Ben Elliott bought his first calf when he was 10 years old from the proceeds he got from selling chicken eggs. That calf eventually led to a herd, which eventually grew to Elliott owning hundreds of cattle in several states.
About 26 years in the business now, Elliott and his wife, Morgan Winter, own Legacy Meats, a Kersey-based meat company that produces its meat in the LaSalle area. On July 1, Elliott and Winter opened a retail extension of Legacy Meats called The L.M. General Store at 429 1st St., Unit 1 in Kersey. They took over a building that had been vacant for about 11 years, Winter said, and completely renovated the inside to look like a hip, friendly local market. They sell everything from fresh and frozen meat to Weld County-based produce.
And though Elliott and Winter primarily opened L.M. General in hopes of providing a convenient grocery location for Kersey in-towners, and as a way to revitalize the community’s downtown area, Winter said the couple also knows people are starting to care much more about the origins of their food. Legacy Meats is just one of many producers in Colorado capitalizing on the recent trend of residents buying their food locally.
A recent survey revealed Coloradans’ strong preference for local foods, according to a news release from the Colorado Department of Agriculture. About 85 percent said supporting local food systems is important to them, while 90 percent said they believe agriculture is essential to the quality of life in the state. They cited price and flavor as two reasons to buy from local vendors.
Deb DeBoutez, coordinator for the Greeley Farmers’ Market, said Weld County sellers at the summer market are…
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