Evans Mill Cattle Company at Windy Hill Farm is part of the Bluegrass’s rare natural occurring woodland pastures geographic region. Created by a combination of drought and grazing by American bison sometime before the permanent settlement of the region, woodland pastures remain a valuable feature of our ecosystem today.
When farmers began moving in to the Bluegrass, the woodland pastures provided instant grazing land for livestock. Cattle and sheep came first, and the horse industry began to develop in the early 1800s. The farmers had no need to clear the land because it was already open enough for grazing, the shade provided by the huge trees benefited the livestock and preserved the habitat for indigenous wildlife.
E. Lucy Braun, the renowned botanist who wrote Deciduous Forests of Eastern North America, described the woodland pastures of the Bluegrass as “most anomalous vegetation area of the eastern United States”. There exists no habitat like this anywhere else in North America.
Our goal at Evans Mill Cattle Company is to raise top quality cattle, while protecting the natural balance of grasslands and wildlife. Our cattle rotate among 200 acres of pastures. Through a grant from the Federal Natural Resources Conservation Service we have been able to renovate all of our pastures, build safe stream crossings and install protective fencing around our lake, woodland and wetland areas. To support our commitment to land conservation, we placed our farm in the Fayette County Protected Development Program, with a permanent conservation easement.
An additional element in maintaining the balance between raising livestock and conserving wildlife is managing predators. Coyotes have traditionally presented a problem to farmers. Recently, black vultures, a federally protected bird, rapidly growing in numbers, have become a more dangerous problem. To protect our new calves from these vicious predators, we have begun breeding Sivas Kangal guardian dogs. To learn more about them, please visit our Livestock Guardian Dogs page.
Evans Mill Cattle Company is owned and managed by Marc A. Guilfoil and Elisabeth Jensen. Marc is the Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and a lifelong cattleman from Glasgow, Kentucky. Elisabeth Jensen is the Executive Vice President of the Kentucky Equine Education Project and serves on the Fayette County Rural Land Management Board. She is also the President of the Kangal Dog Club of America.