Jacob E. Thomas, founder and owner of JET Produce And Meats, grew up on his parents’ farm outside Leavenworth in Northeast Kansas. At the age of 14 he asked his parents if he could plant a garden, so they plowed a portion of the yard and he began pursuing an interest in horticulture. Nine years later Jacob graduated from Iowa State University with degrees in Horticulture and Animal Science. During summer break from college in 2012, Jacob founded JET Produce with the goal of producing high quality fruits and vegetables for Leavenworth and the surrounding area.
In 2014 JET Produce expanded into the meat market by offering high quality, USDA inspected, grain-finished Angus beef raised on his family’s farm. Cage-free chickens were also added to the farm to offer fresh eggs to customers. Newfound success brought about a new name, and in 2015 the name of the farm was changed from JET Produce to JET Produce And Meats to reflect the expansion into the meat market. 2015 also saw the introduction of pork and lamb products to sales offerings. The Duroc and Berkshire pigs are pasture raised on our farm and are well known for their exceptional flavor. Lambs are raised on the family farm from Katahdin sheep used to control weeds around the farm.
In 2017 we were excited to expand the farm by adding 5 high tunnels (unheated greenhouses) and 1 greenhouse. This allows us to start our own vegetable transplants at the farm and also to grow vegetables throughout the year. We also started growing spring bedding flowers for you to plant in your flower beds.
2018 saw the introduction of our farm store that is open 5 day per week to help better accommodate folks who are busy on Saturday mornings. The farm store has a larger selection of meat than what we can take to farmers markets and also features products form other area farmers and small businesses.
From the beginning, vegetables have been grown using environmentally friendly and sustainable practices that ensure only the freshest and best tasting product for consumers. As part of our goal to provide high quality fruits and vegetables to the residents of Leavenworth and the surrounding area, JET Produce and Meats routinely donates unsold produce to food pantries in the community to help families in need.
Our cattle are all born and raised on our farm and spend all of their time on pasture. During the summer they are able to eat lush green grass, and during the winter they have continuous access to hay at all times. We believe in providing the highest quality meat, so we feed our cattle grain for at least 90 days prior to butchering. Grain improves the marbling and by extension makes the meat more flavorful, tender, and juicy. In April 2016 we obtained certification in the Beef Quality Assurance program, further emphasizing our commitment to raising healthy and happy cattle that are of the highest quality. We are currently the only BQA certified meat purveyor in the Leavenworth area.
Our pigs are born at a neighbor's farm then we raise them from weaning to butcher weight. They have continuous access to a corn-soybean based feed and receive whey that is produced from a local cheese maker. During the summer they spend their time running around their outdoor lot, laying in the mud, and playing with rocks. During the winter, we keep them inside a barn with natural lighting to keep them warm.
Our lambs are all born and raised on our farm and spend all of their time on grass. During the summer they serve as our weed eaters and help keep the farm looking clean. During the winter, they have continuous access to hay and receive supplemental grain to make sure they are receiving enough energy to stay warm. The sheep are a special breed that are self-shedding and don't require shearing every spring. Lambs are fed grain for at least 60 days prior to butchering to improve marbling, tenderness, and flavor.
We buy our chickens as day-old chicks and raise them on our farm. As soon as they are old enough to withstand the weather, they are allowed access to outdoors during the day. They are fed a diet of cracked corn, waste vegetables, and a commercial feed that has all of the vitamins and minerals needed for healthy chickens. In 2018 we started offering meat chickens as well. We raise both heritage breeds and large breasted breeds to suite your family's needs.