At Middleton's All Natural Meats we believe that in order to produce the finest tasting all-natural meat in the world you must begin with the highest standards. We are dedicated to caring for our livestock traditionally. These guiding philosophies, from the genetics we source, to the feeds we use, to the loving care we give to our farm animals contributes to the consistently, best tasting, all-natural beef, pork, lamb and smoked and prepared meats. Ask us to learn about what "natural" means to us and about our animal raising practices.
I grew up on a hog and grain farm in northeast Missouri. All grandparents and great grand parents were farmers, so it’s in my DNA. I love farming especially raising livestock. My entrance into my farming experience started in 1966 when I wrote an essay in FFA to win a bred gilt (female pig) from that first sow grew into a 120 sow internationally recognized Yorkshire and Landrace herd with breeding stock selling to 38 states and 14 foreign countries many national and state champions and top selling individuals. A registered Angus cattle herd was established in 1985 and breeding stock sold to many producers - both registered and commercial.
In 1978 I watched a neighboring family as they stood under the spray from an airplane spraying their wheat field for army worms. Six months later they had a daughter born with serious birth defects, she lived until age two. A heartbreaking experience for our entire neighborhood, but it made me think, did the chemicals cause her birth defects? So I started searching for answers as my family was starting, I wanted to protect them from any harm. Were my farming practices putting them at risk?
The decision was made to farm our land without commercial fertilizer. We started buying a natural fertilizer from Wonderlife out of Des Moines, Iowa. A crop rotation of soybeans, followed by wheat with clover interseeded, next by corn and back to soybeans were used. Herbicides were eliminated by using mechanical weed control. We never fed any antibiotics to our livestock as our goal was to do genetic evaluation for superior breeding stock not environment and our results were always among the best. Our calves were not creep fed to evaluate the mother’s ability to raise a calf by converting grass to meat, We were grassfed before we knew we were grassfed!
Change is always with us and as agriculture changes adaptation is the key. With the vertical integration of the hog industry occurring there were fewer and fewer independent farmers to buy breeding stock. The way I could keep my genetics and stay farming was to offer half and whole hogs to friends, so began our entrance to direct marketing of meat.
Customers would ask about beef so we began selling our poorer performing bulls as meat, upon a cost analysis it was discovered we could make more money by butchering our bulls than selling them as breeding stock. Then customers asked if we would raise chickens so we did. Our sons were showing lambs in 4-H and FFA so we included lamb to our product line. Eggs became the next addition to meet our customer’s request.
In a few paragraphs you can see the birth of Middleton’s All Natural Meats, it has only taken 49 years to get to this point. We are not some Johnny come lately, we know what we are doing and this has been a life long endeavor to get to this point. I ask you to trust us with your family as I have taken care of my own.