Allen Brady and his herdsman, Daron Battle, raise Certified Grassfed by A Greener World (AGW) Pineywood beef cattle at Flint Plantation, a 2,600-acre timber plantation located near Roberta in west central Georgia.
With a mix of pine and hardwoods on the land, Allen manages the plantation according to strict environmental stewardship practices. About four years ago, he began learning about silvopasture—the practice of combining forestry and grazing animals in a mutually beneficial way. The Longleaf Alliance, The Pineywood Cattle Registry & Breeders Association, and several local cattlemen offered invaluable assistance along the way. “Raising cattle on the land offers an alternative, integrated and consistent revenue stream other than timber, and the whole process grew from there,” Allen explains.
The herd of Pineywood cattle at Flint Plantation is Certified Grassfed by AGW, the first—and only—food label in Canada that guarantees food products come from animals fed a 100 percent grass and forage diet, and raised entirely outdoors on pasture or range. The Pineywood is an endangered cattle breed, descending from animals first brought to the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama in the early 1500s by the Spanish. The breed was predominately used as oxen in the southeast timber industry until European cattle largely replaced it in the 1800s.
The Pineywood is one of the oldest cattle breeds in the U.S and is recognized for its ability to thrive on marginal brush and vegetation. Pineywood cattle are known to have excellent disease resistance, heat tolerance, good mothering traits and longevity. These traits make them ideally suited for the silvopasture management of Flint Plantation, where the cattle graze freely through the timber stands and forage on native grasses, forbs and legumes—a diet that would be unsuitable for most other cattle breeds. Flint Plantation is also focused on the conservation genetics of the Palmer-Dunn and Holt strains of the Pineywood cattle. “When the Spanish brought the first Pineywood cattle over in the 1500s, they slowly adapted to the brush and woody terrain in the local environment. Their ability to not only survive, but thrive in the longleaf understory makes it the perfect species for the timber stands of Flint Plantation,” says Allen.
Allen chose to pursue Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Grassfed by AGW certifications because many of his own farm management practices mirrored those outlined in AGW’s farm standards: “The overall Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW program and Certified Grassfed by AGW program seemed to be a natural fit for our operation,” says Allen. “The benefit of using the Pineywood breed for pasture and range-based management allows us to fully utilize the land resources we currently manage. The Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Grassfed by AGW logos are an added benefit to our marketing, while the support information and resources available to farmers and ranchers is very helpful.”
Long term, Allen plans to continue his conservation efforts to increase the population of the two strains of Pineywood cattle managed at Flint Plantation. For more information about Flint Plantation, visit www.flintplantation.net or contact Allen Brady at email@example.com or 404-630-8861.