Fascinated with the lost science of animal husbandry, as practiced centuries ago, Leigh knew that he had found his calling. He became a student of cattle genetics, agroecology and sustainable agriculture and grass-fed and grass-finished livestock in beef provision. Then, with a team of advisors by his side, a parcel of land in upstate New York was purchased, providing the perfect climate and soil conditions to grow their shared vision. The rest is history. Now, when he has a moment to himself, one of his favorite pastimes is taking his dogs for a walk around the pastures, taking in and appreciating the beauty of the farm and business that he, his partner and his team have pioneered.
Santana is completely focused on ensuring that our cattle and everyone consuming our beef is healthy and thriving. It’s a good thing, then, that Santana loves working in nature and overseeing the animal life cycle, each year. She particularly enjoys preparing for the different seasons of the farm, such as calving and breeding season. With a degree in Agriculture Business from SUNY and a background in veterinary care, Santana’s main role on the farm is managing daily herd operations, including oversight of staff, inventory, winter forage and cattle health management, record keeping, and pastures. If you think that’s a desk job, think again. Santana is sure to be found right where our cattle (and our customers) need her—on the farm and out in our pastures.
As Director of Operations of our butchery, Tonya keeps our human herd trotting. Having held so many positions—from meat wrapper to office manager—she knows every nook and cranny of our butcher business. Today, she is responsible for maximizing all butchery resources. Tonya enjoys the challenge of coordinating operations and the staff to ensure that customer expectations are met—and exceeded—at the highest level of quality.
Stephen is a bona fide cowboy, who learned at a young age how to ride horses and to rope cattle. He sees these adolescent years as transformative, leading him to passion of farm work. Today, Stephen spends his workday riding horses and moving herds from pasture to pasture, or escorting animals to herd health checks. Stephen is never alone in his work and getting to work with our incredible farm family is the most important and enjoyable part of his job.
As a member of the Little Lakes Ranch team, Dana specializes in Animal husbandry. He assures that every animal on our farm receives exceptional care. He can adapt to any change immediately when necessary. Prior to working at Little Lakes Ranch, Dana managed a farm raising beef cattle, pigs, sheep, and horses where he learned a plethora of knowledge that he now utilizes on a daily basis. He loves being able to work with cattle outside. Calving season, in particular, is very rewarding for him. He enjoys the miracle of new life, and helping raise the animals in a natural, positive environment.
At the ripe age of five years old, Casey sat for the first time in a tractor seat and that was it; he was hooked. He committed his career to farming life—which he acknowledges can be as grueling, challenging and random, as it is beautiful. Today, Casey is a key team player on our farm, who is always ready to get a job done or solve a challenge. From helping to herd an ornery animal to getting his hands dirty under the hood of a tractor, Casey doesn’t mind. He is fully committed to long days and a scenic workspace—and loves every second of it. In fact, he regards these helping-moments as the most rewarding aspect of his job. If you’re ever at the farm, be sure to spin some yarn with Casey (he has some great farming stories to share).
Brian sees his primary role on the farm as keeping the cows and calves full, fat, and happy—which means he has a lot of bosses to answer to. You might even consider him a “Cow Whisperer.” Along with caring for the animals, Brian is called up to help maintain fences, equipment and pastures. Brian loves that every day the farm brings a new experience and a new challenge to overcome. From the nicest summer afternoon to the coldest winter day, you’ll find Brian outside doing what he does best, ensuring the cows are safe and sound.
With more than a decade of butchering experience behind him, Nick sharpened his skills 13 years of grocery retailing. With us, he’s up’d his game, learning the art of whole cow butchering and the elevated nuances of working with grass-fed and grass-finished beef. Nick is engaged in all aspects of livestock processing, including cutting, packing and sanitation. His respect for our animals drives the sense of accomplishment he feels from butchering such finely fabricated finished cuts of beef.
Sourced from best-of-breed Red Angus, Devon and Hereford genetics from Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Arkansas, Texas, Mexico and New Zealand, these top-grade animals were the origin of our herd. Our cows have the genetic and physical characteristics that result in consistently superior beef. Today, ours is a closed-herd, single origin farm, with all animals bred, born and raised, right here. The result is a consistent nutrient-rich, tender and full-of-flavor product that stands apart. Our mother cows produce a high butterfat content in their milk, that is transferred to the nursing calves and allows for rich marbling in our grown animals, delivering exceptional taste.