Cape Girardeau

Peter Whisnant called at 620 and we met him at the entrance of the Drury Inn. 

The sun was not up yet, and the darkness of the night faded more with each passing minute. We drove through some country roads, gracious for Peter's generosity to meet us and lead us to the farm, as we would have been almost certainly lost otherwise. At a big old barn, we set up the camera and got in his car. The roomy white SUV was filled with guns, and Peter spoke often of hunting. It's good to have guns in case of coyotes he said.

Peter, at 28 years of age and 6ft. 5, is the president of Rain Crow Ranch, one of the largest grass-fed beef producers in America. We spent an hour at one of their ten source farms where we took some footage of cattle on green pastures, and interviewed Peter in an old barn with a beautiful soft light. He talked about the importance of selling produce to chefs who understand how to use the whole animal, chefs like John Griffiths at Wash U. They've been buying all of their ground beef from Rain Crow Ranch, a mutually beneficial relationship. After the interview, we took a trip to the company's nearby processing plant in Jackson. There we saw some of the rooms where cattle move from being cattle to being meat. We also saw the vast maps and calendars of a company with a growing business and increasing logistical complexities. Soon thereafter, we parted ways and thanked Peter. 

We drove north to St. Louis and had lunch at Schlafly's, which was much more crowded than it had been Wednesday afternoon. The food was good, and we ate mostly in silence, as endings tend to be times of rest and reflection.

Across the street, we emptied out the rental car, organized clothes and gear, and vacuumed out the dirt and crumbs that had accumulated over the 10 days. Andy asked if it had been a good start. Yes, I said, definitely.

We dropped off the rental and returned to Lambert hours before departure.


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published this page in Ruminations 2012-10-21 19:22:34 -0400