Life on the farm
Bent Tree Farms is located on 780 beautiful acres in southeastern Oklahoma. Our purpose is to provide locally grown, naturally pastured meats in an ethical system that benefits the animals, the environment, and the people involved.
We mimic the movement of wild herd animals by moving our livestock at least once per day to fresh grass. A mix of grasses, forbs, and trees is encouraged to grow in our pastures to provide a diverse diet for our animals. They are provided with clean water and organically approved minerals but never any grain. Our contented animals live their entire lives here at the farm, and we are confident of the wholesome goodness of the meat they provide for you and your family.
Our Pledge To You
- Our beef and lamb is 100% grass fed and finished. We feed no grain, ever.
- Raised in a manner that allows the animals to express their natural instincts.
- Utilization of regenerative, soil-building, nature-complimenting practices.
- Handled using low-stress, humane techniques.
- 100% transparency, integrity, and satisfaction guaranteed
- Authentically raised: no steroids, growth hormones, antibiotics, animal byproducts, grains, GMOs, or feedlots.
- Our chickens are raised on pasture and moved to fresh, green grass daily. They forage for bugs, grass, and eat locally-milled, non-GMO feed.
- You are purchasing straight from a small, local business. We are the farmers who directly care for the animals. We don’t have a middleman or big marketing company.
- We're a conception-to-finish farm. From day one our animals never leave our care.
Conception To Finish
First Phase of Life
We know that raising the best beef begins before the conception of a calf. For our cows and bulls, we select animals that are fertile, fit our environment, and produce calves that grow well into quality beef. We want an animal that will thrive on mother’s milk and grass. This ensures sustainability in our operation. We raise our own bulls, many of which we have hand-selected from our herd. We allow natures method of “natural selection” to determine which animals will do best in our system.
Middle Phase of Life
After a nine month gestation, our cows begin calving in late April to early May, when the grass is green and temperatures are warm. We time our calving to occur when the native ruminants (deer in our case) are giving birth. This gives the cow and calf the best chance for a low-stress start to life. We check our calving cows several times a day when calving has started, but allow nature and a cow’s mothering instincts to take the lead. We ensure quality management of the cow that gives the new mom the best chance at raising a healthy calf. The new baby calf will primarily nurse from its mom and will naturally begin nibbling on grass at a couple weeks of age when it’s ready.
When the calves get to be around 8-9 months old, we wean them off of their mothers. At this time of life, the calves’ primary diet is grass. They will continue to grow for another year or so, before they are considered ready for finishing.
Final Phase of Life
It takes time and quality forage to produce a proper grass-finished animal. We work hard to be continually improving our soils and grasses to decrease the amount of time it takes to finish an animal. We wait until the beef is properly finished before we send it to the processor. When it is time for the life of one of our animals to end, we take every measure ensure that it is a lows-stress and thoughtful process. We use a small, local, family-owned processor. We take them knowing that they have been treated responsibly, and we do so with respect and reverence for the life-giving sustenance they provide.
Born with nature when the sun is warm and the grasses are lush
Hereford cattle were selected as the breed of choice for Bent Tree Farms. We picked specific lines within the breed that would thrive and fatten on grass only, rather than in a feedlot. We enjoy the gentle temperament, adaptability, and outstanding meat quality of this breed.
Our sheep are a combination of Katahdin, Dorper, St. Croix, and Florida Native. With intentional breeding, we've developed a flourishing flock that results in a superior lamb product. You can find the sheep grazing alongside our cattle, complimenting the bovines by foraging for a variety of forbs, grasses, and brush that the cows do not readily eat.
Our chickens are seasonally raised on pasture. They begin their lives in a warm, secure brooder for a couple of weeks, and then transition outside to the fresh air where their new home is a portable shelter that is moved daily to fresh pasture. The birds have the opportunity to forage for all the bugs, worms, and grass they could want, and we also offer them locally-milled, non-GMO feed. After about eight weeks, we process our chickens in small batches, with tremendous care, right here on our farm.
If you are located in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas or Missouri, and want to know more about our methods and practices or are interested in reliable seedstock for your operation, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Our wellness begins within the soil. Healthy food comes from healthy, living soil. At Bent Tree Farms, we strive to constantly improve the health of our soils. In line with the management practices of our livestock, we do not use chemicals for fertilizer or weed control. Our solution for a natural fertilizer is utilizing our animals and our carefully managed grazing strategies to bring our soils to life with microbial activity. Living, thriving soil is foundational to producing healthy, nutrient-dense food.
Dr. Mark Marchbanks
A lifelong fascination with the ability of nature to sustain us has culminated in the vision Dr. Marchbanks has for Bent Tree Farms. Along with his wife, Susan, a certified Master Naturalist, the Marchbanks are interested in promoting local foods as well as foods that are produced without harmful chemicals being involved. You are not only what you eat, but also what has been eaten by your source of food. Our food must be protected from the use of poisons so as to protect those that it sustains.
“When I open a package of meat from Bent Tree Farms, I know what is in it and, just as importantly, what is not in it.”
As manager of Bent Tree Farms, Jonathan oversees daily operations of the farm. His passion for practicing agriculture began when he was just a boy growing up on his family’s farm in upstate New York. Then, in 2013, he had the honor of apprenticing at Polyface Farm in Swoope, VA. While there, he continued to develop his animal husbandry skills and met his future bride, Miriam. The pair married in 2017 and welcomed their first son, Cal, the following year.
The Kilpatricks see farming as so much more than an occupation – it is a lifestyle led by dedication, ethics, and heart. They are passionate about stewarding the land in a holistic way that honors the biological cycles set forth by our Creator, and they highly value integrity, intentionality, and transparency in the way they farm.