Sarah and Henry had a few careers before they got into farming. She grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas and he grew up on a chicken farm near Cambridge, Ontario. They met at university in Iowa. After graduating and getting married, they worked together at a performing arts theatre in Kitchener, Ontario for several years. In the winter of 2004, they had the opportunity to become partners in an education-based farm in Kawartha Lakes. It was while working with the rare breed of Kerry cattle that they developed their love of farming and grass-fed beef.
In 2008, they bought their own farm and Field Sparrow Farms was born. They got involved in establishing the Sorauren Farmers’ Market in Toronto and were vending their own beef on the Market’s opening day. Sarah says, “Our very first sales were at a farmers’ market and we have gone on to build our business through farmers’ markets.” Sarah works full-time as General Manager for the National Farmers Union (Ontario) and works as much as she can on the farm. Henry farms full-time.
Sarah and Henry produce grass-fed beef, pastured Tamworth and Berkshire pork and pastured chicken and turkey.
Distribution of sales/revenue
Farmers’ Markets (3) 65%
Farmers’ markets attended
- Peterborough Regional Farmers’ Market on Saturdays
- Annette Village Farmers’ Market in Toronto on Wednesdays
- Sorauren Farmers’ Market in Toronto on Mondays
The MyPick experience
Sarah says, “Farmers have to be the focus at a farmers’ market. We realized the importance of the MyPick Verified Local Farmer brand when we started selling at the Peterborough Regional Farmers’ Market. The MyPick verification adds another level of transparency for the customer. It’s a marketing tool that makes us standout and show we’re the real farmer!”
“Customers need to be able to trust that when they go to a farmers’ market, the person that they are purchasing from is the person that raised or grew the food.”
“I got into farming because I love to feed people – I like having them around my table. So being able to raise food, with love and care, to feed someone else’s family and their friends is just the best!”
Sarah Bakker, Field Sparrow Farms