An American Farm History
At the end of World War II, food productivity began to soar due to new technologies, increased chemical use, mechanization and policies that favored maximizing production. This made it harder for small farms to keep the quality of their foods while meeting the demands of U.S. consumption. People gave up quality for quantity. The cost to our environment of this way of thinking has been insurmountable. It includes severe topsoil depletion, groundwater contamination, the decline of family farms, neglect of living and working conditions for farm laborers, increasing costs of production and the collapse of economic and social conditions in rural communities.
Agricultural sustainability is based on the principle that we are able to meet the needs of the present demand without compromising the future generation’s ability to meet their own needs.
However, recently there has been a change in attitude in the U.S. with the growing movement of agricultural sustainability and farm to table. Hunter Cattle is proud to be part of this movement, creating quality meats with little impact to the environment. Hunter Cattle is working hard to create a stewardship of both natural and human resources, including but not limited to: protecting and fostering work conditions, health and safety of employees as well as maintaining and enhancing the earth’s vital resources for the long term.
Transitioning to sustainable agriculture is a work in progress. At Hunter Cattle we strive daily to find more efficient ways to get the most out of our land and our livestock without compromising the health and welfare of both entities. We believe that strengthening sustainable agriculture is a collective effort of the entire community, including farmers, laborers, policymakers, researchers, retailers and consumers, which is why we are proud members of American Grassfed Association, Coastal Organic Growers, Animal Welfare Approved, and Georgia Grown.
Water is the main resource that has helped society and agriculture to prosper since its creation. When water is mismanaged it can be detrimental to the health of society as well as the environment. Here at Hunter Cattle, we are very careful about our water supply, because we not only drink it ourselves, but our 11 grandchildren drink it as well. We only use natural fertilizers on our fields (chicken litter and cow manure) to prevent chemicals from entering our water supply. We do not use pesticides; instead we depend on dung beetles, our chickens and the local wild birds to help keep the pest population under control.
Hunter Cattle has chosen to leave the forest along with their fields instead of clear cutting to make more fields. The environmental impact of every thing we do is very important to us because it affects our cows as well as our prosperity. In protecting our cows by allowing them natural shelter under the trees and wooded areas, we are also protecting the wildlife in our area. Wildlife helps to enhance the natural ecosystem of our grassfed cows while aiding in pest management and eliminating the need for chemical pesticides and herbicides.
Due to our sustainable practices, air quality is not a problem at Hunter Cattle. Because our cattle rely only on grasses for their food, we do not keep more cattle than the land can sustain easily. Therefore, there is no need for a large waste management system, which ensures that the air quality around us is not polluted by our farm. Instead the waste created by our free ranging cattle is managed by dung beetles, wild birds and increasingly by our chickens as the flock grows in number. Therefore, the waste is naturally spread around our fields adding to the organic fertilizer naturally. We would rather tell someone that we do not have enough beef than to compromise the quality of the beef we are selling; therefore we will never have more cows than our land can sustain.
We help prevent soil erosion by moving our cows frequently to prevent the depletion of the plant life in the fields. Soil erosion is a serious threat to the worlds continued ability to produce adequate food. The best way to prevent soil erosion is to ensure the longevity of plant life so the root systems continue to hold the soil together. We have several fields at Hunter Cattle which allow us to rotate our animals frequently. This allows the vegetation in the fields to regenerate naturally.
Diversified farms are usually more economically and ecologically resilient, which is why Hunter Cattle is working toward the goal of diversification. This means that we are trying to raise a number of animals that can work together to create a more sustainable environment. Here is a model of what we are accomplishing:
– Pigs root and aerate the fields instead of the use of a tractor.
– Chickens, Pigs, and Cows fertilize the fields.
– Chickens work hard to spread the manure around.
– Grasses are planted for our cows to graze naturally as they were intended.
– Cows are moved from pasture to pasture so as not to decimate any of our fields.
– When a fields production slows, the cycle begins again to maintain the health of our pastures.
In addition to the work the animals do for us naturally, we also derive our products (beef, pork, and eggs) from these same animals. This creates a very symbiotic relationship between our livelihood and our dedication to the protection of our environment.
Creating Alliances that Support Sustainability
Sustainable agriculture presents an opportunity to rethink the importance of family farms and rural communities. Consumers can play a critical role in creating a sustainable food system. Through their purchases, they send strong messages to producers, retailers and others in the system about what they think is important. You can help us support agricultural sustainability by making the choice to buy locally.
As our business continues to increase, the need arises to have other producers help us meet future demands. As part of our commitment to promoting sustainable practices in our part of this world, we began a couple of years ago to engage our friends and neighbors and encourage them in practices that meet the guidelines of grassfed, pastured, humane and earth friendly farming and ranching. We are blessed and thankful to have created alliances with our neighbors and friends that have committed themselves to the protocols of the American Grassfed Association and Animal Welfare Approved. This will help Hunter Cattle meet the current and future demands of providing safe and healthy beef, pork and other products that our customers expect.
In addition to assisting us in meeting our demands, the local farming and supplying of products are beneficial in many ways. Forming these alliances with other local growers helps support our community by giving them an opportunity to earn a living without the overhead costs of running a retail market. This will allow the small and medium size farms to continue to operate and prevent big corporation farming from monopolizing the market and swallowing them up. Buying locally saves fossil fuels and the need to produce energy used to move livestock products around the world. Therefore, the environment is helped by not putting carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
Grassfed Cattle, Pastured Pork, and Free Range Chickens are safer and enrich the land that has been depleted from taking from the soil without putting nutrients back in. As opposed to feedlots and concrete houses for pigs and chickens, manure is distributed by the animal without the need to collect it up, redistribute it via machinery, and ship it out. This ensures that our tax dollars stay in our state and community to help our local economy.
Our Commitment to You
To provide the best quality Grassfed Cattle, Pastured Pork, Free Range Chickens, and Free Range Eggs, while maintaining the quality of the land they graze on.
934 Driggers Road
Brooklet, Georgia 30415