Farm-to-Plate Movement Takes Root in Tampa with Help from Local Farm

Though most known for its grass-fed Wagyu beef, Siverson also raises an array of other premium animals on his farm.

By Adam Musgrave

When most restaurants buy their food, they choose to buy everything from one of five multi-national companies, but a growing nationwide movement has landed in Tampa that brings restaurants and local farmers together to produce superior food.

Though relatively new to our area, Pasture Prime Farm of Summerfield (just south of Ocala) has provided some of the freshest and most unique ingredients for local restaurants since it began to raise its stock in 2007.

“We might be the only place in the world with this combination of animals,” said Torm Siverson, the farm’s owner.
That impressive combination includes Wagyu (or American Kobe) beef, Mangalista and Berkshire pigs, and free-range chickens and Heritage turkeys. Many of these animals were being raised by Pasture Prime before almost anywhere else in the country, according to Siverson.

Genetics also plays a strong part in the quality of this farm’s offerings.

Siverson said that, while most American farms that raise Wagyu beef actually raise hybrids, cows that are only 50 percent Wagyu and 50 percent that is usually Angus, he keeps his beef as close to pure as possible. Though this lengthens the time it takes his animals to mature, it also provides the best product.

“This meat just tastes so clean,” he said. “It doesn’t have the heavy mouth feel that you’d come to expect from more typical beef.”

And that meat, along with all of Pasture Prime’s other products, is becoming more and more available to local restaurants and to individuals as well.

Already, restaurants in Tampa are beginning to seek Siverson’s offerings; Café Dufrain and SideBern’s have been among the first.

But this growing movement has obstacles.

“We’re going to need a bigger network if it’s going to work,” admitted Siverson. “If we can get some efficiency with processing and transportation, then it will get easier.”

In the meantime, Pasture Prime will continue to provide top-quality products to both restaurants and individual customers, and the local restaurants that have begun to seek out fresher local ingredients will continue to reap the benefits.

Visitors are welcome to visit the sustainable farm for a tour of their operations. Please call 352-266-9504.  For more information on Pasture Prime Farm or to place an order, visit www.pastureprimewagyu.com.