Sean and Alex Finn raise Certified Grassfed by AGW beef cattle and Animal Welfare Approved laying hens at Finns Ranch in Buchanan, Michigan. Growing up in the flower industry, Sean always knew he wanted to live and work in the country, but pursued a career in Chicago for much of his life. When he and his wife decided to purchase a home for their family, they found the property they were searching for in Michigan.
“We started our farm from scratch,” Sean explains. “First, we bought a few chickens and the next summer we bought a few cows. We’ve been slowing adding more animals ever since.” As the demand for their products grew, Sean decided to quit his job in the city and begin farming full-time.
Sean raises eight mama cows on just under 15 acres of pasture at Finns Ranch, located about 10 miles outside the city of Buchanan. He also rents 80 acres of additional farmland from neighbors, which he uses as pasture for the cattle and to grow hay for the winter. The cattle at Finns Ranch are Certified Grassfed by AGW, the first—and only—food label in the U.S. and Canada that guarantees food products come from animals fed a 100 percent grass and forage diet, and raised entirely outdoors on pasture or range. “Our goal is to raise our animals in the most natural habitat as possible. That’s what we want for our family, for our customers and for the animals,” Sean says. “We’ve found that the best livestock managements practices happen to also be the same thing the customers are looking for—that’s why we decided to raise our beef cattle as 100 percent grassfed.”
The Animal Welfare Approved flock of 300 laying hens at Finns Ranch is also managed outdoors on pasture and moved regularly to fresh ground, preventing the buildup of pests and diseases and ensuring the land remains healthy and productive. The flock is made up of Araucanas, ISA Browns and other mixed breeds, resulting in a variety of colors of eggs, which are always popular with customers.
Sean pursued Certified Grassfed by AGW and Animal Welfare Approved certification because he wanted a trusted third-party verification for his products to assure customers he really is farming the way he says he is. “While many of our customers have come out to our farm and checked things out for themselves, we know that gaining trust takes time,” Sean says. “Having these certifications behind us to prove we raise our animals the way we say they are raised is great reinforcement. We believe that shoppers will see our certifications and begin to trust us faster because of it.”
Finns Ranch Certified Grassfed by AGW beef and Animal Welfare Approved pasture-raised eggs are available direct from the farm and at the Green City Market in Chicago on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Weekly deliveries are also made throughout Chicago. For more information, visit finnsranch.com or call 773-419-7260. Follow Finns Ranch on Facebook at @FinnsSteakAndEggsRanch.