Local Profile with Moore Family Farm

Notes from Diane Moore

What does your farm name mean to you? How did you choose this name?

The farm has been in the Moore family for 103 years, naming our farm Moore family farm was an easy choice. With the strong desire to farm and support our family on less than 100 acres Jim and I converted the farm to sustainable practices in 1985 when we purchased the family farm from Jim’s grandmother. Jim and I have a strong desire to preserve and pass the family farm on to future generations, currently our oldest son, Wes works on the farm with us. In 2013-Wes and his wife blessed the family with a little boy-the next generation.

Where is your farm located?

Our farm is located approximately 65 miles northeast of Champaign-Urbana.

How long have you been farming?

Jim has been working on our farm since he was a small child helping his grandmother and grew up to take it over. When Jim and I were married in 1985 we started producing more items for direct sales through Farmers markets. Our son Wes has grown up helping us and has started taking on more of the labor responsibilities. He attended his first Farmers Market at a young 6 month old. So our family has been working our farmland for 30 years.

What do you grow or raise on  your farm?

Our farm produces a 7 acre market garden. We also raise seasonal grass-fed beef and heritage breed lamb; pasture-raise tamworth and large black pork heritage breeds, pasture-raise chicken for meat and hens for free range eggs.

What is your signature product?

We are a very diversified family farm and have something for everyone - produce, eggs, meat (beef, lamb, & pork) and poultry. Our most popular item would be our free range eggs, but the grass-fed, pasture raised meat is a close second.

What do you enjoy most about farming?

Three things we enjoy most:

  1. We are part of our customers family - we are “their farmers”.

  2. In 2014 one of Jim’s wishes came true:  for the farm to purchase 4 draft horses that are now used to help work the farm. We are using ways of the past to move our farm into the future.

  3. Now as grandparents we are taking the time to enjoy and see the family farm as our grandchildren explore it. Seeing the animals, collecting eggs, watching baby animals being born, eating vegetables in the greenhouse and garden, and riding the cart pulled by horses.

What do you find most challenging about being a farmer?

As farmers producing a product for direct sales we are always trying to guess future customer requests. When dealing with meat, poultry, and egg production, this is a process we work on for months and often years in advance. Before having the product ready for market, we need breeding stock old enough to reproduce and plan ahead for the breeding & gestation cycle, birthing, growth, and care of the offspring to have ready for processing. For beef this is a 3 to 5 year investment, and to have hens old enough to lay it is a 7 to 8 month investment. Then we have weather, which plays a wild card role in pasture productions. Extreme heat and cold affects breeding and reproduction cycles, weight gain, egg production, etc, etc, etc….

What is your philosophy/perspective on farming and agriculture?

The Moore Family farm mission is to maintain a family friendly farm that will produce healthy, safe, and great tasting natural food, that will be environmentally friendly and that will continue into future generations.

Is there anything else you’d like people to know about your farm?

Moore Family farm products are available year round. In Urbana when the Farmers Market is over, we offer a monthly winter buying group so that our customers can receive the full selection of farm products with direct pricing from the farm and have items delivered to Urbana. You can find a variety of Moore Family Farm products in Urbana at Common Ground and Big Grove Tavern in Champaign.

If you are just visiting Urbana from the Chicago area, Moore Family Farm has monthly buying groups and deliveries to the following areas: Chicago-Hyde Park community, Frankfort-Mokena and surrounding area and Naperville and surrounding communities.