting out of work, but when all the other kids left home, he pulled his share! Each of the kids, one by one left to find their own passion and careers. Although none of the kids stayed on the farm both Charlie and Ben stayed in the Agriculture field. The farm got a shot in the arm with the new full time farm hand, Janell‘s husband Chris always dreamed of farming and when he met this family his fate was sealed. By the time Chris joined the farm, the hogs were the main income and had grown to over 2500 hogs per year. Something felt wrong, it was 2004, the only way to maintain the volume of hogs was to give them A steady dose of antibiotics. The only way we could remain competitive was expand and that was not what we wanted to do. We decided to decrease the number of hogs significantly add beef, chicken, turkey and eggs and sell directly to the customer. The idea of the country store was born. We started with a simple store and have expanded to three buildings filled with farm fresh products and unique gifts. We also have a greenhouse and raise popcorn. We are committed to raising our animals with all NON GMO feed, as well as naturally like nature intended. It took several years and a lot of help from the kids but we did it. Transformed our hog farm into a Country Market with petting zoo. Offering NON GMO all natural healthy meat directly to the customer and one of the best selections of gifts and home décor one can find in the treasure Valley.
Change takes many years and the only thing constant is change. We continue to grow and change our business to make your visit to our farm a fun and memorable experience. Our little Country Market continues to grow and so does our family. This picture was taken Thanksgiving 2013 and we have one more grand-daughter born since then. This takes us to the next generation.
The fourth Generation is still growing, but has slowed down a bit! But this generation has brought in so much fun and excitement! Never a dull moment at the farm when the grandkids are around. They all started out fascinated with collected eggs and could not wait to help Papa. Then Egg washing was the next challenge that each of the kids were looking forward to doing. But like all kids they do prefer to play. But they help out when they are told and are great sports about it. Many time you will see them eager to give you a tour of the viewing zoo or helping your out to your car with your groceries!
We have started a new Chapter at Vogel farms in 2017 when Eddie passed away after a very long battle with Cancer. Eddie’s dream was that Vogel Farms would become a “century” farm where the same family continuously farms the land. Chris, Janell, the boys and I are committed to making Eddie’s which come true. In order to do this we are changing our focus a bit. We will continue raising our farm fresh meat, eggs and vegetables however we will be adding farming, cooking and craft classes, Farm to Table Dinners and more events throughout the year. Like us on Facebook, sign up for the newsletter, follow us on instagram and keep up to date with all the fun at Vogel Farms Country Market.
We hope to see Vogel Farms continue to grown and become a fun filled shopping stop for your grocery and special gift needs. Thanks for your interest in our farm and our products.