The Lands at Hillside Farms raises Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW)…
Nathan Root and his family raise Certified Grassfed by AGW beef cattle at Root’s High Meadow Angus in Cattaraugus County, New York.
For most of Nathan’s life, his family raised dairy cows outdoors on pasture. But when he was around 18, the Root family changed their business to raise heifers and sell the calves to the commercial market for finishing on feedlots. After Nathan lost his father to a farming accident, Nathan took a break from farming for a few years, but eventually decided to return and take over the family business. Born and raised on the farm he now owns, Nathan has been managing beef cattle outdoors on pasture at Root’s High Meadow Angus for about 10 years.
Today, the Roots raise around 30-35 head of cattle, including Angus and Hereford cows and calves, on roughly 80 acres of tillable land, pasture and timberland. “The cattle were always out on pasture when I was growing up, so I just kept going with the same system. It was natural for the animals to be together and to free roam,” explains Nathan. “The animals grow much better and they’re healthier. I’ve been successful with animals outdoors on pasture since the beginning–you don’t need to fix something that isn’t broken.”
Root’s High Meadow Angus applied for AWA certification because a fellow farmer and friend recommended the grassfed program. “After reading the Certified Grassfed by AGW farm standards, truthfully I didn’t have to change anything. It was a very easy transition for me,” Nathan says.
Attaining Certified Grassfed by AGW status was important to Root’s High Meadow Angus because they plan to begin marketing their beef direct to the public, and they anticipate the certification, with its emphasis on high-welfare, grassfed production, will attract new customers. Certified Grassfed by AGW is the only certification and logo in the U.S. and Canada that guarantees that food products originate from animals fed a 100 percent grass and forage fed, raised outdoors on pastures or the range for their entire lives, and are managed according to the highest welfare and environmental standards on an independent family farm.
In the longer term, Nathan would like to expand the operation and farm full-time. Currently, he also works in the Sheriff’s department and coaches his sons’ baseball team. “Farming is a part of who we are, and I don’t ever plan on leaving this farm,” he adds.
Root’s High Meadow Angus Certified Grassfed by AGW beef is available direct from the farm. For more information—and for sales enquiries—contact Nathan Root at 716-498-3252 or email@example.com.