HOW WE FARM
The mission of our farm is to produce quality products in a clean and efficient manner. We believe in minimizing unnecessary additives to our land and our animals. We believe that Mother Nature knows what is best, and we aim to follow her plans as closely as possible. To us, the most important relationship on the farm is not between the animal and the feed bunk, or the land and a tractor, but between the animals and the land. We also believe in transparency and trust with our customers. We want the consumer to feel good about the food they are putting into their bodies as well as how that food was grown. We encourage customers to ask questions about how our animals are raised!
Herbivores (cows, sheep, goats, bison, etc.) are amazing animals. They have the ability to essentially turn sunlight into nutrient rich protein. Unlike people, a cow can grow, maintain, and sustain on a 100% grass diet that grows on sunlight and rain. A solar-powered protein machine! Unfortunately, over the years people have made the beef industry extremely dependent on fossil fuels. To feed corn to a cow, fuel is burned for fertilizing, tillage, seed transportation, planting, spraying, harvesting, hauling, grinding/processing, hauling again, mixing, feeding, and so on and so on. To raise cows on grass, you simply build a fence and let the cows do the work!
Our chickens are started in a brooder with bedding and a heat lamp until they are about 2-3 weeks old. At that time they are moved out to pasture in a chicken tractor, a 10'x12' floorless pen that is moved to fresh grass daily. The pens have sides and a roof to protect the chickens from predators, rain, and sun. Out in these pens they are able to balance their own diet of grass, seeds, bugs, and feed. This outdoor, moving system keeps the chickens from smelling like a chicken farm, and also puts down a lot of great fertilizer for our pastures!
As Joel Salatin says, "moving, mobbing, mowing". We move our cows to new paddocks every day during the grazing season. Each paddock is sectioned off using temporary fencing within our perimeter fences. The purpose of all of this is basically to mimic the grazing of the bison on the plains. Predators kept them in a tight herd and they moved across the prairie to new grass constantly. In rotational grazing there are no wolves to chase the cows, so we step in with our temporary fences to move the cows to new areas each day. This gives the grass time to rest and recover before it is grazed again on the next rotation. By doing this we are also able to increase the carrying capacity of our pastures, and increase animal performance because they are only eating the best part of the plant before they move on to a new area.