The Logans -- A Family Farm From Start to Finish
Logan Family Farms, LLC has turned their passion for agriculture into a cow-calf direct market beef operation. Located in Irwin, PA, Logan Family Farms capitalizes on their proximity to Pittsburgh. They established their Natural Dry Aged Beef Product and market it to local consumers at farmer’s markets, retail stores, corporate accounts, and those who visit their on-farm market. The Logans farm approximately 1,400 acres of grain crops and forage across southwest, PA. The home farm is split by the PATurnpike, leaving crop land on one side and pasture and farm buildings on the other.
In 1894, the Eisaman homestead was sectioned off to become the present location of Logan Family Farms. This establishment has been passed down through the generations and remains an active farm today. Tom and Joann Logan reside in the original farm house and manage the beef operation. Sons Ben and Jacob, both having BS degrees in agriculture from Penn State, handle crop production. Jacob’s new wife Macy, working as a public school teacher, offers moral support to the operation. Daughter Katie and her husband, Matt, are both involved in the agriculture industry at their home in Kansas. Katie works as a meat scientist and helps the family business with technical questions, while Matt is a supervisor manager in grain storage and movement. The support and help of family members doesn’t stop there. Even matriarch Gram keeps a close eye on farm workings with her ability to spot a cow with a sore foot 500 feet away. Aunt Jean, a retired school teacher, can be seen running the farm market on Saturdays, and is prepared to give a meat lesson to anyone who stops by. Logan Family Farms prides themselves on becoming a fully integrated family-run business. Even the meat processor is a cousin!
Tom and Joann grew up in agriculture as they both came from family farms, participated in 4-H and even met at the county fair, from there beginning their life together. You might even say farming chose them. Structuring their business as an LLC more than four years ago has allowed for the present operation to incorporate their sons as owners. Both Ben and Jacob have been guided towards the agriculture industry through their family history and 4-H experiences. Ben has chosen to move into full time production agriculture after working five years for USDA. Joann and Tom have held off the farm jobs through the years and also market sweet corn on the farm, when in season. Joann explains she “would probably have not chosen a farming career but the integrity of farm families, work ethic and the appreciation of our customers makes it a rewarding occupation.”
Joann explains the welfare of their cattle “is imperative to the success of our operation.” Their daily care of water and feeding, inspections for injury or illness and housing needs are “essential to their growth and comfort.” She also adds “cattle are cared for just like our family members.” The Logan’s unique position, with farmland so close to the PA Turnpike, causes them to be under inspection by passerby’s at any given point in time. This allows them to be ambassadors of agriculture without even leaving their home, as they stay at the top of their game to give consumers trust in the cattle industry and our food system.
The hard work and dedication which goes into outstanding farm practices also applies to their strict nutrient management plan. Condensed pasture acreage allows for frequent pasture rotation. Manure, as a natural fertilizer, is both an economical choice and helps to build that trust worthy relationship between the Logans and their customers. “Except on days that we haul manure and the fragrance fills the neighborhood,” Joann clarifies. Along with crop rotation and minimal tillage techniques, Logan Family Farms utilizes GPS technology in their farm equipment to streamline planting and reduce their carbon footprint when applying pesticides.
The Logan family sees three factors which will directly affect their business of beef marketing in the coming years – the economy, social issues and food safety. They recognize the obligation to stay current with these issues as consumers often come with questions and challenges on their meat purchase. Yet, the Logans see the challenge of the cost of shipping in the short term. They continue to work towards a system allowing consumers to receive product at its optimum quality without such a steep cost. Logan Family Farms also realizes their biggest opportunity is to provide customers with their local product and their real family values, having the ability to develop a relationship of trust between them as the producer and their consumers, through honest answers. The Logans are proud that cutomers are able to call either Tom or Joann to answer questions about animal welfare, safety or general meat questions.
When asked to tell the consumer one thing about their farm, Joann commented, “Logan Family Farms cares…cares about animals, cares about our land, cares about our family members and about those who use our product.” Their promise to consumers, as stated on their website reads “Our promise to you is to produce the best tasting, locally produced dry aged beef that will make your eating experience a PLEASURE.”
When Joann and Tom aren’t busy on the farm or marketing their beef they can be found at various community functions and organizational meetings, such as Westmoreland County Farm Bureau, Westmoreland County Cattlemen’s Association, PA Cattlemen’s Association, Hempfield Township Board of Supervisors or West Hempfield Presbyterian Church. This very involved farming family loves what they do and work their hardest to ensure a quality product for every customer.
To learn more about the Logan Family Farms, LLC, visit www.loganfamilyfarmsllc.com
Pictured from left to right is Jacob Logan, wife Macy Logan, Mitchell Logan with Tom Logan,
Joann Logan, Ben Logan, Nancy “Gram” Logan.