How It All Started

written by

Kelton Hays

posted on

February 13, 2022

It was the late 1930's and Auburn and Marie Fry had embarked on their farming journey years before. Like most families living during the Great Depression era, things weren't easy. However, the Frys had their land and they had their cattle. As long as they had both of those, they were confident they could see things through. However, on one fateful day, 11 of their 13 Holstein cows broke through a fence and began to munch on some johnson grass. To a layman, this may seem like no big deal, but to a cattleman, this is the beginning of a horror story. You see, ingesting too much johnson grass can be dangerous and even deadly for Holstein cows. The overconsumption of this kind of grass can lead to a build up of prussic acid in the animals digestive tract and potentially leads to death. Unfortunately, this was the fate of most of these cows. Remember how all this occurred on the heels of the Great Depression? Losing an animal is always upsetting, but you can imagine how distressing this was at this specific moment in history.

Luckily, Auburn's sister had married well out west. So, Auburn and Marie hitched a ride out to New Mexico and managed their brother-in-law's country store. All along, the Frys new they wanted to return to Arkansas and to farming. After about a decade of planning and saving, they had a chance to do so. However, their time in the deserts of New Mexico had convinced them that if they ever did get the chance to buy land, it would have water on it. When the opportunity arose to buy land with a reliable water source, that's just what they did. In the late 40's, Auburn and Marie bought 80 acres along Osage Creek in Carol County, Arkansas complete with a little home place that was built before the turn of the 20th century. The house needed some repairs. So, the Frys spent the first several years on their new land living in an old chicken house which was heated by their stove.

Fast forward 80 plus years later, Auburn & Marie's grandson, Brent, and granddaughter-in-law, Jenn, now call that old house their home. It's been renovated a few times over the years and thankfully now has indoor plumbing and central heat and air. The old chicken shed is still standing and the heather/stove is still sitting inside it. Sometimes, when Brent and Jen are feeling nostalgic, they joke about camping out in the old chicken shed. However, their good sense always gets the best of them.

The farm has grown over the years and today spreads over 1,800 acres of the beautiful Osage Valley where we raise grass fed beef, grass fed lamb, grass fed goat and pastured pork. We prides ourselves in practicing regenerative agriculture on our farm and selling directly to local families, restaurants, grocery stores and co-ops all over Northwest Arkansas.

You can enjoy the fruits of our labors 80 years in the making by placing your order now!

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