We raise cows and calves of the Red Angus breed, and we originally chose that breed because they are very docile, they can handle heat and humidity well, and they have smaller calves that are easier to handle. We’d always fed steers, but in 2004, I bought the first cows and calves and we started raising them as well. At the time, we weren’t putting much emphasis on the cows and calves as I was working two other jobs, I had my real estate license and was involved in a construction business as well. We were just raising and breeding them with the idea of raising some registered animals.
Around 2010, I was audited for a tagging program we were using, and a person from the Red Angus Association visited and commented about how good one particular female was. He suggested that we should flush this animal, so we did that and one bull did very well at the North American Livestock Exposition in Fort Worth, TX. We then ended up selling him to Bieber Red Angus up in South Dakota in 2013.
In 2012, I wrote a letter to a local chef at the Hotel Hershey, which is a large hotel in Central Pennsylvania. They have multiple restaurants there, and they were looking for someone to provide local beef. That’s how we really got started with the beef business. Within two years they were buying between 30 and 40 animals a year from us. We have been dealing with them ever since 2012, and have since expanded provide local beef to a few other restaurants. We also have a store here at the farm, and we are working on setting up our e-commerce site where we will be able to sell meat online and ship it.
" In our operation, my wife does as much as me, and knows as much as I know about everything we’re doing. It’s important that we are partners in this, and that she gets just as much respect for her role in our operation as I do. "– Rob Hess
I think it’s important for everybody to realize that if you’re going to have an operation like this, it really requires a strong family. There is no possibility for one person to do this type of thing on your own, and you don’t have the profit potential to hire a huge number of employees because you’ve got to sell an awful lot of meat or animals to pay for help on a farm. In our operation, my wife does as much as me, and knows as much as I know about everything we’re doing. It’s important that we are partners in this, and that she gets just as much respect for her role in our operation as I do.
Bow Creek Farm