Featured Farmer – Clear Creek Organic Farms

 

Bob Bernt gained his passion for the land in 1977 as he did mainstream farming and switched to direct sales in 2003. Aside from raising twelve children with his wife Kristine, Bernt operates Clear Creek Organic Farm and produces hogs, beef, poultry, and vegetables. The Bernt children play a large role in the farm and a lot of them have become entrepreneurs in their own way outside of the farm.

 

One of Clear Creek Organic Farm’s biggest producers is its grass-fed Jersey cattle. They not only produce milk, but provide an abundance of cheese, ice cream, and butter for the on-site dairy processing plant. A certified kitchen allows for twenty acres of organic vegetables along with two greenhouses to be processed for off season sale. A state exempt meat processing plant processes meat right there on the farm. From this plant they sell custom pork from Clear Creek Organic Farm’s soy free swine herd of forty head of sows, poultry from broilers, ducks, and 1,000 laying hens, and beef. The farm was certified organic in 2004 and has been without certification since. With that being said, the farm still practices organics as it would with certification, but found certification would be an immense expense.

To continue his passion for the land, Bernt is a member of the Nebraska Food Policy Board as a producer. The goal is to educate the consumer about label standardization on meats and cheeses. To solve this problem, he is working with a South Carolina nutritionist to get a nutrient label that examines each individual product’s nutritional value. Each product gets a score from 1-3 with one being the best and three being the worst in terms of nutrient density. Bernt feels this will allow the consumer to better be aware of the actual nutrients they receive. He himself started checking what the difference in nutritional density between his home grown vegetables and those from a common grocery store product was. He found that his vegetables scored higher in nutritional density as a whole. This is due to the fact that his vegetables contain readily available nutrition whereas a grocery store processes the product and picks the produce at an early time, which robs it from its nutrients.

One thing Bernt would like to emphasize to the customer base on a whole is if at eighteen years old they buy organic food and eat it three times a day until death, they will have spent $60,000 extra. However, if they drink one pop a day until death, they will have spent $20,000. If they get ill or experience health complications because of their poor health, it can sometimes cost a quarter of a million dollars alone to get themselves better. The essential question is would everyone rather spend a lot of money on their overall wellness and health or would they rather spend a lot of money on getting themselves better due to their unhealthy lifestyle?

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