Our Farm Story
Hi! I’m Steven Simms, the founder and farmer at The Rural Urban Connection or TRUC for short. In March of 2020, the world as we knew it was falling apart because of COVID. We were entering the first lock-down, my job was at risk, and the store shelves were empty of meat (and toilet paper). I started wondering what to do if things did not get better soon and how I would feed my family.
I grew up on a farm, but now we live in Dunwoody, a suburb of Atlanta. I didn’t have a solution for toilet paper, but I wanted to make sure we would not run out of food. I started by planting a garden in our backyard in Dunwoody, but lettuce and tomatoes only get you so far. I wanted to find my family a reliable source of meat.
While sitting at my desk one day, I thought I could create that supply of meat from the people I knew from growing up on a farm in Culloden, Georgia.
Then it hit me! If I could find a reliable source of meat for my family, there would be many other families, my friends and neighbors, that would be really relieved and helped to find a supplier of locally-raised beef. So, I started making some calls…
My first plan was to work with local farmers and have them raise the cows to become tasty, locally-raised beef. I found out quickly that this wasn’t as easy as I thought.
Most farmers in Georgia sell their cattle at auction, about 12 months before they are ready to be tender, tasty beef with good marbling (fat inside the meat).
Also, without a big annual purchase commitment, farmers weren’t willing to take a chance on a new business. In addition, most of the farmers who raised cattle to a finished condition (marbling) did so by feeding them lots of corn and grain, like the big feedlot operations that produce most beef in the US.
I wanted to produce great-tasting, healthy, grass-fed beef. So, now I realized I would need to produce my own grass-fed beef…
Most beef in the US lives the last half of its life in a feedlot.
Our beef comes from cattle that have lived on pasture, eating grass, their entire lives.
I spent the next month learning how to run a grass-finishing beef farm in Georgia. I researched what it would take to raise the cattle from a newborn calf, through weaning and finishing. After researching and talking with a number of farmers, I decided I needed to manage the farming to be able to produce high-quality, grass-fed beef.
Then I started learning what would be needed to get the beef to my customers. At first, I thought about using another company to manage all the logistics; taking animals to be processed, picking up the meat in cold-storage trucks, packaging, and shipping from frozen warehouses. I soon realized this would be very expensive and make it almost impossible for our new venture to be successful. Also, shipping beef to homes would mean lots of packaging waste and fuel use.
So I started thinking of the different ways to get meat to the people in Atlanta who needed it. Local delivery from our farm to a smaller section of Atlanta, near our home, seems to be the best fit for our new farm venture. Finally, it was time to get started...
I worked on developing a business plan and reaching out to local farmers for a few months to find land to rent. Some of our time was spent coming up with a name.
Our farm name, The Rural Urban Connection, describes our desire to bring high-quality, healthy products direct from our family-run farm, to Metro-Atlanta homes.
A family farm is where I grew up. My parents, both sets of grandparents, and several families of cousins all live on or near the farm. Most of the land is pine and hardwood trees. My dad raises cattle on some of the pasture lands.
Our farm is 60 miles south of Atlanta and 30 miles north of Macon near Culloden. When we deliver our grass-fed beef to your family it has traveled less than 100 miles total.
My family’s life is a connection between the rural and urban communities. I’ve worked in the Atlanta business community for 15 years while helping on our family farm. Now, I can better connect the two. But first I have to find farmland…
My father raises cattle on part of our family farm. And after several conversations and writing out a business plan we came up with an agreement where I can add some cattle to the herd on his land. We spent nights and weekends over several months repairing fence and building new electric fence on his farm to get ready to add grass-finishing to the farm operations. We currently farm 100 acres on our family's farm and have access to make hay on several other areas.
My great-grandfather’s cattle brands (we don’t brand anymore). Handmade in the 1920’s.
Building electric fence with my dad. The gas powered fence post driver was a life saver!
The little ones love playing in the back of trucks on the farm!
We are currently working to expand the area we are able to farm. Our customers love our regeneratively raised, 100% grass-fed beef and we need more pasture to be able to serve them.
