Pre-order Bulk Meat Shares - 1/4, 1/2, or whole

Big Ag's Dirty Secrets: The Dark Side of America's Grass Fed Beef Farms

written by

Joe Wanda

posted on

March 1, 2024


The Wanda Family: Meet your farmers

For those who haven't met us yet, we're the Wanda's. I’m farmer Joe, of course (the goofy guy on the left), my wife is farmer Hannah (the organized one here), and these are our two sons Titus (3 years old at the time of this blog post) and Frank (our littlest one, 1 year old). 

My wife Hannah and I started Wanda Farm in 2018, with a simple mission to produce nutrient dense food, and to connect local farmers to local consumers like you. As first generation farmers, I'm incredibly proud of how far we've come.

Today, I want to share our founding story with you.

Why we became grass fed beef farmers

As a kid, I loved working on my parent's little hobby farm. I love it so much, I dreamed about being a farmer when I grew up. As you can imagine, after graduating with a degree in animal science from the University of Wisconsin, I felt pretty proud of myself. My childhood dreams were coming true. I was proud to be a farmer... until I wasn't.

A few years into my career it became clear just how crooked the agricultural industry really was. In fact, it was so crooked I stopped feeling proud to be a farmer. How could I? "Big Ag" controlled all the farms in our area. The conditions deemed acceptable for raising animals were abysmal. Mislabeling was rampant. The list went on and on. 

The truth about Big Agriculture and grass fed beef farms

What I saw during my time in the trenches working as a farmer for Big Ag made me never want to buy meat from the grocery store again. After you hear what I'm about to share, you won't either... 

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)

Let’s talk about livestock farming and specifically grass fed beef farming. The reality of grass fed beef farms under Big Ag is nothing like the green pastures as the labels on grocery store grass fed beef portray. I learned first-hand that most livestock are raised in big confinement operations (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs for short). When I say big, I mean 10,000 to 100,000 animals crammed together, living on dirt lots or on concrete indoors. In any case, all souped with their own poop and pumped with antibiotics, hormones, and GMOs, to make them grow big, fast, and frankly, stay just barely alive. 

Mislabeling grass fed beef and more

Speaking of labels, mislabeling is commonplace. I found out that corporate brands could label their products totally different from how the animals were actually raised. Loopholes about antibiotics are labeled in a different category. Grain fed beef could be labeled as grass fed beef. Meat produced in another country could be labeled as a product of the USA. All they needed was the meat packaged here in the US to qualify for a USA origin! The list goes on and on. 

The dark side of organic grass fed beef farms

The biggest surprise? Many of the organic farms operated like this too! Worse yet, some certified organic farms used just as much chemicals as conventional! What are we doing?!

Big Agriculture exposed

To sum it all up, what I saw was a food system composed of billion dollar, multinational corporations that prioritized profits over health. Health of farms. Health of animals. Health of people (you and me!) who rely on that food system to feed our families. Labels and claims were just marketing gimmicks designed to take advantage of consumers seeking clean, healthy meat. 

Meanwhile, Big Ag had created an industry that profited from the downfall of small family farmers. Small family farms were forced to get big or go out of business. They were misled with bad farming practices all in the name to "feed the world." 

Wanda Farm: A different kind of grass fed beef farm

I was done. Hannah was also finished (in fact, she was basically vegetarian by that point). So what did we do? We both went vegan of course! I’m joking! We love meat too much. 

We had one choice. 

Raise our own true grass fed and finished beefpasture raised pork, and pasture raised poultry.

As they say, the rest is history!

Related Articles:

​​The Industrial Farming Revolution

mRNA Use In Agriculture

Why are the grocery meat prices rising?

More from the blog

He Arose

Happy Easter Friend! Today, we are taking it easy on the farm. I just finished morning chores and now have a short moment to write you this email before we bustle off to church. Thankfully we worked pretty hard yesterday to get all the chores done so today we can take some extra family time to celebrate this Easter Sunday.Of course there will be the Easter egg hunt this afternoon as we do everyday ;)However, we look forward to celebrating the magnificent miracle that happened 2,000 years ago. Our Lord, Jesus Christ arose from the death of his crucifixion with our family today. As many of you know we are a faith based family farm. This means we hold very closely our faith in everything we do. That said, I wouldn't be acting out of faith, if I didn't share His story as it reflects who we are and stand for. If you are willing, please watch this really cool poem that I found encouraging!It sent chills up my back! It's such a beautiful poem sharing what Christ accomplished with his death, burial, and then resurrection.  We are so thankful for his love and grace to save us. Choosing him as our savior vs our good deeds can uplift anyone from the bondage we face.  I hope you enjoyed the poem as well.  God bless you on this Easter Sunday.  The Wanda Family

How We Scale The Regenerative Farming Model

As a farmer who's been practicing regenerative agriculture for several years now, I firmly believe that it's not only scalable but also essential for the future of sustainable food production. When I look at my own journey and the transformations I've witnessed on my farm, I see immense potential for regenerative practices to be adopted on a larger scale.

Industrial Ag's Paradigm: Cheap Food, Unsustainable System

As a farmer who has witnessed firsthand the evolution of agricultural practices, I am compelled to shed light on the detrimental effects of the industrial agriculture model. While this system has promised increased efficiency and productivity, the hidden costs it imposes on our environment, society, and health cannot be ignored.