Orange County Economic Development

Name of Business: Dawnbreaker Farms          

Description: Dawnbreaker Farms is a beautiful 20 acre piece of land nestled in the gentle rolling hills of Orange County. Our pastures and woodlands are home to happy pasture-raised, non-GMO chickens, forest raised pigs, Thanksgiving turkeys and grass-fed lamb. All of our animals are raised on their natural diet and in an environment which allows them to express their animal nature. We follow beyond organic and sustainable (regenerative) standards using no chemicals, antibiotics or GMO’s because we believe that happy and healthy animals raised sustainably can heal the planet and keep our family, friends and community happy and healthy. 

Where can you products be found: Our products can be found Saturday’s year-round at the Carrboro Farmer’s Market, our monthly urban delivery programs to Raleigh and Durham as well direct to your door via UPS. More information can be found at http://www.dawnbreakerfarms.com/

What year was your business founded/established? 2013

What made you decide to open your business? As an urban kid from environmentally conscious Seattle I have always been drawn to environmental causes. I religiously recycled, took public transportation and reduced my consumption of consumer goods. Somehow that lifestyle never translated into the food I was eating until I came across Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”. That book opened my eyes to the environmentally disastrous food system that I was wholeheartedly participating in. I had no idea my food choices were leading to systematic exploitation and degradation of the same earth that I worked so hard to preserve. Overnight I began seeking out alternatives of how to create a more sustainable food system.

After many years that path led me to start Dawnbreaker Farms which has the three pronged mission to regenerate the ecosystem with livestock, generate a profit and livelihood for the farmer and teach others to do the same.

 What makes your business unique? Dawnbreaker Farms is unique because beyond simply producing the meat we mimic natural systems and use our livestock to replace the depleted natural ecosystem. This system of livestock management not only produces the finest meat around but is actually beneficial to the environment!

What do you wish your local neighbors (potential customers) knew about your business?  I would like for neighbors and potential customers to know that we are changing the way that farming is done. Rather than creating systems which require vast infrastructure, inputs and are environmentally degrading. Instead we are creating robust food systems that can thrive with minimal inputs and are actually beneficial to the natural world. Additionally, our food system is built on the backs of unfairly paid farm labor. We charge a fair price for our products so that we, the farmers, can make a fair living.

What are your next goals for your business (any exciting expansion plans or new product/services)? Going forward we are expanding our product offerings including more pork, chicken, Thanksgiving Turkeys and 100% grass-fed lamb. We are excited about expanding our production to increase our positive environmental impact, grow farm profits and get more food to hungry customers!

If someone were to give you $100,000 to invest in your business, how would you spend it? The ultimate goal of Dawnbreaker Farms is to convert our 20 acre meat farm into a perennial food producing savannah. Fruit and nut trees would be mixed with nitrogen fixers, understory bushes and vines. This “food forest” would be planted in rows on wide spacing’s to allow animals to graze between the rows. The perennial tree crops would serve as food for our livestock as well as crops to harvest for sale. With this kind of cash influx Dawnbreaker Farms would invest in the design and implementation of this food forest knowing that it would provide a stable source of income and ecological stability regardless of the environmental, social or political circumstances.

What do you enjoy most about doing business in Orange County? Orange County wants to see its citizens, small businesses and farms thrive. This is clear by their dedication to serving the citizenry through education, grants and outreach efforts.

Contact Information:             
Owner:           Ben Grimes
Address:         3200 Breeze Rd, Hurdle Mills, NC 27541
Hours:            By appointment
Telephone #: 919-903-0200         
Email:             ben@dawnbreakerfarms.com                  
Website:         www.dawnbreakerfarms.com