Sunnyside Up Pastures Help Customers Become Closer to Their Food
Sunnyside Up Pastures began when owner Stan Jensen learned about soil health and how conventional farming could suck the nutrients out without ever giving back. He became concerned that his own farm was unhealthy.
“The more I learned, the more I saw the need to use natural fertilizer and to emulate nature with grazing animals,” he says. “We also wanted to grow our own food and make money by selling it to others. We saw that people want meat that is raised naturally and humanely.”
Upon those realizations, Jensen says they dove in head first to find those people and fill that need by offering seasonal grass-fed beef and pastured poultry.
“We raise food for those who care, and we care about those people,” he says. “We want our customers to become closer to their food and the natural order of things. We want them to live healthy lives with healthy food that comes from living things, but from animals that are raised with care and humanity. And our focus is on sustainable and natural methods, so we try to keep 98% of our business in Utah.”
Jensen says what they are doing is more than selling meat – they are stepping back into the natural order of the circle of life instead of trying to twist it to their will.
“When the locals or other farms ask us about what we are doing, because it is very different from what anyone else is doing around here, it is fun to see the look on their faces as we explain the process,” he says. “Some think it is amazing, and others think we’re crazy!”
He says the most satisfying part of what they do is seeing the natural life change on the farm.
“When the locals or other farms ask us about what we are doing, because it is very different from what anyone else is doing around here, it is fun to see the look on their faces as we explain the process.”
– Stan Jensen
“As we do less tractor work and more grazing, natural wildlife has a chance to come back,” he says. “It is a slow process, but seeing snakes, pheasants, foxes, and other animals brings a smile to my face. Another great thing is letting the cows into fresh pasture. The content that comes from them as they do their ‘cowiness’ is relaxing and satisfying. Just standing there and listening to the step, rip, and chew of the cows is soothing.”
Jensen says they work hard on marketing direct to their consumers, which is very time-consuming, but it helps them connect with amazing people.
“Many farmers don’t market their products themselves, and we were willing to step in and do that work and get into that niche,” he says.
When asked about starting a business, Jensen stresses the importance of finding someone who is willing to be your cheerleader or partner – someone to share the load and help when things get tough. That is where the SBDC came in for them.
“The SBDC has put amazing people in our lives who have helped us succeed,” he says. “We have relied heavily on them for help. Tim Chamberlain and Christina Hanks have been amazing in helping us through the process. They also provided a sounding board on different ideas to get us off the ground. Having a third party to talk to in the beginning was invaluable. Also having someone cheering for you is a big morale booster!”
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