Although Hamid Markazi’s family owned a farm when he was growing up, he only gained limited hands on experience with farming and chose a different career in geology and environmental engineering. It wasn’t until later on in his life that Hamid and his wife decided to purchase some land in McHenry County, Illinois, and built a house and a barn. The Markazis maintained a couple of pastures for their daughters to keep and ride their horses, and decided to introduce some other farm animals to develop their farming experience. “As the kids moved on to college to pursue their undergraduate and later graduate degrees, we began to focus on expanding our farming business,” says Hamid.
Today, the Markazis own a total of 167 acres in McHenry County and are certified by Animal Welfare Approved for beef cattle. “We have 120 acres which are being used to grow corn while the remaining includes pastures, ponds, wooded areas, farm buildings,” says Hamid. “We purchased more land over the past few years and spent a lot of time and effort to improve it by repairing field drainage systems, removing unwanted trees and creating pasture, demolishing the crumbling old farm buildings and repairing the remaining that were in relatively good shape.”
In 2011, Hamid established their beef cattle herd after purchasing 10 polled Hereford cows. “Currently, we have 14 cows, eight steers, four heifers, and two bulls,” Hamid explains “I have always been interested in raising cattle and, through the years, I have read and seen enough of the operation to feel comfortable to get involved with raising beef cattle myself. I believe with my academic and experienced background in environmental geology, knowledge in raising beef cattle, and access to the required equipment and land, I could provide high quality beef for our consumers while improving the treatment of animals and protecting the environment.”
Presently the Markazis are only selling animals primarily to Plum River Farm of Pearl City, IL, which is also certified by AWA. “Next year, however, we are planning on expanding our vendor list,” Hamid explains.