Hamid Markazi raises Certified AWA beef cattle on pasture at D Central Farms in Woodstock, Illinois. Although Hamid’s family owned a farm when he was growing up, he gained limited hands-on experience with farming, and chose a 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, IL, and build 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, we began to focus on expanding our farming business,” says Hamid.
The Markazis currently own 167 acres in McHenry County and their beef cattle are certified by AWA and American Grassfed Association. “We have about 100 acres which is used to grow corn and soy beans—the remaining includes pastures, ponds, wooded areas, and farm buildings,” says Hamid. “We have purchased more land over the past few years and have invested a lot of time and energy improving it. We’ve repaired field drainage systems, removed unwanted trees, created pasture, demolished farm buildings we couldn’t save, and repaired the remaining buildings that were in relatively good shape.”
In 2011, Hamid established their beef cattle herd after purchasing 10 certified polled Hereford cows, and they now maintain 30 head of cows, steers, heifers, and bulls. “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,” says Hamid. “Drawing on my academic background in environmental geology, my knowledge of raising beef cattle, and my access to the required equipment and land, my goal is to provide high quality beef for our consumers while improving the treatment of animals and protecting the environment.”