Welcome to Eldon Farms
We began as a cattle operation in the 1960s, and are dedicated to raising top-notch beef through cutting edge genetics and good old hard work. With over 7,000 acres, Eldon Farms has much to offer. We are located (we would really love to say nestled here, but 7,100 acres don’t exactly nestle) in the rolling hills of Rappahannock County, a stone’s throw from Shenandoah National Park. Our view of Old Rag is splendid, and often helps us navigate the natural expanses of the farm.
We are also home to several long-term rental properties, trails, a hunting club, unbelievable views, and an impressive variety of birds and wildlife. What strikes us most about Eldon Farms is the large expanse of wild that can be experienced all within a couple hours of the greater Washington, D.C. area.
More than 50 years ago, Bill and Andy Lane fell in love with the beauty of Woodville, Virginia and the surrounding area. They began purchasing tracts of land, eventually putting together 9,000+ acres in Rappahannock, Culpeper, and Madison Counties. The properties in Culpeper and Madison were sold several years ago, but today, the majority of the Rappahannock property is still owned by a single family. The Lane stewardship was passed to the Akre family in 2021. To a large degree, these families have been instrumental in the preservation of the Southern end of Rappahannock County as undeveloped, open space.
But naturally, the 1960s are not the beginning of the story of this land. There is a rich heritage of history that extends from Colonial times through the chaos of the Revolutionary and Civil wars, and which brings the land, homes, and people through the 20th century. And as always, we are mindful that the efforts of today are writing the history of tomorrow. Learn more on our history page.
Throughout the years, Eldon has been involved in several agricultural endeavors. In the 1970’s apple, corn and soybeans made up the bulk of our output. When these products became less profitable, Eldon moved to grazing cattle on its vast, rolling hills. As John Genho, our friendly resident geneticist, puts it, we’re grass farmers and we use the cattle to harvest the land.
We are in the perfect location and climate to grow an abundance of forage, and our goal is to develop cattle that can efficiently harvest what naturally grows here. Historically, cattlemen have made great efforts to adapt the land to suit the animals it supports. But when John Genho joined the Eldon Team as the general manager, he developed and refined a genetics-based program which adapts the animals to the land itself. His groundbreaking perspective has garnered widespread attention and he has become a world-renowned geneticist whose expertise is sought out by cattlemen around the globe. Learn more here.
We believe fiercely in maintaining the open, wild spaces of Rappahannock County. There is such transformative beauty that’s found in nature, and that beauty needs to be both protected and experienced. As stewards of this land, we understand the importance of navigating ways to preserve a workable balance, maintain healthy populations, and also honor cultural traditions.
"Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.” ― Aldo Leopold
We’re believe in the power of positive community and value the various supporters that Eldon has had through the years. We want to not only preserve, but share the gift nature has given us in this wilderness. For more information on Eldon’s conservation efforts, click here.
While we believe that the land is our greatest asset, we also believe that the very act of sharing what it offers will help preserve it. We’re land owners and we have an agricultural cattle operation, but there’s also a huge opportunity for people to have recreational and hunting experiences that both maintains the farm land and allows people to create meaningful connections to it. When done right, it’s a self-sustaining cycle. We want this to be an exclusive experience where hunters and outdoor enthusiasts have access to large tracts of land that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Eldon is striking in how wild it is. And there’s no other place in the greater DC area where people can have this kind of exclusive recreational experience. Check out our recreation page for more information.
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