John’s Farm, owned by John and Kris (Ratzlaff) Gosney of Fairview, Oklahoma, produces certified organic beef and wheat. We’re pleased to be stewards of this land – some of which has been in our family for more than 120 years.
For generations our ancestors farmed without chemicals and other commercial inputs as additives simply were not available. When herbicides, pesticides, and commercial fertilizers came available our parents utilized these inputs in hopes of improving the economics of agriculture. When we began farming our operation also included harsh inputs.
Changes come to the farm
In 1996, our operation began to change. A neighbor asked John to take over his land with one stipulation: continue to farm it organically as it had been since the Oklahoma Land Run. We were reluctant to take on organic farming; however, after putting pencil to paper we decided fewer commercial inputs might improve our bottom line, which motivated John to agree to farm organically for our neighbor.
After several years of hands-on experience and self-study, John believed his calling was to be an organic farmer. Economics soon gave way to the greater importance; the methods of sustainable agriculture became a priority. In some ways, we moved back to the future – we planted native grasses in pastures, built ponds and terraces, put effort into helping the soil become naturally healthy through microbial growth, worked diligently to provide an environment for cattle where they are free to roam and partake of a grass diet for which they are intended. This is the model of our farming practices today.
The New Standard in Farming
What we considered a rare challenge in 1996 is now the norm on our farm. Harsh inputs are a thing of the past. Ladybugs and earthworms are abundant and welcome. In many respects we are farming as our ancestors did – we’re dependent on weather to enhance growing opportunities and allow healthy soil to produce healthy plant and animal life.
Instead of measuring the success of our crop by greater production and fewer weeds, we measure success by the plants’ ability to survive the elements and combat insects. Instead of measuring the success of our cattle by how quickly they can be fattened for market, we measure our success by the Omega 6 / Omega 3 ratio and CLA content in our beef.
We are honored and humbled to continue our family’s farming tradition. We are pleased to have the opportunity to sustain our farm for the generations that will follow us. We believe our great-grandfather, who staked a claim in the Oklahoma Land Run of 1893, would be pleased to know there are nine species of native grasses nourishing the cattle that live on it.
Sustainable systems, environmentally friendly conditions, animal welfare and organic standards, flourishing pastures, preservation of the earth, healthy plants and animals, rewarding relationships and strong family bonds – these are all part of the definition of John’s Farm today.
From our Cattle Tracks Organic Beef and Gloss Mountain Jerky to Fairview’s Best Organic Whole Wheat Flour, Behind the Barn Spices and Seasonings, it is a pleasure to bring you the best our family has to offer! We hope you enjoy our products and join us in continuing our story.