Grown Locally: Brown Cattle Co.

December 29, 2021

Grown Locally: Brown Cattle Co.

Grown Locally is presented by House of Flavors Restaurant of Ludington and features locally owned businesses and locally produced products.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

RIVERTON TOWNSHIP — For the past several years a trend of American consumers has been to purchase food locally. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are over 8,600 farmers’ markets now in the U.S., an increase of about 7.07 percent from 2013 with total annual sales at U.S. farmers’ markets estimated at $1 billion. Another source of purchasing food locally is directly from the farmer at the farm itself. Brown Cattle Co., 3940 W. Kistler Road, is one such place in Mason County where the consumer can purchase meat directly from the farmer. 

The farm features a self-service building that features non-GMO, hormone free locally raised freezer beef, which is available in quarters, halves, or whole, raised by farmer Brad Brown. 

Brown has been a farmer all his life. He was born and raised on the family farm, located at Brye and Kistler roads. In the late ‘80s, his dad sold the farm, but that didn’t deter Brad from continuing the family business. As a teenager, he rented 20 acres of tillable land that his dad still owned, along with some other land. 

Brad went to Michigan State University where he earned a degree in agriculture business management. He came back home and started a 4,000 head hog barn. In 2006 he bought the family’s original farm back and in 2010 started raising cattle there. 

He has since gotten out of the hog business. He has 600 acres of tillable land, 400 of which is certified organic. The remaining 200 acres is used to feed the cattle.

“The cattle are not organic,” Brad said. “That’s a whole other process, something I have thought about, but I’m not there yet.” 

The cattle are fed with non-GMO corn, which Brad raises himself. He said the cattle also are not implanted with steroids, or hormones. 

“On the organic crop side, I got into that a few years ago,” he said. “The biggest reason was that organic had better margins. In 2015 conventional crop prices were coming down. Crop prices, cattle prices, they go in a cycle every 10 or 11 years. Instead of riding that train, I got into organic hoping to have a better profit margin. It’s been a learning curve.”

Brad said he doesn’t see himself ever doing anything but farming.

“Farming is an addiction. It’s in your blood if you are born into it. I have had several opportunities to pursue other endeavors but I can’t get out of farming. I’m a farmer through and through and no matter what I will be farming the rest of my life.” 

For more information on Brown Cattle Company beef, email brownfarms@gmail.com or call 231-425-8910.

Grown Locally is presented by House of Flavors Restaurant, 402 W. Ludington Ave., owned locally by the Neal family for over 70 years; 231.845.5785; Facebook. Now offering free dine-in ice cream with any meal after 11 a.m. through April 30, 2022. 

If you would like to make a suggestion for a locally owned business, service or product to be featured on Mason County Press, please send an email to Rob Alway, editor-in-chief: editor@masoncountypress.com. 

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