Cooks Venture Plants Extensive Forest Pasture Throughout Pasture-Raised Poultry Operation in Northwest Arkansas

DECATUR, Ark., June 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Cooks Venture, one of the nation’s leading poultry and heritage pasture farming companies, announces the planting of a large silvopasture, more than 20,000 trees, hazelnuts and fruit trees through its network of poultry farms. Through this initiative, the company is advancing its commitment to regenerative agriculture and working to create a better food system for the future.

In the practice of agroforestry – mixing trees with crop production – silvopasture integrates trees, pasture and fodder into one system. The incorporation of trees particularly improves land health and significantly increases carbon sequestration.

Cooks Venture worked with the visionary Mark Shepard from Development of restoration agriculture (RAD). He and his RAD team worked with Cooks Venture to plant 20,000 hazel saplings in their network of chicken farms. “Hazelnut is one of the few plants that can tolerate the quantity and quality of nutrients in poultry droppings, and poultry love to hang out in the bushes, eat the hazelnuts and all the insects associated with those shrubs,” says Mark Shepard. The Cooks Venture project was the largest tree planting on a poultry farm by their organization. “We are proud to work with Cooks Venture and plan to transform many more chicken farms in the near future.”

“We are on a mission to improve the food system in all its dimensions – for farmers, animals, people and the planet through regenerative agriculture. This first planting of silvograzing is just the beginning. We will continue to planting trees on an annual basis on both our farm and our poultry network, as this is a key part of our regeneration program,” says CEO and Founder of Cooks Venture Matthew Wadiak.

Research suggests that pastures dotted with trees sequester five to ten times more carbon than those of the same size without trees, storing carbon in both biomass and soil. These new plantations will sequester more than 960,000 pounds of carbon over the coming year. Carbon aside, the benefits of silvograzing are considerable, including protection from aerial predators, protection from sun and heat, biodiversity and pollinator habitats, fruit and nut fodder, and increased insect activity.

Cooks Venture breeds and raises a slow-growing heritage chicken, with the health of the animal and the health of the environment in mind. “As with everything we do, it all comes back to the breed. Our chickens are bred to thrive outdoors, spending their lives in pasture eating insects and native foliage and soon, nuts,” says Wadiak.

At the end of 2020, Cooks Venture also planted nine small orchards, including pears, stone fruit and the rare heirloom Arkansas black apple alongside hazelnuts and chestnuts on their 800 acre farm in Northwest Arkansas.

Learn more about Cooks Venture at


Cooks Venture is a vertically integrated food, livestock and agriculture company committed to regenerative agriculture and a truly transparent supply chain for the future. Founded by Matthew Wadiak, the company is based on the well-documented scientific principle that sequestration of 1% more carbon in the soil of agricultural land could mitigate climate change. Cooks Venture aims to improve the entire agricultural supply chain, while promoting regenerative agriculture at all levels, providing consumers with responsible food choices of exceptional quality and taste while being totally transparent in the process.

Cooks Venture is a Global Animal Partnership Step 4 certified company, which is an animal welfare certification recognized by the ASPCA® Shop With Your Heart program, certified cruelty-free and verified non-GMO. Learn more about and follow the company on instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Media Contact:
Elizabeth Matthews
[email protected]

SOURCE Cooks Venture

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