What are health benefits of organic, grass-fed farming in Indiana?

Editor’s Note: The following is part of a class project originally initiated in the classroom of Ball State University professor Adam Kuban in fall 2021. Kuban continued the project this fall, challenging his students to find sustainability efforts in the Muncie area and pitch their ideas to Deanna Watson, editor of The Star Press, Journal & Courier and Pal-Item. Several such stories are being featured in November and December 2022.

Organic. Grass-fed. All-natural. You might find these labels in the produce section or meat departments at your grocery store. Items with these food labels can provide different benefits to not only the health of humans but also to the environment.

Shrock Family Farms in Selma, Indiana, sells their produce at the Minnetrista Farmers Market in Muncie, Indiana. They use organic farming practices on their produce that they sell to customers.

Items receive these food labels based on the way the product has been farmed. For example, the methods and techniques of organic farming are different than farming of other kinds of foods for which consumers shop.

The owner of Shrock Family Farms, Brandon Shrock, uses organic methods such as cover crops, crop rotation and natural soil inputs.

“Soil health is probably the primary driver of the organic movement since it has started,” Shrock said. “It’s all based upon what’s in the soil.”

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