Bobby Gragg, Gragg Farms

BRG Angus Local Grown Meat Production
Grant Award: $6,000

Building on a successful 2010 WNC AgOptions project, Bobby has added on-farm sales of BRG Angus with the addition of a walk-in freezer. He can now store and sell fresh, superiorly raised meat to local families directly from his farm.

The walk-in freezer, which is in a 20-foot by 20-foot building, is preferred over chest freezers, which take up space and use higher amounts of electricity. Bobby has also added cooler space to rent out to local produce farmers during the growing season. “The goal is to help others in the community expand or start producing local food sales,” Bobby said.

Bobby runs 60 to 100 head of cattle, focusing on genetically superior Registered Angus Bulls, which he’s been improving since 1975. He also added pastured fed hogs and piglets in 2014, and sells pork to a local butcher shop.

“The on-farm freezer storage would allow local families and customers the opportunity to purchase quality meat directly from the farm,” Bobby said. “Having the ability to sell local meat from the farm provides families an opportunity to experience farm life and get a sense of the value of local food production.”

The increased farm profit also means Bobby can stay on the farm rather than seek off-farm income so that he can “build up the farm for the future generation,” he said. This goal is especially important on Beech Mountain where second home development pressure is high. The extra income also allows him to employ a part-time worker, who sells BRG Angus at the Avery’s Farmer’s Market.

Bobby, who has more than 44 years of farming experience and is a former tobacco grower, is certified in Artificial Insemination and Beef Quality Assurance. He regularly hosts field days and vaccination clinics sponsored by the Avery County Cattle Association, Watauga County Cattle Association and N.C. Cooperative Extension.

 

Avery County

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