Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives

Field Trip

Field Trip Jerky foundersWhen you first spy a bag of Field Trip Jerky, you might just break out into a big childish grin. A baseball-cap-topped turkey trekking near California’s Yosemite Falls. A horned cow journeying under a starry sky and the shadow of Alaska’s Mount McKinley. A helmeted pig rafting in Oregon’s Crater Lake. These cartoon-covered bags of jerky are quite a trip.

Tom Donigan, Scott Fiesinger and Matt Levey are the creators behind these adventurous animals and Field Trip Jerky. The concept for the company was born of necessity. In the early aughts, the trio were on a ski trip on the slopes of Vermont’s Green Mountain Range. They stopped off at many a gas station in search of quick sustenance (a common road trip trope). They loved jerky, but every stop-and-shop only offered varieties laden with preservatives, chemicals, artificial flavors… not to mention tons of added salt and refined sugar. They returned to Brooklyn, determined to create a superior product. Matt took the lead on development and flavor, Tom became an expert on marketing and brand development (including creating the kooky animals) and Scott managed production and distribution.

Jerky is one of the oldest methods of preserving food (as early as ancient Egypt). For Field, the key to making their jerky so good is high-quality top round lean beef sourced within 150 miles of New York City (where they work). It's sliced into large strips, marinated and rubbed with seasonings in a vacuum tumbler. The strips are then laid out on a rack and placed into a dehydrator. This finished product is chopped up and bagged. But the jerky they created isn’t distinctive for what it’s made of but what it isn’t made of—no preservatives, nitrates, MSG, added sugars or corn syrup. Just pure meaty flavor.

Like the animals on their packages, the founders can often be found in a variety of outdoor spaces on their weekends. Tom is the rock climber and hiker; Matt is an avid cyclist and runner; Scott is the daring mountain skier. But wherever you might find them, whether in the great outdoors or in the concrete jungle of New York City, you can guarantee that they’ll have a bag of jerky in hand.