Is Pasture Plate the new Whole Foods with a delivery system for local meat, eggs and produce?
I met Steve Cagle just a little over 6 months ago. We talked on the phone first and then met. We hit it off well, both of us interested in farming ways the better everyone around us, the environment and put a little money in our pockets. We both were interested in partnering, and strongly believe that together we're better. Steve has been doing pigs for a year now and has added beef cattle into the equation. Together I'm helping him produce chicken and eggs for his customer base (and continuing to provide for NWH customers). Together we're selling through the LLC Pasture Plate. This is just another outlet that NWH is able to produce and sell our products, so please read up and about my friend Steve and why you should support him.
When did you first get interested in farming?
I’ve always been interested in farming. I grew up hunting on farms that family friends owned.
When did you start your farm and what is it called?
We bought the farm in the spring of 2016. We knew we wanted to do something with the land, we just weren’t sure as to what we specifically wanted to do until about a year into ownership. We named the property “Cagle Farms.” We are currently one of two contributing farms to the e-commerce and delivery service “Pasture Plate LLC”
Why are you passionate about what you do?
I’m passionate about the specific way that we farm due to the positive impact that it has on the land. For the last 60 years it seems that we have lost our way in the agricultural space. We are now starting to see the negative impact of turning grasslands into thousands of acres of genetically modified row crops. We are starting to see the negative impacts of growing animals in confinement while feeding them genetically modified grain. And lastly we are starting to see the negative impacts of applying chemical herbicides/pesticides to our plants and soils.
We were given all of the tools that we need on this earth. We just need to understand how to implement certain plants and animals in certain landscapes to grow food while regenerating the land.
But I’m also passionate about elevating the people around me. We are living in such an interesting time. All of the power is starting to shift back into the hands of the producer. Due to the advances in technology, the internet has replaced the need for a middle man. We are already starting to see traditional “brick and mortar” retailers slowly die. With that being said I am very passionate about providing whatever resources that I can to others in this space, so that they can work their way into economic and financial freedom. With all of the technology around us, small farms are capable of being producers, marketers, e-commerce managers, and logistical fulfillment/delivery specialists.
There is no excuse for not succeeding in this day and time. It just takes two components of hard work and capitalizing on the resources you surround yourself with.
What are some long term visions you have for the farm?
Long term vision of the farm would be restoring it to the most holistic and productive landscape that it is capable of being. One day I hope people in the community can use it as a model to better understand the positive impacts of rotational grazing and permaculture principals.
If you could do something differently to begin again, is there anything you'd do?
I wouldn’t do anything differently. We have learned so much from our failures. We improve so much every week. It’s a life long learning experience that I really enjoy. I continue to meet so many great people along the way. It has been such a great experience. But with all of that being said it was only possible due to the support system that I surround myself with. The Wetherington Family (Jimbo, Jessica, and Heidi) who co-own the business, my parents, Zach English, Marlin Thompson, Luke Groce, and most of all my wife. Rose manages our household and family which allows me to follow my passion/grow the business. None of this would be possible without her and all of the sacrifices that she has made.
What's your favorite cut of pork?
Favorite cut of pork is the Tamworth bone-in Pork chop. You just can’t beat a grass/acorn fed tamworth.
Have you always been local to Chattanooga area?
My wife and I have lived all over the place. Rose grew up in a military family and moved around the country/world very often. Her mother was from South Korea and her Father from Puerto Rico. I grew up in Gainesville Georgia. Since then I have lived in Kennesaw Georgia, Atlanta, Nashville TN, and now finally Chickamauga Georgia.
How are some ways the community has supported you here?
The community has been so supportive. We always thought our support for this type of non-conventional farming would primarily come from Nashville and Atlanta. That turned out to be completely false. The local community has been overly supportive of our operation. It’s so inspiring be supported to do what we do, while living in a community that we love. The local merchants, farmers, and families have all shown us support whether it be direct sales or praise on social media. Thank you so much to all of the people of Walker County!
You can check out the website: https://www.caglefarm.com and on IG @pasture_plate