Truman Hill Farm is in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Franklin County, Virginia. The Truman family farmed here starting in the mid 1800's, growing tobacco, raising livestock, and operating a legal (and sometimes extralegal) brandy distillery, "H.L. Truman Distillery, Red Plains, Va."
Today Truman Hill Farm is a mix of pasture, managed timber, and natural wildlife areas. In 2013 we rented a neighboring farm for more pasture to meet growing demand for our grass-fed beef.
A conservation easement protects Truman Hill Farm from development, and water quality is protected by fencing cattle out of streams. Save Our Streams volunteers visit every two months to monitor Gills Creek. (With excellent readings so far!) In 2012, we were named a Virginia Department of Forestry Outstanding Forest Steward for management of the farm's woodlands, and cattle are carefully managed through rotated pastures to prevent overgrazing and keep a healthy grassland ecosystem.
Bobwhite quail have returned in recent years, a good sign that the farm's conservation focus is paying off.
Truman Hill Farm cattle arrive here as yearling calves from other local farms, including my father's nearby place. Other sources include an organic crop farm in Halifax County and a grass-fed beef producer in Montgomery County. We visited lots of farms and rejected many cattle before settling on our sources to assure the calves are naturally raised, humanely handled, and started on clean, well-managed pastures.
Our cattle are all British beef breeds such as Angus, Hereford and Red Devon, or Angus/Devon or Angus/Hereford crossbreeds.
Once at Truman Hill Farm, the cattle are rotated through pastures, finishing on a 100% grass diet until they are about two years old. They are then trucked only seven miles to the local processing plant.
I'm David Hurt and own and operate Truman Hill Farm, LLC with help from my wife Katrina and our three children. With a generations-deep family attachment to the farm, we bought it from other family members in the 1990s and began slowly restoring the old home place and rebuilding a family farm.
With long-term goals of having a place to raise happy and resourceful children, produce healthy local food, and leave the land better off than when it was entrusted to us, we are happy to see Truman Hill farm grow.