• Last modified 386 days ago (May 4, 2023)


Food goes straight from farm to table

Staff writer

People wanting the freshest and best can buy directly from farmers and ranchers in the county.

Jirak Brothers Produce, 1468 290th, Tampa Rd., sells fruits, vegetables, and other items both at a farm store and at area farmers markets.

Ron Jirak has been in business since 1976.

Produce the family grows includes cantaloupe, watermelon, sweet corn, pumpkins, tomatoes, and smaller vegetables.

The farm store, open during daylight hours, also offers items such as fresh bread, soup mixes, gourmet chocolates, trail mix, Kansas-grown pancake flour, seasoned flour made from Kansas wheat, and homemade private-label pickles and jam.

“We have locally grown honey from our own hives,” he said.

Jirak can be reached at (785) 258-0012.

Duane Unruh and his family, who live north of Walton, raise beef, poultry, and produce at Layz and Graze farm.

The family has a farm store selling a range of products during daylight hours. The Unruhs also sell online, at farmers markets, and in grocery stores.

Inventory includes eggs, chicken, Cornish game hens, home-raised beef, vegetables such as asparagus, fruit, jellies, and juice.

A chicken coop on the farm is a remodeled school bus where hens can go in feed at will on crops raised specifically for them.

Florence-based Mud Creek Cattle Co. also sells direct to customers.

Randy Savage’s hormone-free Black Angus beef, grown on a family farm, is corn finished for a minimum of 120 to 130 days, he said.

Mud Creek is licensed to sell individual cuts of meat but focuses on selling larger quantities.

“We try to focus right now on selling quarters, halves or wholes,” Savage said. “It’s the most cost-efficient.”

The majority of beef from Mud Creek Cattle Co. is delivered to customers. How far an order will be delivered depends on the size of the order.

Savage can be contacted at (620) 382-7835 or

Tyler Ledford, who lives in Marion, sells pasture-raised and grain-finished beef raised on the family farm near El Dorado.

“Our cattle are harvested at 18 to 24 months of age to ensure the best possible marbling and most tender and favorable meat,” Ledford said.

Nearly all of the beef sold is prime and is processed locally at USDA inspected facilities, he said.

Beef is sold by custom order. Customers call to put in an order for a quarter, half, or whole beef.

The business has a waiting list until June.

Ledford can be reached at (620) 245-4773 or

Jason Wiebe Dairy at Durham offers an array of farm-created cheese products.

Wiebe’s cheeses are widely available in supermarkets, but the family also sells directly to customers.

Wiebe Dairy offers cheese curds; Colby farmhouse cheese; Cottonwood River Reserve; Eleanor’s Farmhouse Cheddar in medium and sharp varieties as well as bacon, Cajun, chipotle, dill weed, garden vegetable, garlic and herb, jalapeno-habanero, flavors; raw milk cheddar in mild, medium, and Jalapeno varieties; and sharp white cheddar.

It’s best to call or email ahead, but if customers show up when the family is at the farm, the Wiebes will sell to them.

Wiebe can be reached at (620) 732-2846 or

Last modified May 4, 2023