SAMPSON COUNTY, N.C. (February 2, 2021) – Wilders, a new agricultural venture to supply locally grown, ethically sourced, and sustainably produced meat products,  today announced the recent purchase of the Longhorn Creek Ranch in Sampson County, N.C. Plans for the approximate 1,200 acres include pasture-raised livestock, Wagyu beef, and premium Wagyu genetics. 

“Having grown up in Eastern North Carolina, I have a deep appreciation for the hard-working men and women who have made our agriculture what it is today,” says Reid Smith, founder of Wilders. “Feeding your family healthy food shouldn’t be difficult. But with so many jobs and businesses going overseas, it gets harder every day to find healthy and sustainable products that are grown locally and fuel the local economy.”

Wilders founders, Reid and Jalcyn Smith

Reid Smith is the founder and CEO of Clayton-based RiverWild in Clayton, N.C., along with his wife, Jaclyn. Wilders is a subsidiary of RiverWild and marks the organization’s first agricultural venture after primarily focusing on real estate, construction and development. 

“Our aim is to steward the land, people, and animals in our care to provide the best quality products while maintaining responsible and sustainable business models,” said Reid. “This effort to preserve our agricultural heritage has been a long time dream of mine and Jaclyn’s, and we’re excited about what the future holds.” 

“Growing our farm over the past two years has only deepened our family’s appreciation for agriculture and farming. We work hard to ensure that our animals receive the best quality care, from ethical treatment standards to sustainable farming methods, to the extra love and attention our kids give the animals on family farm workdays,” said Jaclyn Smith, Founder, Wilders. “We’ve found a tremendous opportunity to revive the Sampson County ranch to establish Wilders operations and look forward to introducing our online market in the New Year.” 

Wilders Farm in Turkey, NC

Wilders moved its livestock onto the new property in December, which includes pasture-raised chickens, Berkshire hogs, certified Angus and Wagyu cattle. A large sector of the farm operation is the herd of Fullblood Black Wagyu. Wilders intends to become a major distributor of authentic Japanese Wagyu genetics for the East Coast in addition to the e-commerce meat sales. 

“We are excited to see the growing investments in the Wagyu breed. This herd will expand availability of fullblood Wagyu on the East Coast, and we look forward to seeing it grow,” said Robert Williams, Executive Director, American Wagyu Association. 

“We are always excited when an innovative farm family works hard to expand the reach of North Carolina beef production.”
-Brian Blinson, NC Cattlemen’s Association

“I am proud to see continued investment in North Carolina’s number one industry – agriculture,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “North Carolina has tremendous agricultural diversity and the Wilders venture will certainly add to that diversity and move us closer to reaching the $100 billion mark in economic impact.”

While the ratio of small farms to major operations in North Carolina has shifted in recent years, agriculture is still a major contributor to North Carolina’s economy, contributing $92.7 billion.

For more information about Wilders farm, meat products, and cattle, visit https://wilders.com.