Welcome to Lake Country Beef
Not long ago, small family farms dotted the countryside creating the patchwork of farm and forest that typifies Upstate New York. Small scale farming was good for the environment and the meat products were healthy, robust in flavor and tender to the fork. At Hanova Hills Farm we still follow this pattern. Our artisan beef is pasture raised and finished without growth hormones or antibiotics, hand-processed in a local plant, then aged to concentrate flavor and ensure tenderness.
What does ‘natural’ mean?
Our approved ‘natural’ label is a warranty that our beef is raised free of growth hormones and antibiotics. For us this also means that our cattle enjoy a diet rich in quality pasture and hay with some corn added as they are finished. This careful feeding on the farm – rather than in a crowded feedlot – means our beef is healthier. You will notice a distinctive flavor, “the way beef used to taste.”
Our Commitment to the Land
We enhance the environment by adhering to earth-friendly farming practices. We want to preserve our natural habitat for generations to come.
Why Local Farms?
We believe that independent local agriculture is essential to a healthy food system. The direct link between consumers and producers is vital to each of us. People want to know where their food comes from. Come visit us.
Hanova Hills Farm
775 Hurlburt Road
Forestville, NY 14062
Hanova Hills Farm is dedicated to the production of Lake Country Premium Natural Beef. We are located in northern Chautauqua County about 45 miles south and west of Buffalo in the towns of Hanover and Villanova. Our 550 acres are devoted to pasture for rotational grazing and to raising hay and corn for our livestock. All our beef animals are born and raised on this farm.
Visitors are welcome. Call us for detailed directions at (716)965-2249 or click HERE.
Douglas & Barbara Bunker
Dan & Sue Egan
Doug Bunker's Video Welcome (transcript)
I’m Doug Bunker and together with my wife and the Eagans, Dan and Sue Egan, we are the proprietors of Hanova Hills Farm. Hanova Hills Farm is a farm that is really dedicated to rotational grazing; that is, open pastures for our herd of cattle that is the source of our Lake Country Premium Natural Beef. Our herd is all Angus and Angus-cross animals. During the grazing season from late April to November are in the fields.
We’re in northern Chautauqua County in New York State which is about 40 miles south of Buffalo. We are about seven miles from Lake Erie, but most of our land is about 1000 feet above Lake Erie, so we’re up in the hills of hill country.
We have about 350 to 400 animals on the farm at most times. They’d be divided into small groups so that any one group would be 30 to 35 cows with their calves and they would be grazing together through a series of paddocks where they’d be moved every four or five days to a new paddock. After they graze one field then we move them and then in a good year that paddock will regenerate to be lush grass after about three weeks, so they’re always in good, fresh pasture, which is part of their contentment and part of the key to our quality.
You know, most of the beef in this country spends the last 6 to 8 months of its life in a feed lot where they are fed a very hot ration and they’re mixed with animals from every other part of the country. They therefore have to feed them antibiotics prophylactically to keep disease under control.
Our animals never have any antibiotics or artificial hormones. We haven’t had to treat an animal for an illness for years and years. We raise everything here right on the farm. They are fed totally naturally and are happily grazing most of the year.
Our product also is processed locally. It never goes to a big factory where there are high-speed lines and where unskilled workers are using mechanized methods of production. It’s processed in a local family packing plant where its all hand cut, vacuumed packed, and then flash-frozen.
Altogether, the total process of raising animals naturally on the farm and then being processed the way they do in a plant where they care about the quality of the product gives us Lake Country Premium Quality Beef which we think is just about as good as beef can be. It’s more tender than some grass-fed, and it’s more safe than totally corn-fed beef that comes out of big feed lots. We’re happy to be doing what we’re doing. We feel we’re filling a niche that informed and sophisticated consumers are most interested in.
If we were doing this strictly to make money, we wouldn’t be doing it. We do it because we are convinced that it’s a good thing to do, and we enjoy it. We like being on the farm. We like doing it right. We feel we’re doing everything necessary to produce superior quality meat. Superior quality means, of course, taste and tenderness, but it also means that its meat that’s more nutritious. It tastes like 19th century beef, and it’s also raised the way it might have been raised in the 19th century with a lot of natural inputs.
Most people who buy our meat are interested in natural produce as well, organic produce. The fact that our market is largely confined to Western New York means that we fit the specifications of people who want to eat locally. Its just part of a regime, or a diet that is largely healthful.
We welcome guests. We like to know when they’re coming so that we can be here to show them around and explain what we’re up to. People are welcome to give us a call and come down any time of the year.
We will take orders on the web and we will also ship. We have, we don’t do a lot of it but we’ve filled orders from California to Florida to New York and Washington, DC by Fedex. So we’ve shipped insulated packages overnight around the country. We’ve sent beef to Texas which might be a little frightening to some Texans.
We’ll be glad to communicate with you directly about what your specifications are. That is, if you want to order steaks, how thick do you want them cut, how do you want them packaged and so fourth. This is an interactive process. We don’t just put it in the case and say “take it or leave it.” For the custom orders we’ll do it the way you’d like it. We’re interested in maintaining direct contact with our consumers.
One of the things that’s gratifying about this is knowing the people that enjoy our meat and being able to meet their needs.