The Potter Family - Buffalo Creek Beef
The Potters are a family that is fully immersed in getting beef from pasture-to-plate. In addition to their cattle operation, the family is also involved in processing beef through Donald's Meats and selling their branded product in Lexington, Virginia. They stay active on many agricultural boards, with their work, and of course, raising their children/grandchildren.
VBC: We know you are involved in several aspects of beef production. What can you tell us about the beef cattle operation?
Rosalea: Buffalo Creek Beef is just one of several family-owned and operated businesses that comprise our farm, where we primarily focus on selling our hand-raised, all-natural, locally-grown, and custom-butchered meat. The goal of our business is to produce, process, and sell Buffalo Creek Beef as USDA-inspected, natural, local product. We have spent years building our reputation through careful focus on local foods and producing a great product. The owners, Chas and Charlie Potter, have created a business concentrated on continuing our family's farming traditions that reaches back 7 generations! We created Buffalo Creek Beef as a custom label for our family farm's production and sales of local beef. Our products are currently available at retail grocer outlets and several area restaurants.
Chas and Charlie Potter are the current owners and operators of BCB, which was established as a company officially in 2006, though our family farm history is quite lengthy! In the mid-1800's, Isaac Potter began farming along the Buffalo Creek near Collierstown, and the family owned and operated the mill at the bend of Collierstown Road, known as "Potter-Wade Mill". During the 3rd generation, Ray Lee first share-cropped, and later purchased property that is now Churchview Farm, the current location of Buffalo Creek Beef. Charlie Jr. (5th generation) and his wife Joan restored the farmhouse in the 1960's and raised their family here. Their son Chas is still an active participant in the family farming operation. Chas and his wife, Rosalea (6th generation), own and farm another operation as well -- Cave Hill Farm.
There is a great tradition of farming in Rockbridge County. Our family has been growing beef for over 100 years, and we have been eating our own beef and selling halves and quarters to our friends for many of those years. We are thrilled to be able to provide high-quality meat directly to our customer's tables. We welcome visits to the farm and are delighted to show customers around and answer any questions they have about how we grow and process our animals. The tradition lives on as we farm with extended family with a passion for raising cattle and farming the land. From the youngest to the oldest generation, we have all had a hand in tending to the animals.
Farming is more than an occupation for us, it is who we are. We are very passionate about the beef industry and excited about local consumers enjoying our beef. We start each day with the same zeal and enthusiasm about the day ahead as we experienced when we were youngsters on our very first tractor. We are satisfied at the end of each day knowing that we have put in a hard day's work and created good, wholesome, healthy food.
VBC: What is your favorite thing about raising beef?
VBC: What's your favorite cut of beef?
Chas and Charlie would say a ribeye, Rosalea would say a New York Strip Steak, Teres Major, or Brisket, and Joan would probably tell you that there isn't a bad cut of beef!!! We love a good steak on the grill, or a brisket marinated in Allegro Brisket Sauce and cooked low and slow until it falls apart. YUM!
VBC: What is one thing you wish the public knew about farming or about your operation in particular?
Rosalea: There is lots of terminology these days: "Organic", "GMO", "Grass-Fed", "Natural", "Pasture-Raised" and the list goes on, with the public being so far-removed from the farm that they tend to get the definitions of all these terms confused. We do our best to educate consumers on what these terms mean to agriculture so they can make their own educated buying decisions. Buffalo Creek Beef producers beef that is raised free of added-hormones and antibiotics. We are a grass-fed, grain-finished program that uses corn silage and local brewers grain to finish our cattle. The practices that we implement at Buffalo Creek Beef are the practices that work best for our operation. We never criticize another farmer for implementing practices different from ours, for we know that in order to feed a growing nation, it takes all agriculture!