Since 1969, Moira Burke and her family have raised beef cattle on their family farm, west of Dixon in Solano County. Here, her sons grew up doing farm chores, raising animals and dining on “grass-fat” beef, as it was then called. Family and friends raved about this delicious “grass-fat” beef they served at their table.
Moira’s passion for both plants and animals inspired the business name of “Agricola: flora et fauna.” Emphasizing sustainable production, Agricola produces specialty tree crops, grass/clover hay and high quality grass fed (and finished) beef. Additionally, the farm facilitates wildlife habitat with native plantings and nest boxes.
With 12 years experience in beef cattle research at UC Davis, during which time she specialized in live animal evaluation and carcass quality, Moira emphasizes growing Angus steers with the qualities that produce a superior carcass at under two years of age. Moira’s son, Barry Tanaka, who is her partner in Agricola, has an undergraduate degree in Agroecology and Biology and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering in addition to his experiential farm-based education growing up on the farm. He is a civil engineer in San Francisco, working in environmental hydrology and ecological restoration.
Moira and Barry believe that the healthiest, most flavorful beef is that which is raised in an environmentally sustainable and humane manner along with a high quality, natural diet. Agricola grass-fed steers feed solely on rich irrigated pastures of grasses, clovers and trefoil grown without pesticides, chemical fertilizers or herbicides. Agricola grass-fed steers are never fed antibiotics, hormones or other supplements.
Just as in prairies and meadows, Agricola pasture builds soil, sequesters carbon and recharges groundwater. Via rotational grazing, their steers enjoy this rich, natural diet and healthy growing environment, with continually fresh grazing and freedom of movement. Quiet, unstressed animals are relaxed, grow better and enjoy better health. Along with daily monitoring, humane treatment is paramount in Agricola’s husbandry practices.
Truly sustainable agriculture is not only a function of production methods, but also connects with the overall environment and local community. To that end, Agricola raises their grass fed beef responsibly and markets only within the bountiful Bay Area region.
Moira is a member of Slow Food Solano County, and serves on the Solano County Agricultural Advisory Committee. Moira and Barry hope that you find your Agricola grass-fed beef as wholesome and fulfilling to eat as they do to raise for you.