Asheville, North Carolina-based Hickory Nut Gap Farms has been producing 100 percent grassfed beef and pasture raised pork for over 20 years.
The company believes that having the USDA’s approval of the company’s “regeneratively raised” label claim signifies to retailers and consumers that it has fully committed to farming practices that reduce carbon emissions and improve soil quality while also providing high-quality, healthy meats unsurpassed in flavor.
Hickory Nut Gap said it understands that farming is complex because nature is complex. Developing and implementing regenerative practices on more than 20,000 acres of pasture requires additional upfront investments in time and money but ultimately produces healthier, higher-quality, better-tasting meats. Its regenerative practices help insure that its farming partners receive fair pay and can grow the family farming culture in their rural communities.
“The Hickory Nut Gap brand means we are intentional about connecting soil health, livestock welfare, farming communities, and our customers to produce healthy and delicious meats with a positive impact,” said Jamie Ager, Hickory Nut Gap co-founder and fourth generation farmer. “We believe it’s possible to eat meat that enhances the environment, stewards and respects livestock, and tastes delicious. By adding regenerative to our label claims on pack, Hickory Nut Gap is signaling to the world that we are committed to a different path forward for the food system. Instead of a race to the bottom, we all thrive from the ground up.”
The concept of regenerative farming has become more popular in food marketing over the past year, but converting to a planned rotational grazing and regenerative operation takes a significant commitment in time, money and experience.
Hickory Nut Gap Farms has made the commitment to:
- Planned rotational grazing to ensure pastures have the necessary recovery time between grazing events;
- Cover cropping;
- Polycultures instead of monocultures when possible;
- Reduced tillage in crop land;
- Integrating crops and cattle;
- Minimizing or eliminating synthetic inputs and replacing with organic;
- Crop rotation (breaks pest cycles and has potential to improve soil health);
- Integrated pest management through healthy buffer zones and riparian areas (beneficial insects and microfauna naturally prevents crop damage);
- Silvopasture and tree integration where possible.
Hickory Nut Gap Farms’ new labels are currently in production and will be on all retail grassfed beef and pasture raised pork packages beginning this spring.
For more information, visit hickorynutgap.com.