For several generations, agriculture has been a major part of life for the Watsons.
Originally from southern Indiana, Gary and his parents, Jim and Anna, moved to Chester County, S.C., in 1979. While in Indiana, they grew corn and other crops and raised beef cattle. The family also ran a meat shop where they sold their own beef.
Once in South Carolina, Jim and Gary continued to grow corn, but on a larger scale, while maintaining several herds of cattle as well. At a point in the mid-1980s, under the name Watson Grain, Inc., the family had accumulated about 1,200 acres of cropland until drought forced a downsize. After row-cropping proved too unstable, Gary began raising turkeys in 1996.
In April 2007, after experiencing first-hand for many years the conventional production methods, the Watsons began the transition from a conventional farm to a sustainable one. Not only was this transition begun because it is best for the land and animals but also because it is best for the farmer and the consumer. Specifically this transition has allowed Gary’s son, Matthew, and his family to remain on the farm instead of being forced to seek outside income.
This transition can be slow, but it is worth the wait. Ponds and fences have to be built. Water lines have to be buried for cattle drinking water. Loans have to be paid off. These things take time, but there are many things we have been able to implement in shorter time periods. We now rotate our cows roughly every week instead of continuously grazing. We have steadily increased the number of steers that we finish out each year. The more grass-fed beef we are able to sell, the fewer calves we have to take to the sale barn. Each time you buy Watson Farms Pastured Meats you have the opportunity to help us further our transition to a more sustainable farm and keep another generation on the family farm.
If you haven’t already, we hope that you will discover for yourself the benefits of Watson Farms Pastured Meats and make us your source for high-quality, healthy meat.