Growing a Farm with Great Taste

The Phillips family are part of a multi-generational farm. They raise cattle, corn, soybeans and wheat on their farm in Kansas. Photo courtesy of Show-me Kansas Farms.

By Heather Emmons, USDA

Caleb and Janet Phillips, of Show-Me Kansas Farms in Cherryvale, Kansas, are part of a larger multi-generational family operation. For their part, they raise 275 cow/calf pairs and grow corn, soybeans, and wheat.

Growing the Business

When a Missouri girl falls in love with a Kansas farm boy, and both have been raised on homegrown beef, what do you get? Show-Me Kansas Farms: a new dry-aged beef business venture at the Phillips family farm in southeast Kansas.

Eleven years ago, Caleb and Janet, obtained their 160-acre farm and house, and began growing their business by utilizing programs offered by the USDA Farm Service Agency, including farm loan programs and the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs.

They have watched their operation sprout and grow—along with their young family—ever since.

“Gardening is my therapy. When I get out and get my hands in the dirt, it’s just cathartic. I’m happier. I’m calmer. The day is just all around better,” said Janet. “I love watching things grow. It still amazes me how when you plant a little seed it can grow to produce so much.”

Building a Good Foundation Early On

For Caleb, farming and working with FSA to achieve his goals is nothing new. Caleb’s grandfather started renting land to Caleb at the age of 14, and he began building his own farming business. At 15, he took advantage of FSA’s Youth Loans to put in a bean crop and purchase some cows. After college, he returned to FSA to use an operating loan to purchase calves to work on his family’s farm.

“FSA really helped me get started and to build momentum,” said Caleb.

Eleven years ago, Caleb and Janet, obtained their 160-acre farm and house, and began growing their business by utilizing programs offered by the USDA. Photo courtesy of Show-Me Kansas Farms.

Good Taste Takes Time and Tenderness

Caleb and Janet both grew up on family farms where their families raised their own meat.

To give consumers the same flavorful experience, they decided to expand their business to include dry-aged beef from their Angus and Gelbvieh cross-bred cattle that are home-raised, pasture fed and finished on corn feed.

“The cattle are given the best care possible. We believe great tasting beef comes from well cared for cattle,” said Janet. “We dry age our beef for 21-28 days to give it a wonderful taste and increase its tenderness. We want to help people enjoy their experience eating beef.”

Shipping their beef is the next step for their growing business.

“We change and grow,” said Caleb. “We are open to new opportunities. Farming has changed a lot in the last 10 years. We have adopted a no-till, strip-till, and minimal till system to our operation as well.”

More Information

USDA offers a variety of risk management, disaster assistance, loan, and conservation programs to help agricultural producers in the United States weather ups and downs in the market and recover from natural disasters as well as invest in improvements to their operations. Learn about additional programs.

For more information about USDA programs and services, contact your local USDA service center.


This entry was posted in Atop the Fence Post, Features, Regional Posts. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.