Posted at: 05/07/2013 5:58 PM
Updated at: 05/07/2013 6:53 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
Jason Amundsen and his family run Locally Laid Egg Company. The family lives in Duluth, but every day Amundsen heads out to their one-of-a-kind farm in Wrenshall to take care of their 2,400 hens.
Last year, the Amundsen's noticed the nearest commercial eggs at their local cooperative were from 200 miles away. It gave Amundsen an idea to grow their backyard flock into Locally Laid.
"By using chickens that are pasture-raised, it's a heck of a lot more work, but it creates a nutritionally superior egg," said Amundsen. "A lot of folks didn't want to rise to the challenge of the way we do things."
The Amundsen's hens are pasture-raised and their whole operation is centered around movement.
"The way we do things here, the chickens have to work for their food," Amundsen said. "They move back and forth between their house, their water, and their food. That gives them movement they need to lay a healthier egg."
Amundsen has seven employees on the farm and they do everything by hand to lessen their carbon footprint.
"We feed by hand, we collect by hand, we water by hand, we shovel manure by hand," said Amundsen.
They collect the eggs by hand before processing them at a plant in Duluth and putting them on the shelf at local stores. Stores such as the Whole Foods Co-op, SuperOne in Kenwood, and Linden Hills Co-op in Minneapolis have Locally Laid eggs on their shelves. Many Duluth restaurants also serve Locally Laid eggs.
Amundsen said their eggs are more expensive than other eggs at grocery stores, but so far the demand has shown folks are willing to pay for their product.
"The demand has been fantastic for the eggs, we've been selling out so we've been really lucky," said Amundsen.
Amundsen said they've also seen demand for pasture-raised meat birds. Locally Laid plans on raising meat chickens in the near future.