How Bradley Farms Is Changing Our Food System

Nicole and Aaron Bradley are the proud owners of Bradley Farms, a beautiful farm located in Saluda, NC that raises the finest 100% grass-fed beef, pastured pork, and pasture-raised poultry. 

“We try to focus on the well-being of our animals, how we’re managing our land and the environmental impact we have, and raising an animal and letting it do what it naturally wants to do,” Aaron Bradley says. “That means having pigs that can wallow and root.”

But the story of Bradley Farms actually began a bit differently. 

Bradley Farms is committed to producing healthy foods, raising happy animals, and caring for our land.

In 1901, Lewis Hipp, a man of many trades, bought the farm to settle down with his family. He made his living primarily from blacksmithing and farrier work, but also from raising crops on his new farm and selling them to the local Asheville and Spartanburg markets. 

His son, Fritz Alexander Hipp, was the next to plant his roots on the farm and decided his focus would be on peaches. But the farm turned out to be the wrong environment for a peach orchard, which brought Fritz to then begin growing and selling apples. The farm quickly made its transition into a vigorous, but small scale, apple production operation, which is what it was known for for the next nearly 50 years thereafter. 

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And now, Bradley Farms provides Foothills Meats with fresh, pasture-raised pork every week. 

“Bradley Farms know and respect the animals,” Foothills owner Casey McKissick says. “They understand how the nutrient-cycling happens on the farm, so what we put into our bodies is very intentional—a little science and a little art.”

Foothills Meats chose to work closely with Bradley Farms because of their philosophy when it comes to how they raise and care for their animals and how closely it aligns with the philosophy at Foothills.

It is possible to responsibly love animals and love meat at the same time.

Nicole and Aaron Bradley are regenerative farmers, which means they use farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity, resulting in both carbon drawdown and an improved water cycle.

“We’re bettering our community, we’re bettering our bodies, and we’re changing our food system so that more animals are raised in the same fashion,” Aaron Bradley says.

Bradley Farms is committed to producing healthy foods, raising happy animals, and caring for our land—all of which are vital to what we’re trying to do at Foothills.

“It is possible to responsibly love animals and love meat at the same time,” McKissick says.