OUR 68 YEAR HISTORY
To take one back in time, this farm started with Cpt. Benjamin Kennedy in the early 1800’s with cotton, logging, and a grist mill, few cattle roamed the upper hills of South Carolina at this time. After the Civil War two more generations continued to live off the land and build this farm. Bannie Kennedy son of Benjamin raised six brothers and a sister after an early death of his father. Bannie had two girls one of which was Henneritta Kennedy, a woman of perseverance and much determination, Bannie, her father, died early leaving her with responsibility of continuing this operation.
The Fowler side of the family also contributed to Fowken Farm through family land as well. Three generations of cotton and dairy farming was put together with the marriage of Hettie and Buddy to create the Fowler, Kennedy farm know today as Fowken Farm. Hettie and Buddy merged these two operations to meet a new and growing industry in the South…THE CATTLE.
Absorbed in dominate cotton production over many decades the land was in need of improvement due to erosion of the land. Buddy Fowler saw the need for a change and highly eroded land was planted to forages to turn the soils to a productive state. From this change in management, the cattle program started to grow.
Polled Herefords were the breed of choice for Fowken Farm. Selling the commercial herd Fowler invested in the cattle he felt would work in this environment. As fate would have it, Buddy Fowler met a man looking for the same type of cattle as he and that gentlemen was Neal Trask of Palmetto Hereford Ranch. These two breeders became close friends for many decades. Both were inducted into the Polled Herford Hall of Fame for their foresight and improvement to the Polled Hereford breed. During their relationship they spent many hours together conferring on body confirmation, foraging ability, and correct bone structure. Over the years both Buddy and Mr. Trask swapped bulls and cows to help the other with their program.
FOWKEN FARM TODAY
Fowken Farm today has evolved from a grass roots based operation founded on the principals of the cattle’s ability to flesh easy on native grasses, raise a heavy muscle calf and breed back the same year, very basic principles. Still, today these traits are our benchmarks for sustainable beef production. Currently we are breeding 300 cows most of which are pure bred Polled Herefords that meet the commercial cattlemen’s needs. With that said, we still continue the pursuit of genetic improvement and excellence to insure future improvement. Using the tools offered by the American Hereford Association, Fowken Farms is able to improve our seed stock and commercial cattle in carcass quality and genetic merit.
Over the years our genetic base has allowed Fowken Farms to continue to concentrate and rely on the prepotency of our Battle Domino and Plato bred cattle. An examination of our herd bull battery will exhibit our faith in our breeding program. Over 90% of the bulls used today are Fowken bred bulls. While we are always looking to improve our cattle, we do introduce on occasion genetics that will improve our herd but not at the expense of compromising our management philosophy.
By line breeding our Fowken cattle we improve the predictability of our cattle under all conditions. In our breeding program we utilize all genetic improvement tools available. In making seed stock selections, we take a balanced approached in evaluating current EPD’s, carcass data and certainly visual appraisals are how we appraise our cattle. If we find animals in the registered Hereford herd that are not suited for seed stock they are transferred to our commercial herd breeding them to a select group of Angus bulls. This creates a strong market for the F1 female and calves for Certified Hereford beef. By doing this we trust we continue our goal of improving profitability of our genetics for their owners.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL FOWKEN BRED HEREFORD?
Moderate Frame and Easy Fleshing
Mature bulls 2000-2100 lbs. (frame 4.5 to 5.5)
Mature cows 1100-1400 lbs (frame 4.5 to 5.5)
Bull Calves weaning weight 625-750 lbs.
Heifer weaning weight 475-525 lbs.
Weaning and Yearling management:
Bull calves are fed a high roughage feed to select for gain and muscle expression
Replacement heifers are not fed any grain until weaning, then only for 30 days. After the 30 day conditioning period the replacement heifers are developed on a forage based program.
After the weaning process, calves are evaluated for weaning weights, structural soundness, muscling and disposition.
Heifers are out on open pasture and replacements are selected for fleshing ability, depth of body, disposition and dam’s performance. These requirements are paramount to the success of our purebred herd.
Fowken Farm has been established for 68 years and we look forward to many generations of our family continuing with the selection of quality Polled Hereford seed stock. Many changes have occurred over the years, some bad but many good ones. We still have improvements to make and will continue this journey. Our home and our gates are open to you and we welcome your visit.
Another page has turned and it brings another facet to hunting, we have made our lodge available to our guests. Our aim is to keep this experience very personal and enjoyable for our guests. Quality comes first with the fresh and relaxed atmosphere we provide. This is a new adventure and we are excited about having you visit this "Century Farm" which is nationally recognized.
For those of you interested in an affordable bird or deer hunt or a family getaway, this may be your place. We are about being as natural as possible with our wilderness resources.