Oink Moo Cluck Farms
We all know that Old MacDonald had a farm, and on his farm he had an assortment of noisy animals, but the part of this common children’s song that’s purposely omitted is what happens to the pig, cow, chicken, and sheep on the fictional homestead after all the oinks, moos, clucks, and baas have been uttered. If you are willing to go beyond the nursery rhyme and discover how strips of bacon and double cheeseburgers make it to your plate, local meat producer Oink Moo Cluck Farms is more than happy to help get you past E-I-E-I-O.
Oink Moo Cluck Farms (OMC) is a small, family run operation consisting of a main farm and processing plant in Northeast Ohio operated by Todd Neczeporenko, and a small seventeen acre property just outside of Columbus where his sister Tricia Woods resides. I met up with Tricia and her own growing brood of chatty animals - eleven cattle, two calves, thirty laying hens, a mischievous goat named Earl, and three playful puppies (including her newest duo Maverick and Goose), and she explained the history of their farm. Tricia, who grew up on a cattle farm, was an active member of 4-H, and despite the family business, had a deep affection for animals that remains a cornerstone of OMC today. She shared with me how in 4th grade she heroically saved Betsy the lamb from the inevitable. Betsy grew to be a typical family pet who followed the siblings on their bikes down the driveway, occasionally got junk food as treats, and many years later passed of old age when Tricia was a junior at The Ohio State University. Tricia’s outward personality makes her the perfect member of the family to run the marketing and sales side of the operation, but it’s her kind nature that has also landed her the role of taking care of the cows while they are birthing. She said despite the fact that her dad (who is also involved with OMC) tells her to let nature take its course, she still can’t help but put fresh-from-the-dryer towels on the newborns and check on them hourly. She is proud to share her family’s story and regularly invites customers to her farm to meet the animals, discover where their food comes from, and hear what makes OMC different than the rest.
Besides holding claim to a seriously clever name, Oink Moo Cluck sets them self apart from other producers with one huge advantage; they own and operate their own processing plant in Ashtabula County. They know each animal’s story, and unlike massive corporate feedlots they control the process from start to finish. Tricia, when asked what message she wanted to share about her business, replied without hesitation that OMC makes a point to provide the best environment possible to all of their animals (along with a diet free of antibiotics and hormones). While being raised as a food animal may not be the most desirable of paths, there is no justifiable reason why they shouldn’t be treated with the utmost respect and kindness. OMC also believes in supporting its local community. Nearly two years ago, they decided to add lamb to their offerings and in turn partnered with local famers Terri and Dick Steyer. Tricia explained how everyone wins in this partnership; a local farmer expands their market and the consumers are happy with the added variety.
Every Saturday, you can find Oink Moo Cluck Farms’ products including beef, pork, chicken, lamb and eggs, at various farmers markets around Central Ohio. Besides the popular cuts of meat, they offer bacon, gyro meat, smoked pulled pork, and many more packed prepared foods. If you are looking for something other than their typical cuts, just ask! At OMC they pride themselves with being the grower/producer, the processor, and the retailer all in one. I’m thinking Old MacDonald could learn a few things…with an oink moo cluck here and an oink moo cluck there…
The Oink Moo Cluck ground beef (pictured left) traveled 27 miles to Columbus, while the ground beef (pictured right) traveled an unknown distance to Columbus.
Pallante Family Meatballs
Tip: Dipping your fingers in a small bowl of room temperature water while rolling the meatballs will help keep your hands free of meat and less sticky!
Click on the recipe cards to print your copy: