A dream becomes reality Sandy Trails Farm Meat Market
By Judi Wiegman
Ralph Hampton is credited with the master plan which he carried in his head and transferred to reality. His mother, Minnie Hampton and his sister, Anita Hampton worked along side Ralph digging footings, pouring cement and completing other tasks assigned to see the project to completion. Many other family members and friends gave willingly of their time and effort to work on the project.
Why did it take nine years? Simple; running a farm, tending animals, a family member with cancer, and the magnitude of the project all played a part in the nine year dream come true.
Ralph believes transporting the animals from one place to another to process them creates stress in the final product. Sandy Trails Farm animals never leave home, until they are sold for your dinner! The beef raised there is an Angus/Angus cross. It takes approximately 18-20 months to mature a calf for processing. The hogs are Landrace and their maturing time is about six months.
Six–year-old Lexi Rogers, a niece in the Hampton family, was having a good time at the open house. Lexi, the daughter of State Trooper Jason and Laura Rogers of Stratford, was born with Rett syndrome. It is a genetic disorder of the nervous system that only happens in 1 in 10,000 births and only to girls. It is often mis-diagnosed as autism. Lexi is unable to speak, but her eyes speak volumes! Her favorite meat is the “extra white” bacon processed at Sandy Trails. Her picture appears on each package of bacon and a portion of the bacon sales helps with Lexi’s medical expenses.
Hampton animals are not fed antibiotics. They add no hormones and use no animal by-products. And what about the taste? Delicious! A sparkling steel table spread with samples of hamburger, sausage, bacon, pork tenderloin, and ham was offered to the many visitors who came from Stratford, Kerrick, Dalhart and neighboring farms. The delightful dessert goodies were “blue ribbon” quality!
From the retail store in the front of the newly constructed business, shrink-wrapped meat was flying out of the freezer as customers chose their favorite cuts to take home.
“We aim for the freshest product we can produce,” remarked Annette, one of the workers. The meat market will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. All meat is carefully prepared and USDA approved.
In the future, there will be a website and meat will be available for shipping or pick-up.