Farm’s Angus operation gives tourists in Eureka Springs, Ark., a taste of the Ozarks

Terra Rosa Farm is a breathtaking, beautiful 500-acre farm located in Carroll County, Ark., just a stone’s throw away from the popular Victorian resort village of Eureka Springs.

The Ozark Mountains cradle the farm, which boasts magnificent 360-degree vistas of the area.

Terra Rosa’s black Angus roam freely over the rolling hills, abundant lush grasses and clean spring water. The farm offers all-natural black Angus beef and organically grown vegetables. In addition to steak (filet, ribeye, club), the Terra Rosa label can also be found on their roast (shoulder, arm, rump), ground beef, short ribs regular and spicy summer sausage.

The farm is owned by Shelley King Theis, a veterinarian and master gardener originally from Kansas City, Kan., whose dream was to live in the country. Shelley has enthusiastically embraced her duties as chief organic seed shopper and garden co-designer at Terra Rosa. Phil Brandt is also is a staple at Terra Rosa. He operates the tractors, restores barns and maximizes the water source.

Ranch manager, horticulturist, guitarist, photographer and native of Pierce City, Mo., Greg Swift, oversees the day-to-day operation at the farm, while his wife Kristy, a native New Zealander and master gardener, tends the organic vegetables in the garden. The couple has two young girls, Willow and Ella, who thrive on the country life at Terra Rosa.

They offer a variety of fresh vegetables including salad greens, tomatoes of many varieties, peppers (hot and sweet types) earthy fresh potatoes, culinary herbs and much more. The Swift’s also found a large amount of Morrell mushrooms this year which brought a good price at market and Greg is cultivating truffles from the roots of Oak trees as well.

Everything at Terra Rosa is 100 percent natural.

“I wholeheartedly believe that many of the health issues that plague people today are from the food we consume,” Greg explained. “Here at Terra Rosa, we do everything as healthy as possible. We don’t use any herbicides, hormones or antibiotics, which is hard to do and labor intensive but it’s well worth the effort.”

Terra Rosa recently purchased several cow/calf pairs and are fattening up some steers for sale. They also plan to offer registered bulls as herd sire prospects. They also have plans for a newly-acquired bull. They plan to collect semen that they will be offered for sale. Greg does all of the AI work on the farm and is contemplating incorporating South Poll cattle into the existing Angus herd.

“They’re very similar to an Angus,” Greg noted.

The hornless breed is heat tolerant, docile, fertile with great longevity, efficient, very hearty and have short legs that would be well suited to the hilly country at the farm.

In 2008, a significant, life changing event that would ultimately alter the course of Greg’s career and life took place while he was working for Grassland Consultants in Newtonia, Mo. He looked up one day and witnessed a half-a-mile-wide tornado heading straight for the farm.

“All you could see was an ominous and terrifying wall coming right for us,” Greg recalled. “My neighbor drove up in his truck screaming. You could see the telephone poles falling one-by-one, for a mile-and-a- half. Cows were literally falling from the sky. Luckily, I made it to the dairy shed just in time. I put my two guitars, my dog and my briefcase in the bathroom and when it hit, it leveled my entire house. The only thing left was the bathroom. It took everything I owned.”

Later, the young couple had an opportunity to move to Kristy’s homeland in New Zealand, so they packed up and left the U.S. In New Zealand the young couple owned and operated Swift Farm, a dairy operation, for eight years before returning to the states.

“The lifestyle brought us back to the U.S.,” Kristy said. “Work on the dairy farm was 24/7 and we wanted more time with our little girls. We also have family in Pierce City, Mo., and we wanted to spend time with Greg’s parents.”

Greg’s work at Terra Rosa is basically sun-up-to-sun-down.

Two-hundred and forty acres of the farm is forest and the remainder are pasture. During the fall and spring, Greg plants rye and the rest of the pasture is fescue, alfalfa, red and white clover and orchard grasses. He finishes the cows on alfalfa and corn.

Greg’s daily focus is to ensure the herd is healthy and meets their high standards for the customers.

“We sell to local restaurants in Eureka Springs, and they like their beef marbled so we accommodate the consumer,” Greg explained. “Today people like grass-fed beef.”

There’s also always work to be done on the greenhouse and he’s currently putting in a sink for washing vegetables. They recently drilled a well at the top of the property that irrigates both the garden and orchard.

At Terra Rosa, their goal and intention is to nourish the soils, which will nourish the vegetables, orchards and cattle, which will nourish the people who eat their food. Stewardship is the word they hope to live by.


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