ELKINS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A farm that’s been providing food and cattle to Northwest Arkansas for generations is staying true to its approach to feeding cattle.
The Howard Farm in Elkins was opened 79 years ago by the grandparents of Dean Howard. Now, he and his wife, Jennifer Howard, run the 99-acre farm by feeding cattle only the grass on its landscape, avoiding additives, hormones, antibiotics and contaminated grains.
“We’re just back to the basics,” Jennifer Howard said. “Let’s try to do it the way our fathers did before us. Just as simple as we can.”
Teresa Garcia-Moore is a manager of science and impact in food, beverage and agriculture with the Sustainability Consortium. She says grass-fed farms serve as good economic drivers for local and regional developments, while providing environmental benefits.
“(It) improves the soil, improves soil health, protects the climate, water resources, biodiversity,” Garcia-Moore said.
The Howard Farm sells all of its beef to Northwest Arkansas-based consumers. One of those is Pleasant Counter, a restaurant in Springdale.
The restaurant was opened by Ahren and Jocelyn Boulanger after a series of analyses of demand for grass-fed beef. Ahren Boulanger says they wanted to open a restaurant that served the same types of food they eat at home.
“Seed-oil free,” Ahren Boulanger said. “We eat grass-fed beef, beef tallow, butter, just more traditional fats. And yeah, we just couldn’t eat that way anywhere else.”
Ahren Boulanger says he believes grass-fed beef is a healthier option.
“There are seed oils in a lot of things we don’t even realize,” Ahren Boulanger said. “We’re getting an excess of Omega-6s, which just causes total body inflammation which could lead to diabetes, cancer, like all these things.”
Garcia-Moore says the number of people opting for grass-fed beef may be on the rise.
“We see that with the effects of climate change ramping up,” Garcia-Moore said. “Consumers are becoming aware and concerned about the impact of their diet on the environment and the climate as well.”