Our History

Our story begins in 1872, when Nathan and Sarah Shipley purchased 115 acres of farmland beside Sarah’s family’s farmhouse in Vilas, NC.  Since then, the Shipley family has been breeding and raising premium quality beef on the family farm in the heart of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.  W.E. Shipley, Nathan’s son and R.G.’s father, brought the first registered Hereford bull into NC from Virginia in 1897, walking the bull behind a horse-drawn wagon.

W.E. Shipley,”Mr. Ed” as he was known to many, and his brother Huston had a well-deserved reputation for their farming and livestock expertise. They were both well respected for their knowledge of cattle, and their operations were often featured in the local paper, the Watauga Democrat. At one time they both owned multiple farms in the area, but the old Shipley Farm in Vilas was always a focal point of cattle trading in the agricultural community. The farm featured one of the more modern facilities in the region, including the first cattle scales in or around Watauga County, which any farmers in the area were invited to use.

In 2013, inspired by R.G.’s desire for a new adventure at 101 years old, we ventured out from raising livestock and began producing finished beef – making available to our friends and neighbors the same farm-raised meat we’ve fed our family for years.

Beginning with a commitment to quality, Shipley Farms Signature Beef is free of any added hormones or steroids, to provide you the same safe, clean, and delicious meat that has fed our family for generations. Our beef is never treated with antibiotics except in limited circumstances when medically necessary to treat a temporary illness – just as you do for your children.

Our cattle graze on lush, clover-rich mountain pastures which produces beef with higher levels of nutrients than conventional feedlot beef production.  They are supplemented with a vegetable based feed and dry aged for the best flavor, texture, tenderness, and marbling.