Believe it or not it all starts here.

Pastures

We describe our herd as “pastured” as opposed to “grass-fed.”  Grass is only a part of the diversified pastures our cattle enjoy.  With multiple plant species in each pasture, the cattle can balance their nutritional needs. Much effort is devoted to planning and orchestrating pasture moves so the cattle can express their instinctual grazing habits.    Also, by using a no-till planter, we are able to enhance the diversity by adding specific plant species at optimal times of the year.

Grazing in spring, summer and fall is done by using temporary electric fencing and moving the cattle to fresh pasture often.  The frequent moves also decrease pathogen exposure, because the cows will not return to each pasture for about 30-45 days, enough time for mother nature to cleanse the pasture, and establish new growth.  In the winter the cattle are grazed on stockpiled forages, or fed hay.  The only supplementation the cattle receive is free choice kelp, salt, and trace minerals.

 

Surplus pasture is baled for winter feeding or unusual conditions when grazing would damage a field.  We do not purchase feed from off-farm sources.  Our cattle are either grazed on our farm or fed hay from our farm.  The cattle are watered from our well or shallow wells near the pastures.  Even though we are close to the Illinois River, and have creeks on the farm, the cows do not drink from the river or creeks, as this potentially pollutes the water system.