Hi, my name is Lee Hitzfield founder of Seven Sons. My wife Beth and I along with our seven sons and their families own and operate an intensive beef grazing operation near Roanoke Indiana.
Our original 24 acre farm was purchased in 1984 as a profitable 150 sow farrowing operation. Along with hogs we also farmed 800 acres of row crops.
Much to our regret at that time our way of farming was the typical conventional method. As I look back we were a pitiful picture of the commercialized factory farms of today but on a smaller scale.
A lot has changed since 1984, read on...
In 1991 my wife was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the joints and worst case scenario the vital organs. Right away she began researching different methods of treatment. After investigating conventional medicines approach, she realized she wanted to treat the disease with as little medication as possible. My wife continued to study the different alternatives, this is what led us to our journey into health and nutritional education.
Long story short research proved to us that there is a major link between the foods we eat, how they are produced and the risk of developing or preventing diseases. With this knowledge we began to drastically change our methods of farming and how we raised our livestock.
Despite the high market prices, we made the decision to close the doors to our "successful" hog operation and say goodbye to factory farming!
Our goal now was to raise livestock in their natural environment which would result in a MUCH healthier product.
In the late 90's we began to fulfill our goal by raising cattle close to nature. Our cattle get plenty of sunshine fresh air, acres of green pastures to graze and our never fed any grains. The cattle are born, raised and finished on grass! Our meat is free of hormones, steroids, artificial growth stimulants, drugs or antibiotics.
We believe in what we are doing and why we do it. Best of all we feel right about what our family is eating and we are now grateful to offer it to you as well.
We began raising Grass-fed Beef with the idea of producing the purest most natural beef possible. What sets our beef apart from many of the 'natural' and 'certified organic' labels is the fact that OUR beef comes from animals that are NOT fed grain but rather diets of green forage.
Beef Production Protocols:
Below is a detailed explanation of our beef production protocols of animals that have been raised and finished on our farm and associated finishing farm located in Attica, IN.
100% Grass / Plant Forage-Fed - NO Grain!
At Seven Sons our beef comes from animals that have been given access to fresh pasture with diets of nearly 100% grass and plant forage - absolutely NO grains! During winter and times when fresh grass is not available, cattle are fed stored forage such as hay. During certain parts of the year, cattle will sometimes be supplemented with a small amount of malasses to help ballance their nutritional needs.
By raising the animals without feeding grain it ensures that the cattle are raised in a low-stress environment with plenty of fresh air and sunshine.
BUYER BEWARE! Many producers raise their cattle on grass but then switch them to grain diets for the last few months of their lives. Some of these producers are then selling this beef as "grass-fed." when it is not. It is important to understand that the positive health attributes of grass-fed beef diminish very quickly when given access to grain.
Omega-3 & CLA Tested
We are one of the only farms that actually test our beef for high amounts of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and CLA's.
We send samples of our grass-fed beef to Utah State University where it must undergo extensive testing and analysis.
For more information please visit our Testing and Analysis Page.
NO Fed Drugs or Antibiotics
Our beef must come from animals that have never been fed any kind of feed grade drugs or antibiotics.
In commercial feedlots low-level antibiotics are administered day after day to help manage highly concentrated grain diets and confined conditions. Grass diets eliminate this concern and risk.
We do allow for a limited use of a therapeutic (non-fed) medication treatment to control internal parasites which commonly affect cattle, even among sustainable production programs. Parasites dramatically effects the quality of meat products and in some cases can take the life of an animal. IF parasite control is used, it is usually applied only once in an animals lifetime.
In the event that an animal becomes sick or injured a (non-fed) therapeutic antibiotic or drug may be administered at this time. IF and WHEN any medication treatment must be used, the recommended withdrawal period stated on the prescribed product label is then doubled.
Absolutely NO Hormones or Steroids
Our beef must come from animals that have been raised without the use of hormones, steroids, artificial growth stimulants, or animal by-products.
Our beef must be processed using only humane slaughter methods. This means we only use local family owned meat processors who we know and can trust to actually adhere to State and USDA regulations.
Local Beef Producer Alliances
In the early 90's we began raising grass-fed beef on our farm in Roanoke, Indiana. Once we began marketing this product we became aware of the incredible demand for this "new" kind of beef. In order to continue to serve our customers adequately, we made the decision to partner with two family farms in Attica Indiana. Our beef production program now consists of the Dan DeSutter and Rich Hollinger families who share a commitment to raising beef according the protocols you have come to expect. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to work together with families who stand united in furthering the cause for local sustainable agriculture.
Together we are a trio of families that share a deep passion of providing the world's healthiest beef to our customers for many years to come.