Today I learned that not all beef is equal. Well, I already knew that, but it turns out that seemingly equivalent beef is not so equal either. While “pasture raised” and “grass fed” may sound like roughly the same situation for the cows, but the end of the process leaves them worlds apart. Pasture raised cows begin their process in the field, but are purchased and fattened up with grain at fattening farms. Grass fed cows are finished with grass and no gluten related products, taking longer, but assuring a healthier life for the cows and a healthier end product. Jim Smith of Smithview Farm sees a big difference, which is why Smithview Farm produces only 100% grassfed, gluten free Angus beef that’s certified by the American Grassfed Association .
The farm has been in Smith’s family since the ‘50s, and until a few years ago his father grew tobacco and raised cows. Jim grew up on the farm, later leaving to go to college and join the dental industry in Charlotte. After he retired, he and his wife decided to return to the farm, but with something healthier in mind. After extensive research, the Smiths of Smithview Farm decided to the grassfed market.
Jim Smith’s philosophy of farming affects not only what they produce, but what they do and how they do it. Roughly summed up, that philosophy revolves around purity, process, and peace of mind. Purity refers to what goes into the cows as much as the end product. Smithview cows are finished on alfalfa, keeping them purely grassfed and gluten free. Even their drinking water is 100% well water to protect the cows from bacteria in ponds or streams. Providing the cows with unadulterated grass and water ensures that Smithview cows are not given any gluten-related feeds, growth-promoting hormones, animal byproducts, or unnecessary antibiotics.
Jim Smith says that if you’re in the cow business, you’re in the grass business. As such, Smithview Farm is committed to sustainable farming practices all the way down to the literal roots. If any fertilizer needs to be used for the grass, organic chicken manure is used. They also make sure there are both warm season and cool season grasses, to ensure the cows have enough to forage 24/7. The cows are never put into pens or a lot, and the slower grassfed finishing process provides a healthier outcome for both the cow and the consumer.
I asked Jim about his favorite part of farming, and he said it was working with the cows every day and the peace of mind that comes with it. Walking beside them, tending to their needs and ensuring that they are well cared for. Smithview Farm’s philosophy and practices can provide the consumer with peace of mind as well, meaning you can trust that your meal came from happy, healthy cows, leaving you with a healthy, delicious, and hopefully happy meal.