"When I eat them I know what animal I'm eating. I know their tag number; you start to recognize them."
So says Anna Hodson, a shepherd at Kinderhook Farm, which has 1,200 acres of land in the Hudson Valley that is mostly devoted to livestock, including a herd of 450 sheep that she watches over. Our friend Liza de Guia of Food Curated went upstate to learn more about the work that goes into raising animals the old fashioned way.
Hodson used to be a vegetarian, unwilling to eat meat she felt wasn't well raised. But the Kinderhook sheep are "animals I feel happy eating...they're doing what they evolved to do." That means spending their days eating grass, hanging out in the sun, and milk feeding their own young. Lamb siblings can compete for their mothers' milk, so Anna steps in to feed the runts some extra milk from bottles.
Take a look at the video for more of Hodson's daily work on the pasture. You can find Kinderhook meat at NYC markets like The Meat Hook and Marlow and Daughters; more locations on their website.