Vital Farms Farm
photo and interview conducted fall of 2021
There’s a family behind every farm at Vital Farms and Double Eagle is no different! Erick and Gary, the father and son duo behind Double Eagle have been farming practically their whole lives, for Erick (pictured right) it’s been on this same piece of land. Gary (pictured left) bought this land when Eric was five– the two have raised cattle and chickens side by side since then.
Double Eagle Farms is a sea of grass with brush left high near the fence lines (a hen’s paradise!) giving the girls room to forage, hide and explore. Named after the double eagle gold coins Gary is fond of. They love working outside with their loved ones and taking care of the flocks and the land.
How long have you been farming with Vital Farms?
We started building our barn in 2018 and got our first flock in 2019.
What do you like best about your work?
Erick: I like that I get to be outside, that I get to work with my family and that I can help take care of something.
Where do the girls tend to spend the most time on your pasture?
The girls like to get outside when the weather is good. They also like a little bit of overgrowth to hide and hang out it. I actually don’t mow certain parts of the paddock because they prefer some taller grasses to hide out in and give them some coverage. It makes them feel safer.
What do you wish people knew about the work you do?
Erick: Oh man. So much. Farming can be a game of trying your best and hoping it all goes well. But at the end of the day, they’re animals and not machines. We had some challenges with our first flock – we were new to raising hens and there was a learning curve to it all. I was on the phone with my farmer support coordinator almost every single day, asking for advice.
When we got our second flock here I was determined to do it better this time. I paid attention to every single detail and not one feather was out of place. I’m so relieved to say we’ve had a lot less trouble this year.
I just feel so proud. The first year with the hens was so stressful and I wasn’t sure our farm would make it. It’s so relieving knowing that we turned our barn around.