Clay & Linda Trainum started AOF in 2005 with the dual mission of creating healthy meats using goats and pigs to manage invasive plants and bring our dormant family farm back into production. Our primary focus at that time was extra income for college expenses and regaining our personal wellness. We were struggling greatly from the systemic effects of mold sensitivity in our bodies resulting from mold sickness in our former home in NC.
Over time we were slowly regaining wellness and having success with invasive plants and land reclamation. We also discovered that the unique “terroir” on our farm coupled with world class genetics in pigs and goats brought together the amazing combination of health and a fantastic quality and flavorful meat!
From those humble beginnings a business model was developed to raise the best quality meats and market directly to the best Chefs and Establishments in our region. I resigned from my full time position as President and Executive Director of an International Non Profit organization in 2010. Autumn Olive Farms became our full time occupation with terrific genetics, an overgrown farm with no infrastructure and very little money. We did however have great enthusiasm, faith in our products and a small group of Chefs who thought our meats were the best they had EVER had. Needless to say, they had a lot to do with our enthusiasm.
In 2011 we began working together with our long time friends and neighbors the Pattersons to assist their return to raising registered English Berkshires with a focus on our customers needs. This was a tremendous benefit to us as we were selling weekly and growing our herds but were not yet to the scale and income we needed to be.
Since that time the combination continues to thrive. We both have sons working hard alongside of us. Many of you know Logan. We also have Tyler and Luke working in all areas. Bill Patterson has John and Tom working alongside of him and his twin brother Crawford. The demand for AOF Berkshire, Ossabaw and Berkabaw pork continues to grow. The Patterson’s Registered Berkshires brand is now known throughout the region as the pork of choice for discriminating chefs who depend on quality, yields and price on a weekly basis. The Ossabaw is unique and wonderful, always in the discussion among experts and purists for the title of finest cured pork in the world.
We also market wonderful Virginia Lamb. We have many like minded farmers around us with spectacular lamb developed on the cool season grasses of central and western Virginia. Our #1 Fancy Virginia Lamb will consistently meet or exceed the quality and price on anything out there. Again the “terroir” of the Shenandoah Valley has earned its reputation for producing great products.
Due to time and cost constraints we have scaled back on our wonderful Boer Bok goat. It is a very labor intensive and costly product to raise or purchase. Those costs currently exceed the necessary margins for restaurants to be profitable.
Our singular Goal:
To raise and or provide the finest quality pork, lamb and Boer Bok goat by any definition and to achieve that goal in balance with the ecology we interact with.