Happy Family Ranch

Made in Virginia 2017 Awards – Food

Happy Family Ranch, Inc.

Grass-Fed Beef & Pork, Midland

When it comes to business, Roberto Melendez believes in “going with every  angle.” So when the young Northern Virginia general contractor saw a 123-acre farm for sale in Fauquier County, it seemed like a good investment. “I knew nothing about farming,” says Melendez with a laugh. “But I bought my parents a pair of goats I found on Craigslist to keep at the farm, and my father was inspired. He decided to add some hogs, and so we sort of stumbled into farming.” Melendez and his parents Juan and Maria Pineda now operate Happy Family Ranch, which has grown from two goats and a few hogs to 130 beef cattle, 100 hogs and almost 25 sheep. Included in their herds are prized Wagyu Japanese cattle and heritage Hungarian hogs, both sought after for their higher fat content and rich flavor. They specialize in grass-fed, pasture raised, non-GMO beef and pork products including chorizo-curry sausage, kielbasa and some smoked flavors that have found quite a fan following from sales via Amazon Fresh and in local farmers markets. “Our family is passionate about food,” says Melendez. “We learned by trial and error, and that has made all the difference.” Steaks start at $10 per pound, pork cuts start at $5.50 per pound. HappyFamilyRanch.net

See all of our Made in Virginia 2017 Award winners!


Nightingale Ice Cream, Richmond


Ragged Branch, Charlottesville (category winner)

Dead Reckoning Distillery, Norfolk

Veritas Vineyards & Winery, Afton

Trussings Craft Fizz, Midlothian


Daniel Rickey Furniture, Richmond (category winner)

Gum Tree Farm, Middleburg

Evolution Glass, Charlottesville


Heart and Spade Forge, Roanoke (category winner)

Ledbury, Richmond

LC Fabrications, Grottoes

Yak Attack, Burkeville

Winners were selected by the editors from among hundreds of submissions received earlier this year.

Click here to see 2016 winners.

Click here to see 2015 winners.

Click here to see 2014 winners.

Click here to see 2013 winners.

Click here to see 2012 winners.
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