Producer of the Week: Livengood Family Farm

The Livengood Family Farm stand at the market.

The Livengood Family Farm stand at the market.

You might say it’s called Livengood Family Farm for a good reason. The Livengoods have been been in the farming trade for generations. “My grandmother was raising items in the homeplace,” Dwain Livengood said. “My Mom was raising and selling at the market when she was young, and my Dad had a peddling route.”

Dwain can remember being in kindergarten in the early 1980s and working alongside his parents, Earl and Joyce Livengood, to sell their vegetables at a roadside stand. Today, the Livengoods are busy growing and selling their produce, meats, and other products like broths, salsa, and meat snacks at a number of farmers markets in the region.

At the UM Farmers Market, Dwain has noticed that patrons here favor an even split of both protein and produce. “Our customers at the market have a good appreciation of our meats and the vegetables to go along with them,” Dwain said. “Our beef snack items are particularly popular, too.” These products would include their beef jerky and snack sticks that are sweet and delicious.

While Livengood Family Farm has been a producer with the UM Farmers Market since it opened in 2009, many patrons might not know the farm was certified organic in the early 1990s through OCIA (Organic Crop Improvement Association). “We know the ins and outs of organic certification,” Dwain said. “We are not currently certified, however, because all our sales have become retail-based, and we found we can easily talk to our customers about our farming practices and answer their questions first hand.”

Of all the work to be done on the farm, Dwain is especially passionate about raising livestock. “All our dairy animals and cattle are pasture-raised and grass-fed,” he said. “My siblings and I did 4-H. When I graduated from high school, it was just at the beginning of the grass-fed movement locally. We grew with that movement.” Dwain’s love of tending to the livestock now fuels his days. “I’m almost full-time here on the animals,” he said.

As an inaugural producer with the UM Farmers Market, Dwain and his mother Joyce have watched our market grow. He remarked about our entirely community-organized volunteer staff saying, “You are unique; no doubt.” It’s this grassroots effort that Dwain attributes to the success of our market and his business at the market. “We see a good amount of customer loyalty based on the community feel,” he said.

We’re grateful to have Livengood Family Farm and all our producers as part of this community!

PRODUCER SPECIAL: This week you can stop by Livengood’s booth at the market to take advantage of their sausage special! Buy one pack of sausage grillers and get the second pack 50% off. These grillers are perfect for your outdoor barbecue or inside in the oven if you want to escape the heat outside.