MAKING THE LEAP FROM ARTIST TO FARMER

“You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.”

As cliché as that sounds, it actually does capture my story pretty well.

I started my career in advertising, transitioning into fashion design and later, turning my passion for painting into a career. Along the way, I’ve lived in Los Angeles, New York and many points in between. But the big city bustle has always run counter to my small-town roots and I eventually moved to Oregon, its expansive beauty providing great artistic inspiration. What I didn’t know at the time was that this move would end up bringing me full circle, ultimately leading me to put away my paintbrushes and become a full-time farmer.

As the daughter of an Oklahoma cattleman, I grew up in a rural setting where cows far outnumbered people and farmhouses dotted the landscape.

I learned much from this upbringing, watching how the encroaching agribusiness model of feedlots and fast fattening to deliver low-cost beef at large scale impacted the farmland and farmers in our community. While industrial agriculture has introduced successful farming technologies, I’ve come to believe it has also caused great harm to our land, the animals and our very health.

As a result, I’ve become obsessed with knowing where my food comes from—I’m a dedicated locavore and love finding local farmers that go that extra mile in growing or raising healthier food. I think how we treat our earth and our animals has a big impact on our health and I admire the farmers that are taking a more sustainable approach. They have further sparked this idea to restore my land to provide clean food and to also try to make a difference.

Thus the birth of Tabula Rasa Farms. “Tabula Rasa” means clean slate, and this is certainly a new beginning for me and this beautiful land of which I get to take care of for a time. My commitment is to respect this land and the animals I raise, in order to provide healthy, all natural foods that, hopefully, will find a place at your table.

-Brenda

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