KUNA, Idaho — Before casting judgment, here's the story of American Ostrich Farms. The business is located on a 120-acre property in Kuna, Idaho and has been in business for about 5 years. It's founder Alexander McCoy has a background in finance, and a passion for sustainable, healthy food. American Ostrich Farms' mission and vision statement read, "American Ostrich Farms is committed to bringing Americans the most delicious, healthy, environmentally sustainable red meat around."
Substituting or replacing traditional red meats with Ostrich might feel wrong, maybe even weird, but on their website, A.O.F simply says Ostrich just makes more sense. "Americans' traditional source of red meat – beef – is one of the world's leading causes of deforestation greenhouse gas emissions. Pound for pound, ostrich production requires dramatically less water, less feed, less land, and creates less methane and less waste than any other red meat on the market."
While meat is their main source of income, Alex assures people that an Ostrich at his farm never goes to waste. Every single piece of the bird is used. Red meat, dog food, dog snacks, dog treats, soaps, oils, and supplies for crafts. You name a way to use the bird and Alex has likely done or tried it.
So what makes a local man born and raised in Idaho decide to start his own Ostrich farm? Well in Alexander's case, a job opportunity in Africa combined with a passion for healthy living.
After accepting a finance job in Africa, Wood River Valley native Alexander McCoy was exposed to a very different way of life. While in Africa, McCoy was in the middle of training for a full-length Iron Man triathlon and focused on preparing his body externally and internally for this grueling physical competition. Focused on overall wellness, Alex was determined to fuel his body with the very best and that's when he discovered the "healthier red meat," Ostrich.
Ostrich meat sounds very taboo, especially in the United States, but McCoy says in Africa, Ostrich farms are very common and, in the grand scheme of things, are economically and ecologically more efficient.
Upon his return to the states, McCoy was determined to find Ostrich meat and a farm or two to combine his love for this new red meat while applying his background in finance. To no avail. Instead, he found that not only were Ostrich farms rare in the United States, but the necessary tools to run a successful farm were limited. That includes, but is not limited to, processing plants, accessibility to the appropriate feed and Ostrich genetics to organically grow a population. These challenges shifted Alex's original plan for scaling established farms to opening his own.
Learn more about American Ostrich Farms here.