Looking for a local source of quality meat from animals treated with care and respect and without steroids, hormones and unnecessary antibiotics? Valerie and Cody Gillispie of Gillispie’s County Line Farm can help! They started as homesteaders to provide the best nutrient dense real food for their own family. Fortunately, they have expanded their operation over the last few years to serve as a trustworthy source of meat to their community!
Valerie Norton Gillispie grew up in Kents Store and has fond memories of homesteading with her parents, as well as raising and showing various species of livestock in 4-H. Growing up, Cody helped his farming neighbor with general maintenance of his property which thankfully included the use of a tractor and other large equipment. Their valuable combination of knowledge, experience, and passion helped them thrive as homesteaders on 2 acres in Palmyra. They quickly outgrew the property and in 2016 purchased a seven-acre lot in Kents Store, where they got to work providing the best habitat for their diverse livestock of cows, pigs, goats and chickens.
To her dismay, Valerie’s Father did not share her love for goats, so she was excited to jump on exploring this enduring passion once leaving the nest! She raised LaManchas and Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats for several years, participated in performance programs, and became certified as a dairy tester through Dairy One. While they no longer milk goats on their current property, Valerie continues to serve small local dairies with testing services while she and Cody work towards growing their commercial meat goat herd.
Their small herd of grass-fed Murray Grey cattle can be traced back to the line Valerie & her sister showed as children in 4-H! They plan to pasture more cows on nearby leased property to expand their beef production this Spring and will have grass fed beef available this Summer!
Their heritage Berkshire and Tamworth pigs enjoy fresh whey from a local cheese maker and endless acorns as they forage in the woods through a netted rotation system. Their huts are moved with them and they enjoy a swimming hole where they can just be pigs! The Gillispies’ latest family favorite is cooking pork chops in the air fryer.
The chickens enjoy the good life too! Through the use of “chicken tractors” their birds get access to fresh pasture daily along with locally milled non-GMO grains. They sell eggs from their Golden Comets and meat from their Cornish crosses. Customers frequently remark on the juiciness of their chicken. While they mostly cook whole roasted chickens, the family loves a good chicken salad with grapes, almonds, and celery.
The Gillispies value home raised food from humanely treated animals so much that they make time to farm even with two full-time jobs and two daughters under the age of 3. They are grateful to raise their girls on the farm as evidenced by Valerie remarking, “My fondest childhood memories include working outside with our 4-H projects. It taught us so many life lessons, especially responsibility and work ethic. You take care of the animals even if you’re tired, hot, sick, or freezing half to death. They’re counting on you to be there 365 days of the year.”
Gillispie’s County Line Farm can serve as your local source for trustworthy quality meats. Raising animals with care, respect, and a healthy diet makes all the difference in taste, texture, and nutrition and the community agrees! The Gillispies are upgrading systems and infrastructures on the farm this Spring in hopes of supplying the ever-growing demand for their products from their community. So look out for more healthy meats from this hard working couple!