by Karen Van Wyk

Ninja Cow Farm in Raleigh, NC, brings farm and family together in a refreshing way. Dan Moore and his family own the farm. The farm has been functioning since the 1700s. Having grown up on a farm, Moore was anxious to get away and go off to college. As the youngest of five, he intended to never return to it after graduation.

Yet when Moore moved away for college with the intention of getting his own house, news reached him that his oldest brother had been fired from the family business. Moore worked out an arrangement with his father to return and stay on the. He was already realizing how good he had it on the farm when he was away. Some life lessons caused him to grow in appreciation for the simplicity and provision the farm provided.

He went back to the farm and lived there to take care of his mom. After his father died, he bought the farm from his mother – which he had been running on her behalf. Moore had a full day, working a day job as well as running the farm. When he married, he and his wife decided to raise their three children on the farm.

In 2013, Moore considered selling the business but chose instead to focus on agritourism. The Moores’ children became an integral part of the business – their son gives tours of the farm and their daughters run the Ninja Cow general store.

In asking Moore about the farm’s success, he replied that I must be expecting to hear about revenue projections. His success is not there, he claimed – rather, his success lies in how he runs the farm to raise his children and how the family works together.

The farm includes 150 acres, of which Ninja Cow farms 84. Their 50 to 60 cows are grass-fed and grass-finished. They also raise anywhere from 20 to 145 pigs. Ninja Cow supplies one local restaurant with beef but the majority of meat is sold in the Ninja Cow store. They also sell dairy products and popcorn.

Ninja Cow Farm gives free tours every Saturday. They also have had Open Barn Days. Ninja Cow is 15 minutes from downtown Raleigh and the closest animal farm to the city, which helps to bring in a large and interested crowd. Last year, the farm also began hosting mud runs for the community.

Ninja Cow does not put a lot of effort into advertising. Word of mouth brings them customers from the Raleigh community. Social media has also been a source of advertising; patrons have asked to come out and take pictures to post.

Having grown significantly since 2015, Ninja Cow and the Moore family bring business and family together educationally and productively. Holding on to the farming tradition that began in the 1700s, Moore and his family have maintained the best parts of the farm.