John Scott Port -- Sixth Generation Farmer
Every day, across America, farmers are working hard to provide safe and wholesome food products at the ease and convenience of consumers. Clarion Farms, Clarion, PA, has been in operation for six generations and does just that each and every day. John-Scott Port, his father and uncle all take part in managing their beef herd, along with operating the Beef Barn and their on-farm meat store.
Clarion Farms is truly a family operation as Port’s mother and sister assist with marketing, sales and customer appreciation events at the Beef Barn. This dynamic operation sorts and sends cattle for processing each week to maintain store inventory, which is then sold to both consumers and restaurant customers. Port and other family members also take time to build customer relationships and welcome the opportunity to educate them on beef production practices. Clarion Farms enjoys “interacting with consumers and working to correct food industry misperceptions that come from misguided activists and special interest groups.”
Port chooses to farm because it’s in his blood, he “wouldn’t trade the cattle-farm lifestyle for anything.” His passion for the industry comes from the sense of accomplishment he feels and takes pride in “knowing at the end of the day that our cattle are in good shape because of our daily efforts.”
The satisfaction Port feels comes from the great lengths he and his family take to care for their cattle. Clean bedding, water and feed is closely monitored, and immediate attention is taken when necessary. Multiple herd checks throughout the day are also performed in an effort to keep a close watch on the cattle.
Clarion Farms also applies this care into the land, which they farm, through conservation practices. Port explains their manure management plan to control waste generated on their feedlot is an effort to distribute nutrients to their fields in a planned and proper manner. Cattle in the stocker herd are rotationally grazed to protect their pasture grasses. These combined practices help to reduce erosion and runoff from their farm land.
After being such great stewards for their land and cattle, Port still understands some of the challenges which face his business and the industry. Port is aware of the “out of control feed prices, government regulation,” and activist groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which have a large influence on Clarion Farms and Port’s lifestyle.
Yet, Port sees hope in the future for his family’s business in the beef niche markets with products provided directly from producer to consumer. Clarion Farms seems to be right on top of this movement with their Beef Barn and have positioned themselves that way for the past eight years.
Port has the opportunity to interact with customers on a daily basis and is proud of what he and his family have accomplished. When given the chance, Port assures his customers that he and his family “love what they do, and they do it to the best of their ability so that consumers are free to pursue their personal career without worrying about the availability of their next meal.”
In addition to this multi-faceted business, John-Scott Port finds time to represent the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, the Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association and is a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Clarion.
To learn more about the Clarion Farms and the Beef Barn, visit www.clarionfarms.com.