Quentin (aka “Q”) and Tiffany Carritt are both Marine veterans, Q for 24 years and Tiff for 10. Q wasn’t sure what he wanted to do for a career, but that changed after hearing Joel Salatin on a podcast. While still living in California, they bought 17 acres in the Loess Hills near Crescent in 2019. They considered several states, but settled on Iowa because of family ties, as Q grew up in the western Iowa and Omaha areas. Much of the property had been conventional rowcrop for many years. One of the first things they did after buying the place was plant pasture where the crop fields had been.
Soon after moving in, they built chicken tractors, and started with 25 meat birds in June 2019. They quickly sold out, primarily by customers advertising through word of mouth.
They currently have 8 chicken tractors, with up to 30 birds in each. They process chickens once per month, spring through fall. They raise about 500 birds per year in 5-6 batches, plus one batch of turkeys ready just in time for Thanksgiving. They also have about 45 laying hens, and their eggs are often sold out. Q and Tiff were processing on-farm for a while, but now use Duncan’s Poultry.
They have also spent significant time and resources on infrastructure on the farm. Besides their house, the property did not have other structures, fencing, or water for livestock.
Tiffany started beekeeping and has scaled up to 5 hives, as well as mentoring several people nearby on how to keep bees.
The name Paradigm Pastures comes from changing the paradigm of our modern agricultural and food systems, closer to what they used to be like. They are interested in ethical & humane animal treatment, healthy & local foods, and sustainable & regenerative agriculture.
Paradigm Pastures plans to incorporate goats and pigs as soon as next year, and someday add fruit trees. In the future they would like to have an internship program too.
While primarily self-taught Q participated in the Salatin Semester program, and has attended a Grazing School with Greg Judy. He has read a lot of Salatin and Savory’s work. Tiff has participated in the Great Plains Master Beekeeper program.
The farm has some remnant prairie areas that Q & Tiff hope to restore. They also plan to add more native prairie species into the pastures.
They recently received EQIP cost-share from NRCS that is helping to build fencing and watering systems for their livestock. They are fencing in about 14 acres that will include multispecies rotational grazing.
In addition to farming, Q puts his military experience to use by offering on-farm firearms training for the public.
To learn more and shop Paradigm Pastures at their website and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.