Family farm brings home-raised meats, locally sourced products to the table
Published 10:00 am Thursday, August 27, 2020
After moving back to Bricelyn from South Dakota in 2018, Erika and Brandon Goette also brought along their business of raising home-grown meats and selling them to local residents and businesses.
What started as a business dedicated to raising and selling cuts of lamb quickly grew to include beef and many other locally sourced products after the move to Bricelyn. The full list of products now includes many different cuts of lamb, beef, pork and chicken, as well as farm fresh eggs, cheese and gelato.
“My husband and I raise all of the lamb and beef on our farm,” Erika Goette said. “Then we work with some other local, younger producers to source the pork, eggs and chickens, and the cheese, gelato and sorbet all comes from a friend of ours in southwestern Wisconsin.”
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With the exception of the chickens, Goette Farms has all of its meat processed by Conger Meat Market, meaning that all cuts are USDA inspected.
“We try to use local as much as humanly possible because if we don’t, we don’t know if it’s going to be there when we need it,” Erika Goette said.
Along with their children — Kora, 2, and Kaleb, 1 — Erika and Brandon Goette moved to Brandon’s grandfather’s hom near Bricelyn in August 2018. Erika Goette said there hadn’t been livestock on the farm in over 25 years and a lot of work had to be done in order to get yards built for the cattle and sheep.
On top of the hours it took to get the farm in the right condition and managing schedules with a young family, Erika Goette said it was a challenge trying to sort things out once the pandemic started.
First starting to offer cuts of beef in March, right before the major outbreak started, Goette Farms saw the need for beef rise and business grow in that sector. However, they also sell lamb cuts to several restaurants in Minnesota, Iowa, and the Dakotas, where they saw a decrease in demand when restaurants were forced to close due to COVID-19.
“We were lucky,” Erika Goette said. “We kind of saw the writing on the wall and were able to get processing dates through the end of the year in a timely manner. We personally are OK on that side of things, but I know there are a lot of other producers who are struggling to find processing dates.”
Overall, Erika Goette said business has grown exponentially since they began operations. Customers wanting to purchase any of Goette Farms’ products are encouraged to order from their website at goettefarms.grazecart.com/ and pick up their products from one of their available pickup days. Erika Goette said they are in the CCF Bank parking lot in Albert Lea from 3:30 to 6 p.m. every Tuesday and there is usually someone at the farm on the weekends who is happy to accommodate as long as an appointment is made ahead of time.
As for the future, Erika Goette said she hopes to pick up a few more restaurants as well as expand to include more cities and times for pickups.
Erika Goette said the family takes pride in the fact that they can provide locally sourced products, and that all of their customers are happy they are able to know exactly where their food is coming from.