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Meet the Founders

Meet the Farmers: David Pitman of Pitman Family Farms

David Pitman of Pitman Family Farms

The Pitman family first began raising free-range turkeys and chickens in 1954. Now on the cusp of their 70 year anniversary, their commitment to raising birds the right way continues to grow.

For Pitman Family Farms, Mary's Free-Range is so much more than just a brand. Their turkeys and chickens are cared for the old-fashioned way to support the health of the people who enjoy them. 

Recently, we caught up with third-generation Pitman farmer David Pitman to learn more about his journey and hear his advice for fellow entrepreneurs. 

1. Why did you start Pitman Family Farms?

The Mary’s brand was named after my mother Mary Pitman. Mary began searching for nutritious and healthy food for her family and she vowed to create a healthy alternative to the foods commonly found full of additives and preservatives. We proudly put Mary’s name on our products, in honor of her passion and dedication for providing nutritious and healthy food for her family and yours.

David Pitman walking with little girl

2. What obstacles did you face along the way?

One of our challenges was finding the exact right equipment so we could adhere to the safest and most humane practices possible for our birds. We also wanted to ensure the best possible product for our customers. While in Europe, we learned about the air-chilling process and controlled atmosphere stunning systems that slowly put the birds to sleep before processing. 

Shipping this new equipment overseas and implementing it into our operation was difficult. I am happy to say we know how to use the system for all our chickens and ducks. And we’ll be implementing the controlled atmosphere stunning system in our process for turkeys. 

Being a family-owned business also has its challenges since everyone has their own ideas on how things should be run. But I would not change it for the world. 

3. What lessons do you have for other entrepreneurs?

You need to maintain a strong work ethic, learn as much you can, and always continue to learn. With new ideas, equipment, and trends always changing, you need to keep up to date with all the advancements.

Pitman family at farm

4. What’s on the horizon for Pitman Family Farms?

We are continuing to work on animal welfare and stewardship of the environment. We are growing our Mary’s Legacy brand — slower growing birds with enhanced outdoor access to better support the health and well-being of our chickens.  

5. How do you keep work/life balance? What drives/inspires you?

Work/life balance is a challenge, but I have the wonderful support of my loving wife Hillari. We work great as a team as we raise our five amazing children. My family and my faith are what drive me to work hard, grow our farm and be the best father and husband I can be.

Meet the Founder