Meet Farmer John Arbuckle

We have a dream of helping provide the healthiest, highest quality meat to the world — ranging from 100% grass-fed beef to organic free-range chicken and heritage breed pork.

It is widely understood that commercial farmers today raise and distribute cattle, chicken, and pork through processes that are ethically questionable, and, unhealthy for both humans and animals. We’re on a mission to change that by working with farms across the world who raise the highest-quality meat, free from antibiotics and hormones.

We work with farms both large and small to change the food system for the better; John Arbuckle is one of the farmers that we work with that we believe makes ButcherBox so special.

We met John in a manner that is quite unique to entrepreneurs these days. At last year’s Paleo f(x) conference in Austin, we connected and hit it off while comparing recent Kickstarter campaigns.

Finding kindred spirits in John and his wife Holly, we thought it would be a grand idea to work together.

At times, we’ve included the Arbuckles’ Roam Sticks, snack sticks made with non-GMO and pasture-raised pork, as part of our ButcherBox subscriptions. Additionally, we use pork from their pasture-raised pigs in our breakfast sausages.

We love their delicious products, but, more than that, we are enamored with the passions that drive the Arbuckles: Love of adventure, family farms, and regenerative agriculture (pasture-based farming).

John Arbuckle pigs grazing

John is a tenth generation farmer, a lineage that can be traced to Scotland, where ancestors raised wheat and lamb north of Glasgow. While living in Maryland, he grew organic vegetables as part of the business model that relied heavily on CSA, farmer’s markets, and farm-to-table restaurants.

But the itch for more wide-open space to roam was ever-present. And so John and Holly packed up for what John refers to as “the-middle-of-nowhere” Missouri to raise livestock and their family. “You can stand on the roof and watch the dog run for three days,” Arbuckle said trying to explain the vastness of their space in the “The Show-Me State.”

The greater expanse of Singing Prairie Farm lets John continue his passion for cultivating a wide array of delicious greens, and also allowed the Arbuckles to let pigs graze and forage peas vine, kale, and more. This alone is no small task. Pigs really like to eat. By John’s estimation, their livestock has consumed more than 100,000 pounds of kale.

Eventually, John and Holly decided to use their foraging pork to create a snack they’d feel good about giving their kids.

farmer john arbuckle on horses

And so Roam Sticks were born. The sticks come in different flavors including hickory-smoked pork with uncured bacon and hickory smoked pork with pineapple. John raises the grazing pigs and later naturally ferments and smokes the meat to create these healthy snacks.

The most rewarding part of these efforts is the understanding that they are not only helping people eat healthier, but they are also doing good by the planet, as John explained. John even uses sustainable farming techniques, including ecologically-friendly cultivation techniques.