GLEN AUBREY – Today’s Food and Farm Showcase takes us to a Glen Aubrey farm that was a local pioneer in the local food movement.
Carol McGee and Pete Reynolds started McRey Farm in 2004, raising a variety of livestock with a primary focus on beef.
They have about 90 head of cattle, a mix of Belted Galloway and Angus that is entirely grass fed.
The Belted Galloway are native to Scotland, take a little longer to mature, about 30 to 36 months, and are renown for producing high-quality steaks.
Neither McGee nor Reynolds grew up farming, but had a desire for self-sufficiency and wanted to raise animals in a natural and humane way.
The couple did extensive research, visiting other farms and learning as they went.
Their cows breed naturally with their bulls and eat only grass and, in the winter, the hay that is produced on the farm.
McGee says if the animals aren’t healthy and happy, you won’t have good food.
“We knew that it could be done better. And we decided we could do it ourselves better. Farming is a great lifestyle. It’s kept us both healthy, kept the animals healthy. That’s what we’re all about here, humane treatment of animals and providing the best food that we can to the community too,” says McGee.
McRey Farm also has about half a dozen pigs, 60 egg-laying hens and 50 meat chickens at any given time.
For years, they’ve run the farm on their own, but recently took on a pair of business partners who will take over the operation when they retire.
McGee says more farmers should make a plan for succession.