Dearing Country Farms is a small family farmstead that utilizes best practices in regenerative and sustainable agriculture, natural/non-chemical production gardening, humane livestock management, and natural resources/ wildlife habitat development to provide top quality and ecofriendly products for the community as well as promoting and providing agriculture education and community outreach. We strive to be: · Financially sustainable · Supply a wide diversity of quality and healthful food to local and regional markets. · Maintain and improve the environmental quality of the farm. · Provide an enjoyable workplace for those who are willing and able to work hard. · Maintain a positive relationship with the local community.
In 2003, Brad and Jackie Dearing purchased several acres just west of Bloomington, IL with the goal of designing their own rural property with a custom home and recreational lands. About half of the property was enrolled in a conservation plan with the USDA. A windbreak and riparian buffer consisting of over 5000 seedling trees and shrubs were hand planted, and plans begun for a house. After designing and building their dream home, plans changed due to their loss of twin boys in the winter of 2004. Priorities changed and the decision was made to have Jackie leave her corporate job at Country financial in Bloomington to be a stay-at-home mom and raise a family when expecting their daughter, the following year. Income however was still an issue as the only household income was through Brad’s teaching salary at a local high school. An idea was brought up to raise a small backyard flock of production chickens for eggs and utilize organic methods to meet a niche market in the area. 300 chickens were purchased, and a coop was constructed. Sales began at the Downtown Bloomington Farmer’s Market and several health food stores in the region. Soon demand outpaced supply and more chickens were needed. In addition, customers began requested organically grown produce, so a small garden was developed. Quickly, once again demand outpaced supply and gardens were increased. Next came meat requests and we started raising broilers, then beef. We soon noticed our son had allergy reactions to cow’s milk and the decision was made to raise a few dairy goats for our family and soon thereafter our dairy operation was developed to move our excess raw, unpasteurized milk. Operations continue along with improvements on soil quality, livestock management, wildlife habitat, product diversity, community outreach and education, farm tours, on-farm workshops/classes and CSA offerings.