When you’re picking out a cut of steak or pound of ground beef, you might not think so much about how that animal was raised, or how it was cared for. As a farmer and owner of a meat market, it’s basically what I spend all my time thinking about. Achieving the characteristics you love most about beef actually starts with Illinois beef farmers providing the best care we can for our animals.
Farming is a family (and friend) affair
I farm in southwest Illinois with my wife Lauren, my brother and sister-in-law Adam and Emily and their two sons Jeffrey and Henry, my mother Rosemary, and a good friend Tyler Bauer and his wife Kasey and son Clayton. Together we raise Angus beef cattle from the time they are weaned from their mothers until they go to another stop in the beef supply chain where they are fed to market weight. We also grow corn, soybeans and wheat, and own and operate Bagley Farms Meat Market, offering an array of fresh and frozen meat, cheeses and local produce when it’s available. My brother and I are fifth-generation farmers.
We know beef
You could say we know what it takes to achieve great beef. And it isn’t just one thing. You might see labels out there like “grass fed” or “antibiotic free,” but that’s only one very small part of the equation when it comes to raising beef. In my opinion, it takes many things: science and genetics; a carefully customized diet depending on the animal’s life stage (which for our cattle, includes high-quality corn raised on our family farm); and proper care, meaning we will always treat our animals with medicine – antibiotics included – if it will help them get better. The antibiotics we use have been through rigorous testing and we follow strict protocols for dosing and withdrawal periods, so you can have confidence that your meat is always antibiotic-free.
I’m passionate about the work we do, and I’m always open to questions you might have about how your beef is raised. And if you need a great steak recommendation, I’m your guy.