West Tamar may have world-class wineries, but one family is doing its best to put the region on the map for its meat.
Adam and Lisa Harper, together with their three children, and Lisa’s parents, operate Cornerstone Farm, which was named Sprout Tasmania Small Producer of the Year on the weekend.
The 130-acre Riverside property offers sustainable produce directly to the community, including suffolk lamb, angus beef and pasture raised pork.
Mrs Harper said the recognition reaffirmed their commitment to providing a link between the farmer and the consumer.
“It’s community award, which is really good to get,” she said.
“It means our customers really value my farming ethics and the produce they receive.”
Mrs Harper was introduced to the site of the Cornerstone Farm as a child when she used to go horse riding through the area from her parents’ property, which was directly opposite.
She and her husband bought the vacant lot in 2005 with the intention of giving wholesome produce to their growing family.
Mrs Harper described the site was “very neglected” before they took it over.
“Improving the infrastructure has been our biggest task,” she said.
“Initially, nothing was sheep-proof, so we have done a lot of work on the place to turn it into a farm.”
After starting with sheep, the Mrs Harper added pig-farming to their property three years ago, while also selling beef taken from her parents’ property.
Cornerstone Farm is the only pork producer in the state with a Pasture Raised On Open Fields certification.
Designed to promote pastured as the true measure of free range food production, the Australian certification program focuses on farm management of livestock in a farming system that provides unrestricted daytime access to pastured range areas.
The lamb is seasonal, while the pork and beef is available all year round.
Mrs Harper said the goal had always been to create a farm built on transparency.
“We want to teach the customers what’s involved in the process from start to finish,” she said.
“I try to share the experience of what it is like to live on a farm through social media whenever I can.
“A lot of people don’t actually know what happens on a farm, they just expect the meat to show up.
“It’s nice to be able to join the dots between the producer and the customer.”
For more information about Cornerstone Farm, go to www.cornerstonefarm.com.au.