Riven Rock Farm
Chuck and LouAnn Neely
Though Chuck and Lou Ann Neely produce 100% grass-fed and finished meat, they see themselves as primarily grass farmers. “You have to have healthy pastures for your livestock. If you are taking care of your grass, the microbe activity, and creating healthy topsoil then all the rest falls into place,” says Chuck.
In the nineties, the Neely’s were among the first to raise purely grass-fed beef in Highland County. Though the couple followed a job back to Richmond for a while, the 2007 financial crisis made them rethink their decision and shortly after, the mountains called them back to Highland. They purchased a 180 acre farm in Halterman Hollow, just north of the town of Monterey with the dream of creating a sustainable operation promoting biodiversity and organically managing the balance of the meadows and hardwood forests on their land.
Over the course of their farming careers, Chuck and Lou Ann have been committed to raising quality heritage breed-livestock. They have raised Galloway cattle, Tamworth and Old Spot pigs, and Katahdin sheep, all of which are well suited to the cold winters and cool summers in Highland.
Their meat is processed at nearby Alleghany Meats. “We are lucky to have a local community owned agriculture center with a USDA processing facility located just minutes from our farm gate,” say Chuck. “Our cattle are born, raised, and finished on our farm, then are on a trailer for just minutes before they arrive to be processed at an Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) processing facility.”
Chuck and Lou Ann have a passion for local food, the local food movement, and Highland County. They like to share that passion and have two lodging options on their property available to visitors to the area. The Laurel Run Cabin is stocked with plenty of modern conveniences, but also allows visitors to experience Highland County and the hills that comprise the farm. Their newly completed Rainbow Springs Retreat includes an 1870’s log house and plenty of space for fly fishing, with 6 ponds and a half-mile of trout stream.
Please contact Chuck and Lou Ann Neely for more information about their certified grass-fed lamb. Riven Rock lamb can be found at the Alleghany Meats’ Market as well as by contacting the Neely’s directly. The Neely’s also own and operate a mobile sawmill rental business. Lodging at either their Laurel Run Cabin or Rainbow Springs Retreat is available by appointment.