We are looking for nearby land owners who want to lease their land and allow us to graze cattle on it. Our hope is that our farming will enable land owners to keep their land, have it maintained, while our farming can improve the soils and ecosystems we are able to manage.
Our management does not use regular use of pesticides and herbicides, but instead uses holistic planned grazing to revitalize the land.
We are thankful for the land owners who trust us to farm their land.
Our mission is to connect our neighbors in and around Atlanta with rural Georgia’s best grass-fed beef grown on our family farm.
The Rural Urban Connection will deliver top-quality beef to your door. Our family has been raising cattle for 4 generations and we added grass-finished beef in 2020. We are delivering our grass-fed, Georgia-grown beef for and hope to start shipping to all of Georgia in 2024.
Meet Your Farmers
Steven and Hannah are the founders of The Rural Urban Connection.
Steven is a fourth-generation cattle farmer (in Georgia our farms typically aren’t big enough to be ranches). His upper management and better half is Hannah. They have 3 kids (the 5th generation) and they love to help out at the farm.
Steven grew up on his family farm and it has been a dream of his to have a farm business that brings high-quality food to the public. These ideas have included mushrooms, veggies, and ornamental plants. If our grass-fed beef takes off - there may be new farm products coming to our site in the future.
Steven’s parents are key partners to our farm. They are the first farmers of TRUC and live on the farm.
Dale grew up on the former family cattle ranch in Florida. After moving the family farm to Georgia in the 1970s, he and my grandfather continued to raise cattle and for many years raised about 100,000 chickens each year. He knows more about cattle than I ever will.
Both of my parents are key to the daily care of the cattle and were our first leased farm partners. We are so thankful for them and make our farm possible.
Thank you Mom & Dad!
We hope you will become part of our farm’s story of evolution and our extended family.
We are 4th generation cattle farmers and include the (hopefully) 5th generation in caring for our cattle. Caring for cattle means taking care of and improving the land we farm. For us, that means taking steps to capture more carbon in the soil to improve it every year using natural farming methods.
Our farming practices are very different from the conventional agriculture used to raise most of the beef available in grocery stores. This includes regular rotational grazing, soil improving practices, planting perennial and annual crops for our cattle, and more.
Keep reading to learn a bit more about our beef and what makes it different.
Some of our beef bundle options...
We produce grass-fed, craft beef for local consumers. Our beef comes from our own grass-fed, cows.
Raised and processed less than 100 miles from our customers, our beef’s carbon footprint is low.
Our cattle come from breeds known to produce great beef on an all-grass diet. Our primary breed is the Red Devon, which are known for producing gourmet beef on grass. Over the next years our herd will become 50%+ Red Devon as we see what types of cross-breeds produce the best grass-fed beef in our environment.
Delivery is available for customers in our current delivery areas (basically Decatur to Alpharetta). If you aren’t in a delivery area, we will be at 2-3 local farmers’ markets and you can pick up there.
Regenerative agriculture is the goal of our farming practices, so we can keep our land and cows healthy and provide you healthy and environmentally sustainable beef. To learn more about our farming practices, see our blog articles and FAQs.
All of our beef comes from cattle that we raise or from family farms we evaluate and trust how they are raising their cattle. We are working towards becoming a zero-waste farm. That means using all the cuts of meat that come from our cattle. Since we are a small, family farm that means we cannot sell just steaks. To make sure we use all the meat on a cow, we are selling in bundles of beef.
There are multiple bundles available and if you cannot find one that meets your needs, please send us a message. We created our popular "Carnivore Bundle" after hearing from one of our regulars, Jack.
We offer delivery to customers in and around our home in Dunwoody. To keep our fuel use lower, we deliver 2 days per week to different zones. We will work with you to get your delivery scheduled.
In 2023 we were at 4 local farmers markets (Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Crabapple / Milton). If you aren’t in a delivery zone, you can come pick up at a farmers market.
We now sell all of our premium steak cuts only in bundles. This is to reward our customers who help us not waste meat from our cattle.