Kevin Craun

Van Ike Farm      Mt. Crawford, Virginia

“It’s a sense of ownership and pride that goes along with being a small local co-op” — Kevin Craun, Van Ike Farm

Kevin is a third-generation farmer who has been farming full-time since he graduated from college 25 years ago. He raises commercial Angus and Angus cross cattle.  Mother cows are grazed and rotated between pastures.  Calves are raised on their mothers and grass until 7 to 8 months of age.  After weaning they are on pasture and a forage diet with a small amount of grain for 4 to 7 months.  At 13 to 16 months of age they are placed on a forage and grain diet for 120 to 150 days and finished.  This is in contrast to most Shenandoah Valley farms.  Most cattle are weaned at six to eight months and shipped elsewhere to be raised and finished on grain prior to slaughter.

Kevin practices rotational grazing, moving cows between pastures on a daily basis. This is healthier for the cows and the native grasses that feed them.  Van Ike Farm believes that by raising cattle locally you will save on transportation costs and reduce stress on the animals. In addition, Van Ike Farm does not use hormones on their cattle. All of these practices result in healthier meat for consumers.

Van Ike Farm is doing their part to protect and improve the water quality of the local watershed that eventually makes its way to the Chesapeake Bay. The Crauns voluntarily installed streamline fencing throughout their property. This not only protects water quality but also keeps the cows healthier.

In addition to beef, Van Ike Farm grows corn, soybeans, and barley.

“[When] farms get sold, they’re turned into houses. Once that happens the land doesn’t go back to farming. You can’t turn it back into farm land very cost-effectively.  So by supporting local farmers you’re supporting the local economy and helping to preserve rural areas.” — Kevin Craun, Van Ike Farm