Peterson Craftsman Meats is family owned and has been farming the fertile St. Croix Valley for five generations. This remains their No. 1 goal today: farming together with integrity as they pass down their heritage and knowledge base to the next generation. The Peterson family raises and markets heritage-bred livestock with a focus on quality, animal care and environmental stewardship. They believe in raising livestock as nature intended, taking what the land gives without taking it for granted. Using regenerative agricultural practices, Peterson Craftsman Meats aims to build the soils of the St. Croix Valley with organic matter and recycle nutrients through crop rotation and rotational grazing.
The Peterson family also owns and operates Barney's Meats, a butcher shop near Rice Lake, Wisconsin. This gives them the unique advantage of quality assurance throughout the supply chain. As a result, savory taste and butter-knife tenderness show throughout their products.
Peterson Craftsman Meats believes that true sustainability requires a commitment to regenerative farming practices. This method of agriculture focuses on cultivating symbiotic relationships between plants, animals and microbes in the soil to improve soil health and increase biodiversity.
Peterson Craftsman Meats incorporates the following regenerative practices on their farms:
- Crop rotation: The Petersons rotate crops across their acreage to recycle nitrogen and carbon. Legumes, such as clover, alfalfa and soybeans, deposit nitrogen into the soil naturally and provide a great source of protein. Grasses consume nitrogen and produce carbon, which is important for the microorganisms that live inside a cow's stomach. By maintaining a careful 2:1 ratio of legumes to grasses, Peterson Craftsman Meats ensures both healthy foraging for their cattle and improved soil health.
- Rotational grazing: Rotational grazing involves frequently moving livestock onto fresh patches of pasture as they forage. This allows previously grazed pasture to rest and regrow while the livestock graze elsewhere. The Petersons manage their cattle this way, allowing their animals to forage on fresh grasses while also spreading natural fertilizer evenly over the pasture.
Animal Husbandry Standards
Peterson Craftsman Meats' animal husbandry practices center around giving their livestock a safe and healthy place to live, plenty of fresh pasture and ample, clean indoor spaces during the cold winter months.
- Cattle: The Petersons never restrict pasture access, allowing their cattle to roam and graze as they were built to do. In the winter months, they ensure complete access to hay and other roughage. Cattle receive straw bedding and windbreaks for comfort during cold winter days.
- Hogs: Peterson Craftsman Meats free-raise their hogs, allowing them to roam within an expansive outdoor pen filled with trees and nut bushes. Their hogs can root, explore and relax in comfort. During the winter, they are provided shelter and deep-bedded pens. The Petersons feed them a diet comprised mostly of small grains along with recycled leftover food from a local restaurant.
- Lamb: Peterson Craftsman Meats does not raise their own sheep, but they do ensure that their partners – 4-H families who they've known over the years – adhere to the same high standards that they do when raising their animals. These lambs are fed a diet very similar to the Petersons' cattle and receive the same level of quality care.
Local CSA Meat Bundles from the Farm
Kowalski's is excited to announce a new local meat CSA program in partnership with Peterson Craftsman Meats! Every two months, we are offering a curated box of locally sourced meat from the Peterson family farm. You can purchase your CSA box bimonthly or sign up for a yearly subscription (six boxes total).