March Farm of the Month: Dancing Cow
Farmers Sean and Jerre Kosta Dodson have been growing, educating about and advocating for local food for over ten years in Central Oregon. Their little piece of heaven, Dancing Cow Farm, is located just outside the town of Prineville, and is home to a menagerie of heritage breed animals including Irish Dexter cattle, Jacob lamb, Red Bro Cou Nu Poulardes (chickens), Icelandic horses, Indian Runner ducks, turkeys, peacocks and Lavender Guinea fowl. In the decade since they’ve been in existence, the farm has undergone many incarnations, including a more extensive vegetable operation/CSA (community-supported agriculture program) and several leased properties. Recently, however, Sean and Jerre have consolidated their herds and put all of their energy into continuing to provide the highest quality “beyond organic” pasture-raised meat in Central Oregon.
Their Irish Dexter bulls and Jacob lambs are rotationally grazed on lush pastures full of a variety of grasses and legumes, with homegrown Dancing Cow Farm hay and some purchased minerals rounding out their diet. The quality of the animals’ feeding regimen, along with the care Sean and Jerre provide, is apparent from the first taste of their immensely flavorful heritage meat. And the caliber of their pastured eggs is unmistakable once the egg is cracked and the bright orange yolk shines.
Each week, Jerre sends out a list of all the available cuts of meat and eggs to purchase either for farm pick-up, home delivery on Wednesdays or Locavore orders (on Thursdays). Members of this email list are usually treated to Jerre’s wonderful musings of life “Down on the Farm”, a weekly reflection on the happenings at Dancing Cow. You can also read some of Sean’s thoughts on the unique rewards and challenges of “farmering” at foodiefarmering.blogspot.com. For those days when you don’t feel like cooking, but you still want Dancing Cow’s flavorful grass-fed and grass-finished meat, Solstice Brewery in Prineville often offers Dancing Cow hamburgers as a special, or try a shredded beef empanada or Cornish pastie featuring Dancing Cow meat at baked. bakery in Bend.
Integral parts of the local food community, Sean and Jerre helped establish the Prineville Farmers’ Market in 2006, participate in policy work with the Central Oregon Food Policy Council and Friends of Family Farmers, present at local and regional farm conferences, and advise other small farmers in the area on the challenges of growing food in the high desert. WWOLF (Willing Workers on Local Farms), a program of Central Oregon Locavore, was launched at Dancing Cow Farm in 2009. Each year the farm hosts “Barn Daze”, a weekend of farm tours, sheep-shearing demonstrations, wool-spinning workshops, and of course, delicious food inside Sean and Jerre’s yurt. Always innovating and adapting, Jerre and Sean just announced that they will be launching a new partnership with Harmony J.A.C.K. Farms of Scio, Oregon, and we look forward to seeing what that collaboration will bring!
Check out the next blog post for the perfect meatball recipe to use some of Dancing Cow's fantastic heritage ground beef and eggs!
Dancing Cow Farm
2853 NE Johnson Creek Road
Prineville, OR 97754