We took a trip to Keenbell Farm in Rockville, VA last month (May 2021) to visit CJ Isbell.
Keenbell Farm is a 3rd generation family farm specializing in grass-fed beef, pasture raised pork, free range chicken, eggs, and non-GMO Specialty Grains. All of their animals are raised beyond organic standards. They never feed GMO grains, use steroids, hormones, or routine antibiotics. They are committed to sustainable farming practices which benefit the land, their family, and the community around them.
Interview with CJ Isbell
How did you get into farming? What was your inspiration?
My family has been farming since 1951 here in Hanover County with me being the 3rd generation I wanted build on the foundation laid by my grandparents and continue to heal the land by farming counter to “modern” farming practices. My inspiration is the feedback we receive from our customers and the results we see everyday from the land and livestock.
How did Keenbell Farm get started?
By family farmed conventionally from 1951 until my gran grandfather‘s retirement in the late 90s when he sold the livestock equipment and adjacent tracks of land. In 2006 I wanted to get the farm back fully operational so after looking at the market place around us and the lack of available local meats we decided to restart the farm utilizing regenerative agriculture practices producing grass fed beef pasture raised pork free range chicken turkey and eggs.
What makes Keenbell Farm unique?
What makes us unique is that everything that we do starts and finishes here at the farm we don’t buy and resell which is common in the local meat market so everything that we produce we can tell you everything about any of our products meat products to our specialty non-GMO grains. we raise all of our crops and livestock using regenerative agriculture practices specializing with innovative approaches livestock rearing, healing the land, and producing the best quality meats possible.
What products can customers expect to see at Ellwood's?
Grass fed beef, pasture raised pork, chicken, turkey, and eggs.
What's in store for the future of Keenbell Farm?
We look to continue to grow and expand our meat and non-gmo grain offerings, in doing so increasing the amount of land we are farming which allows us to heal more land in turn provide more quality products to local customers.