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A Man, His Land, and a Plan

August 13, 2012

Within a month of starting my blog writing about farms in West Virginia and the Tri-State region around Huntington, I began to understand that the city of Huntington is not the same as the rest of the area.  Whether it is our grid system in the flat area near the Ohio River, or the way the land is developed with stores along Route 60, the feeling in town is very different than what I have when I hit those curving hilly roadways.

A couple of days ago I drove 20 minutes and a world away to Andy Denning’s farm. Located on 15 acres less than 5 miles as the crow flies from the Cabell County Courthouse, his farm is close to where he was raised. He bought the land about 4 years ago, after watching Food, Inc. when he decided to change the way his family was eating.

Andy is a manager at Lowe’s and heads there pretty early each morning. He returns home each afternoon, ready and eager to do the work he prefers. He has an idea of what it will take to be able to leave that other job, and he looks forward to that day.  The land has a considerable amount of fairly level pasture, with sloping woodland to the sides. He has a lot of usable space he can use for additional animals.  His parents own land adjacent to his and he believes he probably would have access to it for additional grazing as his plans develop.

Now he has about 1 rooster and 37 chickens  for eggs. He has been supplying eggs to the Wild Ramp Market for several weeks. He also has about nine chickens which he has raised for meat and expects to process them soon.  His chickens are all free ranging, with full access to their indoor roosting area in a section of the barn. He offers a supplemental feed of corn and calcium.

He also has one cow, a steer and a calf that are Angus-Simmenthal mix. The calf was born April 20.   He also has arranged for several Hampshire/Duroc mix hogs and is getting an area of the bar ready for them as well.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. sherlock100n permalink
    August 13, 2012 11:37 am

    Definitely that calf is being protected!

    • August 13, 2012 11:39 am

      We couldn’t get close! Walked into the pasture and they all ambled away.

  2. August 13, 2012 12:39 pm

    If I had a bucket list, doing what Mr Dennings did would be tops on my list!

    • August 14, 2012 11:20 pm

      well, a lot of the people I am meeting are “retired”, so you never know….

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