Deen Family keeping humane at Savannah River Farms |


Deen Family keeping humane at Savannah River Farms |

The kill floor is clean. The day before it was not. And it won’t remain this way with its stark white walls and clean cement floors. But business is business for Ben and Kellie Deen, who hate this room the most.

“We had slaughter day (yesterday) and that’s the hardest part of our jobs,” Kellie said on a brisk Thursday morning in late November, motioning to the kill floor at their farm in Sylvania.

The Deens, lesser known than the venerable Southern cooking family behind The Lady & Sons, own and operate Savannah River Farms, a sustainable family run farm that produces a substantial crop of produce for Savannah and the Lowcountry.

Their all-natural pastured beef, poultry and lamb is served at Local 11 Ten, Dept. 7 East and Bon Appetit, the food management company that caters to the Savannah College of Art and Design. It is also one of only three, on-farm USDA processing facilities in the country that is Animal Welfare Approved.

What sets the crop at Savannah River Farms apart from the rest is that it adheres to the strict AWA guidelines: Their livestock is raised on budding pastures or ranges; they’re prohibited from dual production; and they’re family farmers.

Along with those umbrella standards, a litany of slaughter guidelines ensure the humane treatment of each animal until its time on the kill floor, a practice the Deens take seriously and to heart, never once setting foot in the room while the animals are seen off as it is sometimes too much to bear.

via Deen Family keeping humane at Savannah River Farms |

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