Farmer Angus dedicated to reviving the way farming used to be
Angus McIntosh is dedicated to reviving the way farming used to be before the days of chemical fertilisers, herbicides, anti-biotics and GMO.
He runs the Farmer Angus business on a 126-hectare farm overlooking the Spier Wine Estate near Stellenbosch.
The farm is named Ezibusisweni, meaning "the place of blessings" in Zulu.
It is one of two exclusively grass-fed, pasture-reared cattle farms found in the Western Cape. Farmer Angus practices a technique called regenerative agriculture, which values the life of the animals and the land they graze on.
According to McIntosh, this form of artisanal livestock farming offers a protein source that is high in nutrition and free of any hormones, antibiotics or chemicals.
"In a fast-paced society, what we eat, how it was made and where it originated from doesn't often cross our busy minds. Over the years farming has evolved so much to keep up with the demands of modern day living, it's resulted in the world's food production facing a crisis," says McIntosh.
"There is a massive disconnect from the natural world and most importantly the origin of our food source. But this is changing. Driven by the desire to return to a "non-corporatised", non-mechanised relationship with the earth and animals, the artisan farmer is making a comeback."
Stockbroker to farmer
McIntosh has not always been a farmer. What started out as a way to live off the land to feed him and his family, has ended up evolving into something much greater than he could ever have imagined.
Growing up in a farming family, he learnt from his father, who owned a conventional cattle farm in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Years later, and after meeting his wife, Mariota, McIntosh pursued a lucrative career in London at one of the world's biggest banks, Goldman Sachs.
"But as many South Africans who move abroad and start a family can attest to, is the strong calling to return home to offer their kids the chance to grow up close to nature under the African sun," explains McIntosh.
In 2008, the Farmer Angus brand was born. They farmed beef, pork, chicken and eggs. McIntosh also devoted much of his time to studying permaculture. And so, instead of following the conventional route his father took, he chose to apply biodynamic and regenerative farming practices and principles. As an experiment, vegetables were also planted.
None of his meat contains gluten, MSG, GMO, nitrites, nitrates, antibiotics or hormones.