Julie is a fourth-generation worker on the family farm near Princeton, Kansas, just outside Ottawa. Mettenburg Farm markets grass-fed beef and other products to consumers throughout the Kaw River Valley, including Lawrence, where Julie lives with her husband, Peter Burns, and their two children.
Julie received her bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and began her career as an ag reporter for Vance Publishing Corp. for The Packer newspaper, covering the fruits and vegetables industry; Super Floral magazine, covering the floral industry; and Drovers Journal magazine, covering the beef industry. She continued her media career in New York, eventually managing publications for a major health nonprofit agency. She received her masters degree in political science from the City University of New York.
Several years ago, with grassroots demand rising for naturally raised meats and local foods, Julie and her family saw an opportunity to renew their family farm and began transitioning to a sustainable farm system with direct-sale grass-finished beef.
Developing new sales channels and learning about non-industrial ag systems -- plus seeing a fifth generation gain interest in farming as a career -- has convinced Julie that redeveloping robust local food networks is critical to America's economy and security.