The Baggett Family Farm: Its History and Philosophy
The History of the Baggett Family Farm
In 1837, Great-Grandfather Adam Stack bought the original tract of land that has become the Baggett Family Farm. His son-in-law, Grandfather Henry Warren Baggett, added to it in 1877. Those parcels totaled about 185 acres.
Phil Baggett’s father, Roy Phillip Baggett, bought an adjoining 160 acres in 1947. The Phil Morris Baggett family inherited both farms and gradually added adjoining parcels bringing the total area to about 422 acres.
Approximately 300 acres are planted in a range of warm- and cool-season grasses chosen to provide near year-round grass for our cattle to graze.
When the Baggetts started farming this land in 1837 it was devoted to producing tobacco, and other row crops such as corn, soybeans, and wheat. Because they had used conventional cultivation practices, these crops required a high level of pesticide and herbicide applications in order to be productive
With rolling topography and the clay soil types on the farm’s land, avoiding soil erosion and high losses of soil fertility while row cropping without adding large amounts of chemical fertilizer was very difficult.
Phil and Kathy Baggett started the transformation to grass-fed farming in 2007 in an effort to heal and improve the land while producing wholesome products of which they could be proud. They believe the animal protein portion of our diet should come from livestock raised on their natural diet and one not containing added hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, or other additives. For beef, that means rotational grazing on high-quality grass provided in non-confined, open pastures.
All soils in the United States have been mapped and classified by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). The soil on our farm is classified primarily as Dickson and Baxter in type, which in turn is characterized by its high clay content. As mentioned above, with the rolling topography of our land, it is prone to erosion and the planting of grass greatly minimizes the likelihood of topsoil loss.
Using effective, rotational grazing management practices and the right combination of warm- and cool-season grasses requires less input of chemical fertilizers and fossil fuels. Not feeding concentrated grains further reduces our carbon footprint to well below that of traditionally finished cattle.
We were raised to believe our good name was the result of our behavior and how we treated people. Growing and selling our cattle locally in greater Middle Tennessee and south central Kentucky supports our commitment to personal service and customer satisfaction.
To paraphrase an ancient Indian proverb, “The land is not a gift from our parents but a loan from our children.” By that wise measure, the current borrowers are Phil and Kathy Baggett. Phil grew up on the farm and graduated from The University of Tennessee majoring in Agricultural Economics. Like so many farm kids, he reluctantly left the farm. He has planned a return for many years.
His wife, Kathy, is an accountant who worked for Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young) until their first child, Brittany, was born in 1984. Their second daughter, Brooke, was born in 1989.
Kathy and Phil’s goal is for the farm to support a healthful and enjoyable lifestyle while producing foods that are naturally delicious and nutritionally superior products for themselves, their children, and others. Being good stewards of our land and the cattle we are raising is essential to us. This philosophy makes sense from personal, environmental, and business standpoints. Our desire is to have our children (and theirs!) appreciate the land and our proud heritage.