Galen, Angela Iverstine to Bring Products From Their St. Helena Farm to Tables of BR
In 2009, Central High School grad Galen Iverstine earned his degree in political science from LSU and considered three options — military service, law school, or graduate school. During a school project, he became aware of the environmental, social, and economic impact of today’s industrialized food system and how it has marginalized family farms over the past 50 years. He began researching alternative farming methods and how to market farm products directly to the consumer. He researched grazing and marketing methods being used by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms in Virginia.
Soon he realized “This is something I can do!” In 2010, he and his father found 65 acres in St. Helena Parish. He worked an internship on a farm in New Boston, NH. When he returned, he purchased two pigs and a place to live on the farm. This was the beginning of Iverstine Family Farms!
In 2013, he and Angela were married. “I met a political science major and married a farmer,” she said.
Today, Iverstine Family Farms in St. Helena is becoming big business. The Iverstines are running more than 120 head of cattle, scores of hogs, and hundreds of chickens and turkeys.
Galen is a fixture at the Red Stick Farmers Market in Baton Rouge on Saturdays, and customers love his grass-fed beef and pork. Managed Rotational Grazing means his cattle feed in a different field everyday, which provides high quality forages, even distribution of manure, and breaks the cycle of parasites. This results in fewer chemicals. His hogs rotate to different paddocks in a natural setting. He raises heritage breeds that produce well-marbled pork that actually tastes like pork. His broiler chickens and holiday turkeys forage on fresh ground daily and put down valuable manure.
Now the popularity of Iverstine’s products have led Galen and Angela to open a butcher shop featuring beef, pork, and poultry raised on their farm. Iverstine’s will open in September at 4765 Perkins Road.