New England Beef is a family owned business. Two multi-generation farmers from different families, Glenn Card and Brad Lewis, met during college, and started a cattle business that could be integrated into their existing family farm enterprises.
Brad comes from a long line of Vermont farmers. His family has been farming the same piece of property in Northern Vermont since the 1700’s. Brad’s family collects sap and produces delectable maple syrup, in addition to running an organic dairy farm. Brad also runs Green Mountain Earthworks, a landscape company. With his partner Alyssa and young daughter, raising beef was a likely fit to the land and lifestyle of living in Vermont. Cows are able to mow the grass, so Brad doesn’t have to!
Glenn Card and his wife Adrienne reside in Massachusetts with their three young children. Glenn’s family has been farming in New England since the colonial times. Glenn’s family left Maine in the 1950’s and moved to Massachusetts. In the Bay state the Card family runs a migratory beekeeping pollination service along with selling honey and bee hive nucs. In the off season the family sells Christmas trees and boards horses. Raising beef was a natural path for the Card family to follow. Looking to expand farming operations to better utilize the land in Billerica for more than just trees, bees, and Horses. Cows were a sustainable fit for keeping the land open as well as provide additional income to the farm in the future. The cows do an excellent job grazing on the inedible plant matter the horses refuse to consume, saving time and money in field maintenance.
The stock we have today resulted from a breeding program conducted in Australia on traditional framed Angus Cattle in the 1930’s. The goal of the project was to produce more beef per acre. It was found that breeding for low yearling growth rates and ultimately decreasing the topline of the animal, hence the name “Lowline”, achieved this task. The topline referred to is the back of the cow. At the culmination of the study in the 1970’s, the cows were dispersed by sale and the Australian Lowline Cattle Association was formed.
The first Lowline Cattle were introduced in the United States in 1997, and they quickly gained in popularity. The stock known as Australian Lowline Cattle are also known as American Aberdeen cattle in the United States. The docile temperament of the American Aberdeen cattle, as well as ease of calving and efficient size, made them an excellent candidate for all different regions throughout the United States. The breed is ideal for a grass-fed operation for a multitude of reasons. The first being, smaller framed cattle consume less grass and water, and can be stocked more heavily on the same pasture as larger framed cattle with the same amount of input. When it is time to harvest meat, smaller framed cattle will actually produce more pounds of beef per acre than larger framed cattle with the same amount of intake. The breed has also been bred for increased marbling on pasture. Marbling results in a more tender and palatable cut of beef. Finally, due to the smaller size of the stock and animal, difficult calving deliveries are virtually unheard of. We have never had to assist in a birth at the farm, even with first time mothers.
Our families started with Lowline cattle in 2012, and over the years have grown to a nice size herd of both black and red fullblood Lowline cattle. Fullblood means the animals are 100% Lowline in origin and tracing back to the original 1930’s herd in Australia. There is also no difference in meat quality between the red and the black animals. However, we do find the red animals to do better in the summer heat. Red is recessive in color to black, so black genetics do dominate the industry.
Raising cattle has been a dream come true for both the Lewis and the Card family. We enjoy raising animals at our family farms and bringing a sustainable beef product to the table.