Address: 586 South Loran Road, Pearl City IL 61062
About Us / Plum River Farm History: Produces Animal Welfare Approved beef. \n\nConrad Iandola has farming in his blood. His grandparents and extended family were truck farmers, growing vegetables for local markets just outside Chicago, on farmland near a small, regional airport. The airport expanded in the years after World War II to become O’Hare International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the country, swallowing up the family’s farms in the process. \nConrad’s family moved a couple of times to escape urban creep, winding up on a small farm in Pearl City, Illinois, just a few miles from the Mississippi River. Though Conrad has been back and forth between city and country several times in his life, he and his wife, Sonia Nelson, decided to settle on the Pearl City farmstead when their elder son, Forrest, was on his way. They dabbled in farming for a number of years, but became more serious about it in 2007, when they acquired a nearby 242 acre farm on which they were determined to produce food sustainably. \nThe more Conrad and Sonia learned about the nutritional and environmental benefits of grassfed beef, the more convinced they became that this would be a worthwhile use for their land. They heard about Animal Welfare Approved early in their research on raising grassfed cattle, and were pleased to find such a well-developed set of standards for the high-welfare treatment of cattle from beginning to end. Conrad and Sonia have worked to develop a systematic approach to raising grassfed cattle, taking all their cropland out of row crops and putting it into hay production, including drought-resistant grasses, which they raise without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizer. The hay fields provide more than enough food to sustain the animals through the harsh Illinois winters. Sonia and Conrad are developing a rotational grazing system to prevent overgrazing of any given pasture and to allow a natural form of pasture fertilization, and they are training their horses, Annie and Katie, to work with the cattle. They are also delighted that their younger son, Colin, is so good at working with the animals and machinery, although they realize that he may one day follow his older brother to more urban pursuits.\nConrad and Sonia invite their customers out to their farm to learn more about how their food is raised and to enjoy the beautiful rolling hills of Northwest Illinois. “We don’t want farming to be a remote experience for consumers,” says Conrad. “We’re happy to show people every aspect of our operation. There’s no door they can’t walk through.”\nPlum River Farm beef is available in wholes, halves and quarters, and sometimes in smaller quantities. More information is available at www.plumriverfarm.com.