We raise a variety of non-gmo heritage grains (barley, wheat, oats) as well as non-gmo corn on our farm for a couple of important reasons: 1) nutrient recycling and 2) business risk.
- Nutrient Recycling: We rotate crops across our farmland to recycle nitrogen and carbon. Legume crops (clover, alfalfa) deposit nitrogen into the soil naturally. They're also a great source of protein.
- Grass + Legume Complementarity: Grass consumes nitrogen. Grass is critical for the microbiome of ruminant livestock. Little grass = lower microorganism count -> low microorganisms = sick livestock. We run a 2:1 ratio of legume:grass ratio.
- Rotational Grazing: Cattle graze a fenced-in area or "paddock" before being moved to a new paddock. This practice builds soils and spreads manure organically.
- Business Risk: We live in the north where a wide-range of weather and a short growing season provides a business risk that we need to protect against. Through rotational grazing and crop rotation, we are constantly adding vigor and organic matter to our soil. This leads to greater buffering capacity against extremes and vibrant soil.
- Soil + Water + Ecosystem Health: We don’t plant gmo crops nor similar varieties such as neonicotinoids that are harmful to bee populations. We want to foster clean waterways and vibrant soil ecosystems.
Free Raised and Grazed
Livestock are the greenest factories on the planet. They consume organic matter while providing nutrient dense food and natural fiber. Their waste is a natural byproduct of an age-old ecosystem. What other business can boast that? We simply foster this process as ranchers. Our livestock are raised outdoors, graze pasture (during growing season), and managed with the highest humane standards.
Animal welfare is centrally important to us. If it's important to you, please know that we're on the same page. There is NO animal rights organization that cares more about livestock welfare than us.
Our animal husbandry and farming practices center around giving our livestock a lifestyle as nature intended - free raised outdoors. The majority of our feedstuffs are pasture and hay. Our hay is managed organically but it's not certified. We feed a wide varitety of non-GMO grains (wheat, barley, oats, corn, canola).
Cattle: our cattle are free raised and grazed on pasture. In the winter months, we ensure full access to hay and other roughage. Cattle receive straw bedding and windbreaks for comfort during cold winter days. We supplement a precise mixed-grain feed to achieve full genetic potential and our dry-aging process at harvest. The supplement consists of non-GMO grains (corn, brewers grain, wheat, barley, and oats).
Limousin cattle have been a part of our family’s tradition since the 1970s. We remain purebred breeders today. We also are committed to bringing you the best product possible, which is why we have incorporated cross breeding in to our herd. We are always looking for ways to improve the genetics of our herd which consists of Limousin, Limousin-cross, and crossbred animals.
- Hogs: pigs that enter our pork program are free-raised and roam within an expansive outdoor pen. Our hogs can root, explore, and relax in comfort. We feed a diet that is mostly comprised of small grains. We feed canola meal (no soy), cracked corn, wheat and barley. We also recycle leftover food scraps. Most of our hogs are Berkshire x Yorkshire crossed. Designed to blend the carcass quality of the Berkshire breed with the prolificity and production of Yorkshire.
Lamb: although we don’t raise the sheep ourselves, we expect our partners to align with our standards to minimize stress, provide ample animal comfort and deliver genetically superior carcasses. Thus, our lamb represents a diet very similar to our cattle and the expectation of quality care stands, too. We work with 4-H families that we’ve known over the years. Most of our lamb is Suffolk-cross.
USDA Farmstead Butcher Shop
Each of our carcasses undergoes a proprietary dry-aging process (via relative humidity, temp, air flow) before breakdown. By controlling the entire process we can ensure quality from harvest to packaging.
We welcome visits to the farm. Early summer is perfect for demonstration because of the beginning of the growing season.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you 100% grass fed beef?
We are not 100% grass fed. We plant non-gmo grains/grasses (oats, corn, wheat, barley) in rotation with our pasture legumes (pink clover, alfalfa). We use the grains for feed, bedding, and key nutrient recycling as part of a regenerative soil system. Our cattle graze pastures while building soil.
What does “Free-Raised and Grazed” mean?
Free-Raised and Grazed is our regenerative agriculture term to best describe our animal husbandry and stewardship practices. We keep our livestock in their natural environments as much as possible. Given the dormant nature of winter, we are not able to graze year-round but we ensure ample space with clear access to clean water.
Are you certified organic?
We are not certified organic. We manage our pastures organically but we do not use certified organic seeds for crop production. We grow non-gmo cereal grains/grasses. We do not administer synthetic growth hormones, feed antibiotics, or use mRNA vaccines on our livestock.