Cobb Creek Farm began in 2012 when Cody Smith, weary of the corporate world, left a career in debt restructuring and turned to sustainable farming. Cody and his long-time business partner Andrew Herrala now operate nearly 1000 acres with one lofty goal: to revolutionize the pasture-based livestock industry.
Farm Owner & Visionary
Cody, a life-long entrepreneur, c0-founded and worked for many years at a large corporate bankruptcy and restructuring practice in Orlando, Florida. He achieved financial success but grew weary of the corporate world, realizing that he wanted to do work that benefited the land and other people. In 2012, Cody hung up the corporate hat and moved his family to Texas in search of the perfect ranch. He found that ranch in Hillsboro and, with the help of long-time business partner Andrew Herrala, created Cobb Creek Farm.
Cody is blessed with a wonderful daughter, Vivian, and is lifelong friends with her mother, Lauren. Both are amazing athletes: Lauren is a three-time Ironman Triathlon world champion, and Vivian is a talented martial artist and cheerleader.
Ranch Manager, Grass-Fed Cattle
Ian grew up on 260 acres of farmland in northern Missouri. Ian learned much from his father, grazing guru Jim Gerrish, who served for twenty years as superintendent of University of Missouri's extension at Linneus. Under Jim's direction, the Linneus extension center ran groundbreaking studies on animal performance, grass health and soil health. Ian learned about grass and cattle at his father's elbow, watching Jim implement many of the ideas pioneered at Linneus on the family farm.
After graduating high school, Ian remodeled houses, built airport runways, and engineered fences before joining Cobb Creek Farm as Ranch Manager in June of 2013. He and Cody also co-own a fence and water design company. Ian and his wife, Billie, live on one of the Cobb Creek properties with their two boys, Ruger and Rawley.
Farm Manager, Pastured Poultry & Grass-Fed Sheep
Grady grew up on a ranch in southwest Oklahoma where his father operates stocker steers and a commercial hair sheep flock. Grady's father taught him about holistic farm management and exposed him to holistically-minded authors and farmers. After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a B.S in Zoology, Grady accepted a year-long apprenticeship at Polyface Farm to learn directly from one of his favorite farmer-authors, Joel Salatin.
Grady returned to Oklahoma after his apprenticeship to farm alongside his father, mother and new bride, Erin, whom he'd met at Polyface Farm. In addition to day jobs and farming, Grady and Erin built a direct-market business selling raw milk, pastured poultry (meat and eggs), grass-fed lamb and beef, and pastured pork. In 2011, a devastating drought kindled a wild fire that claimed 75% of their grass. Sadly, their business was hit too hard to recover.
Not to be deterred, the Phelans accepted a position managing Briarmoor, a Polyface rental farm in Middlebrook, Virginia. They ran 300 cattle, 100 pigs and 1,700 laying hens, and produced and processed 5500 broilers (chicken for meat) and 600 turkeys each year. Grady and Erin returned to Oklahoma after two seasons at Briarmoor, where Grady taught chemistry at Ponca City High School until joining Cobb Creek Farm in June 2013. Grady manages the poultry and sheep enterprises and helps out with the cattle. He and Erin are blessed with two sons, Ralph and Benno.
Production Manager, Pastured Poultry
Dan Coady manages our pastured poultry program. He came to Hillsboro in December 2016 with his wife Ana and two young daughters with one on the way.
Cobb Creek Farm strives to offer the best in grass-fed meat and pastured poultry. That’s why we practice management-intensive and high density grazing, a system that not only preserves the land, it actually improves the soil’s fertility and isn’t dependent on chemical fertilizers or other additives. We build up the soil through manure, an intense cover crop program and native, seasonal pasture plants. Our method combines ecological enhancement with economic success, using animals to restore balance and life to the land.
Cobb Creek Farm is a Pharo Cattle Company Cooperator. The Pharo Cattle Company custom grazes cattle for clients, offers a replacement heifer program, and finishes grass-fed beef. Our poultry operation is currently raising 600 pastured Cornish Cross birds per week and we are in the process of building an inspected poultry processing facility—the second of its kind in Texas. In an effort to become even more sustainable, we have a breeding flock of Delaware chickens that is certified by the Sustainable Poultry Network. Day-old chicks and started pullets go on sale Spring 2015! Our goal with the breeding flock is to breed a better chicken for use on pasture systems. We also have a commercial flock of Dorper hair sheep. Farming and Education are very important to Cody, Ian and Grady, and we hope to kickstart many young farmers with our one-of-a-kind apprenticeship program.
The organic and sustainable sector of the farming industry is experiencing the most rapid growth in Texas, and Cobb Creek Farm foresees that in the near future, our chickens will show up up in CSA shares, restaurants and farm stores from Houston to Dallas. Stay tuned to our blog and social media to track our progress as we continue to build the soil and availability of sustainably-raised, grass-fed meat.