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Small local farm finds niche in agriculture community

| April 4, 2018

Mark Reed is pictured getting ready to pet one of his family’s Red Devon Cattle. Josie Sellers | Beacon

WALHONDING – Farming isn’t Mark Reed’s full time job, but he still works full time at it.

Reed is a paramedic and firefighter in Columbus, but he and his family also operate Thousand Hill Acres, LLC in Walhonding.

“Farmers don’t work 40 hours and then leave it at the door,” Reed said. “A lot of people depend on what you do. You have to be a veterinarian in situations that you can handle, you have to do research and development, be a people person because you want your customers to come back, and be your own financial advisor. You also are a husband and father.”

The Reed family focuses on heritage breeds and has 53 head of grass fed and finished beef, 70 pasture raised chickens and they purchase pasture raised pigs from another farm that they have butchered.

“Being a pastured based farm we have all the animals in their natural environment,” Reed said. “We’ve found it to be a good market for us.”

They sell their meat to clients throughout Central Ohio and are especially busy in the summer with farmers markets.

“We do marketing on the Internet and Facebook and have a lot of success in urban areas where there isn’t as easy access to a locally produced steak or pork chop,” Reed said.

A day on the farm usually starts with chores in the morning.

“The animals eat and then we eat,” Reed said. “Through the winter it’s also a lot of research, development and planning for the next market season. We also have maintenance to do on things like fences and roads then there are evening chores, supper and family time.”

Summer time also includes a lot of hay making.

“Farmers also have to be conscious of their impact on the earth and ground and make sure you are taking precautions to eliminate runoff and soil erosion,” Reed said.

He also has lessons he wants his children to learn from growing up on a farm.

“I hope they learn responsibility for their actions, how to manage their time and money and that it helps them understand life and death cycles and the importance of community,” Reed said.

The Reed family includes Mark, his wife Torey and their children Charley – 7-years-old, Warren – 5 ½ – years-old, and Alden – 2-years-old.

“It (the farm) started out as just Torey and I wanting to raise food to support ourselves, but then my mother and father-in-law got involved too and it became an agriculture enterprise,” Mark said. “I have a passion for taking care of the land and heritage breeds and supporting small local farmers.”

Read more about farming in our community in Down on the Farm!

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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