Hedgeapple Blog

Dr. Barao is a graduate of Michigan State University where he received a doctorate in beef cattle nutrition and management. He also holds a masters degree in microbiology and a bachelors degree in human nutrition and biochemistry.

Scott held a faculty position in the Dept. of Animal Sciences at the University of Maryland for 20 years where he served as the state Beef Cattle Specialist and Beef Program Leader. There, he directed all beef research and education programs at the university's Wye Research and Education Center, the home of the historic Wye Angus herd.

Scott has been with the Jorgensen Family Foundation since 2006 overseeing the operation of both the foundation and the farm.

Dr. Scott Barao, Executive Director

By Scott Barao

Sept. 2017

Oct. 2017

Oct. 2017

Nov. 2017

Dec. 2017

I have heard many comments about our customer’s desire to seek out what might be defined as all-natural and sustainably raised meats. It is obvious that many consumers are making buying decisions based upon their personal perceptions of what is good for their own health, good for the animals, and also kind to the earth. 

I believe that consumer-understanding of sustainability related to meat is evolving. I have seen increased interest in information related to our specific production practices including our animal care, our pasture management, our regenerative grazing practices, and our soil and water conservation practices. Our environmental footprint is definitely on the minds of our customers and that is why our regenerative, grass-feeding and finishing system, is so central to all we do.

It is clear to me that the majority of our wonderful customers are looking for “better for me, better for the animal, and better for the environment” food products while demanding safer and healthier food produced in a transparent system from farm to plate. And, the emerging health benefits of keto/paleo/carnivore diets have brought an influx of customers looking for high-quality, grass-fed and finished beef.

I am always impressed that consumers are becoming more educated on the nutritional benefits of grass-fed and finished beef products in terms of their higher Omega 3 and CLA levels. And, our customers are more and more discerning about what they are putting into their bodies. But, there is still a great deal of confusion regarding the terms “grass-fed”, “grass-fed and finished”, “pasture-raised”, “pasture-fed” etc. and the labeling laws (or lack of them) have failed to clarify these production practice differences. So, we strive to help educate our customers about what being grass-fed AND grass-finished means exactly.

As regenerative agriculture continues to be all-the-rage, we strive to be as transparent as possible and tell the complete story of our beef production system from conception to consumption. Our customers have an ever-expanding desire to make purchase decisions that reflect their personal values. They want to eat healthy, minimize their impact on the environment, and they want animals to be treated well. It seems that consumers in general are looking for minimally-processed food with honest, transparent, simple labeling, and ingredients that don’t require a chemistry degree to be understood! Our ingredient list is very simple; BEEF, raised sustainably in a pasture-based, regenerative farming system, that respects the land, the animals, and the surrounding ecosystem in which we farm.

Previous Blog Posts

Customers Speak; We Listen

These last few weeks have provided me an opportunity to interact with a significantly larger cross-section of customers compared to a “normal” month in our farm market. I thought it might be of value to share some of what I have learned from those interactions.