Our Mission
At Good Life Ranch, our mission is to provide healthy, naturally-raised food for our local community using and preserving heritage breeds of livestock and produce while utilizing farming practices that regenerate and enhance the environment rather than degrade it.

The Animals
We raise all of our animals as naturally and humanely as we can. That means no painful castrations or branding, no feedlot fattening, no grain for ruminants, and no early weaning. We raise our cows and sheep on grass alone. Our pigs forage in the woods for acorns, roots, and tubers as well as receiving seconds from the garden. Our goats browse the pastures and the woodlots. Our chickens and turkeys spend their lives roaming freely in the pastures and gardens eating insects and green material. Our rabbits enjoy eating fresh grass and clover in specially-design portable pens. Our ducks frolick in the ponds and bask in the sunshine on the banks.

Our animals have a wonderful life doing exactly what they evolved to do! As Joel Salatin says, our animals are allowed “to fully express their physiological uniqueness.” While they do that, we are using them to build a more complete, more natural, and more healthy farm ecosystem. The grazing animals keep the pastures beautiful and leave tons of fertilizer behind them. The sheep clip the broad-leafed plants that the cattle don’t prefer and also leave their manure behind. The poultry come through and spread the manure and eliminate the insects, basically sanitizing the field for us after the cattle, sheep, and goats have grazed it. Then the whole ensemble is rotated to another pasture while the grass is given time to regrow and the pests time to die off.

Animals raised like this don’t need antibiotics and dewormers. We believe that the overuse of antibiotics in medicated animal feed poses a serious risk to the health of humans, and we refuse to give antibiotics to healthy animals. Animals that aren’t or haven’t been healthy also should not be used for food. Our animals are medicated when there is no other way to save them because we believe it is cruel not to, but then that animal will not be bred or sold as food.

We process our animals at a local, family-owned and operated facility less than ten minutes from the farm. Our animals travel a very short distance and are kept together in groups so they are not anxious and stressed by being separated from the herd. We stay with them through the very end and supervise the process very closely. The well-being of our animals is our top priority throughout their lives. On our ranch, the animals truly have a Good Life.

The Plants and Environment
We have searched long and hard for open-pollinated, heirloom seeds for our gardens. These are the only seeds we will use. Sure, modern hybrids grow larger more quickly and more uniformly, but they do not allow for sustainability or self-sufficiency because you can't save seeds from them. The offspring are not like the parent stock. The open-pollinated seeds have more variation than the hybrids, but do breed true to form and you can save seeds for replanting. This means that you can adapt the varieties to your specific location.

We practice permaculture principles in our gardens. This means we focus on different things than killing weeds with herbicides, killing bugs with insecticides, and fertilizing the soil with ammonium phosphate. Our gardens' fertility comes from animal manure and the addition of compost, not from a bag. We carefully mulch the soil with organic matter to protect it from erosion, retain water, and provide an environment in which soil microorganisms thrive. Our gardens look a little wilder than most, but they are highly productive.

All over our property are examples of plant guilds that produce food for humans or livestock while serving multiple other purposes - erosion control, weed prevention, pollen and nectar sources, insectaries, shade, mulch generation. Every element must perform multiple functions, and all functions are performed by multiple elements.

Our Community
We believe in local. We believe that large global problems can be solved by lots of people taking care of their own local communities. We believe in permaculture and creating a food environment that mimics nature, harnesses beneficial plant and animal relationships, and will evolve with little input from the farmer to create a bounty of healthy, natural food.

We want to provide clean, healthy food to our local customers. We don’t buy in our livestock from far-away ranches and hatcheries; we breed our own stock or buy from locals. We don’t ship our high-quality food to the elite markets in New York and Los Angeles; we sell our food right here in Kentucky.

Our ranch will serve as an educational program for children and adults alike. Our Lifestyles Lane program represents how people actually live throughout the world and allows our community members to come experience the life of another person living in Haiti, Peru, India, South Africa, or Kenya. People around the world are not so different, but the circumstances of their lives are. Recognizing and understanding these circumstantial differences is the first step towards creating a world in which we can all share the bounty humans can create. The Good Life is possible for everyone, and it is our goal to help that happen!