Cumberland Mountain Farm isn’t your average cattle operation – that’s just a small part of what falls under the umbrella of the Crossville farm owned by John and Susan Looney and their three sons.
Nestled on 700 acres of the Cumberland Plateau, the farm uses half of its acreage as pasture, running a large Chiangus cattle production business in addition to selling grass-fed beef for private purchase. But the business doesn’t end there.
On the other half of the farm, the family runs an eco-conscious timber operation, in which trees are selectively harvested under guidance from the U.S. Forestry Service. The property is protected by a conservation easement, and the owners work with the University of Tennessee’s Agricultural Extension services, along with three other out-of-state universities, to employ best agricultural practices. In keeping with environmental awareness, the farm also works with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service and the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency.
The Looneys have turned the scenic site into an agritourism destination. The farm hosts wildlife observation, with five towers from which to see native Tennessee birds including raptors, eagles, owls and an array of songbirds. Additionally, the farm offers in-season contract hunting and fishing. Ponds are stocked with largemouth bass, catfish and crappie, while deer, turkey and other game animals are plentiful thanks to the conservation easement increasing the wildlife density.
But possibly the biggest attraction is The Lodge at Cumberland Mountain Farm, an executive retreat and conference center that draws businesspeople from throughout the state and beyond. An on-site spa, continental breakfasts and telescopes for stargazing, in addition to a presentation rooms and other business services, are just a few of the amenities at the facility. Guests can also bring their own horses to ride or just sit back and enjoy the scenic panoramas from the lodge’s 1,500 square feet of covered porch space. The property also features several miles of hiking trails.
In addition to beef, the farm offers a variety of Tennessee-made products for sale, including cheeses, jellies, jams, summer sausage and cider.