Let me introduce you to our Hunter Cattle family. About nine years ago, my Mom, (Debra), my Dad (Del), my older brother (Anthony), and me Kristan, (the oldest daughter), fell in love with a piece of property outside of Stilson, Ga. It’s so small we don’t even have a post office, so our address is in Brooklet. We wanted a place to build our families, become as sustainable as possible, and raise/grow our own food. We were becoming more and more aware of the industrialized food issues and wanted an alternative. The overuse of antibiotics in animals, their terrible living conditions, and the abuse to the environment that leads to the abuse of our own bodies when consuming these products, all become very real when you begin having children and raising little boys. (Grandson #9 is due April of 2013; that’s right, NO girls!)
To raise grassfed cows, you have to have a ton of fenced-off pastures for “rotational grazing.” So we started building fences and planting grass. We began raising our first herd of cattle and, boy, did we learn a lot REAL quick! The heifers had been bred to a high birthrate bull, so their babies were too big for these first-time mommas. We ended up having to pull almost every calf! During our first one, we had no clue what to do. We ended up reading from a type of “Cows for Dummies” book what to do step by step. It was CRAZY and awesome to say the least! And I would like to add that we constantly say that, if it weren’t for good books, good neighbors, and the good Lord, we would not be where we are today. We are thankful to all those who have helped us with this venture!
Soon after, family and friends began asking to purchase our grassfed beef, and the rest is history. We went to selling the beef by the cut, and by demand we began expanding like crazy. We started attending farmers’ markets and selling our beef out of the freezer in the back of the truck. As requests for more continued, we began raising pigs, chickens, turkeys, and eggs to sell to friends and restaurants as well. Soon we opened MooMa’s Farm Store, built a processing facility, and began producing our products right here on the farm.
Thankfully, our HC products have been well received in the culinary world. We have been featured in magazines, newspapers, and on TV programs.* With our “Hunter Cattle Co Pork Sausage”, Governor Nathan Deal recently presented us the “Flavor of Georgia Award” for winning in the 2013 meat category. Our handcrafted artisanal link sausage took the top honor in the statewide competition. This comes off the heels of our first ground beef customer, “Green Truck Pub”, having received city, statewide, and national accolades for having the best burgers around.** We are so fortunate to supply our products to many great award winning chefs, such as Roberto Leoci of Leoci’s Trattoria, who are dedicated to buying local and supporting our family and farm.***
Because our friends and customers love coming out to the farm so much, we are hosting agritourism events, parties, and started renting out barn lofts for farm stays. In an effort to teach the next generation about agriculture and food, we also offer curriculum based educational tours for schools, scout troops, churches and any group that wants to experience the farm life.
We are amazed at how we have grown and are so thankful to be able to do something we love so much and are so passionate about. And we are very thankful for our customers and supporters of our endeavor, and couldn’t be prouder of what we do every day.