How we got to where we are today!

Today I thought I’d tell a story of how we got where we are today. We used to be like most regular ranches, which there’s nothing wrong with that, but this is just a story about how we changed. First, my mother in law, a huge animal lover, and not too keen on having to run for her life, changed the breeding program along with my father in law to the more gentle, docile red angus breed. Getting the most calmest level headed red angus bulls and keeping only gentle replacement heifers (young female cows), we now have the most sweetest cows that love scratches and pets. We prefer to have calmer cows as they’re less stressed and it’s also easier to make sure they’re healthy. We also stopped grain feeding our calves after they were weaned, since it wasn’t very healthy for them anyway.

After my husband finished his degree in agriculture, his mom put him in charge of the hay fields. It was important to him that the fields were kept healthy so that our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren would still be able to produce nice crops from our fields. So with that in mind he started using fertilizers that would not harm the ground (why would farmers use harmful fertilizers you ask? Because certain fertilizers will instantly provide nutrients to the plants and you will see the effects right away, but they are not as good to the soil health). The fertilizers we use now may take 1-3 years to be available to the plants, but they do not burn and therefore mycorrhizae fungi (a fungi that has a symbiotic relationship with the plants), beneficial bacteria and earthworms are able to thrive in our soil. My husband is thrilled with the large amount of earthworms we now find in our fields whereas we used to find none.

The decision to make sure there was still fertile ground many generations from now had many additional benefits. He started selling hay to locals that had horses and they were amazed with the increase in energy and health of their horses and some of our customers said they were able to completely take their horses off their supplements and their coats still had a healthy shine to them. Our cows thrived too, this was especially noticeable by the quality of their milk and the health and size of their calves they brought home at the end of the summer.

Despite all these changes making the life better for the animals on the farm, our cows were still sold to larger outfits where they go to large feedlots to be grain fed. So when I met my husband I asked him why he wasn’t selling grass fed beef locally… So that people that TRULY appreciate all the work he put into his soil, hay and cows could also enjoy the high quality meat we produced. So with my help, we started our grass fed beef program. The biggest benefit, to us, is that it is much better for our cows because these cows are born on our place and never ever have to leave their home because the butcher comes to our place. It saves them the stress of having to travel in a trailer with strange cows for many days and going a feed lots and then being shipped to a slaughter plant that probably smells like death. Unfortunately, most of our animals are still sold in the fall, but we set aside our best (and favorite) calves to feed through the winter. We hope to someday sell all our cows locally, but it is hard to predict how much grass fed beef we will sell by spring, so therefore it is important to get your orders in early in the fall!

National Take Your Kid to Work Day

Today is national take your kid to work day. Here on the farm we have it every day! Here are some pictures of our little farm girl of the last 2 years.


It’s interesting how different cows have different parenting styles just like people. There’s the free range moms, the incredibly strict moms and even helicopter moms!

For example, some of our cows will stand in the middle of the pasture and moo as loud as they can and wait a few minutes. If their baby doesn’t come, she will either lay down to chew cud or move to the feeders to eat. They just figure their baby will show up when it’s hungry.

Others demand more discipline. We have one cow who we’ve observed mooing for her calf, then grumpily walk over to her calf and stick her nose right by his ear and moo loudly and scare the living daylight out of him and then she marched him back to the spot where she originally mooed for him before she’d let him eat.

We also have helicopter parents. There is one cow that would go frantic trying to find her baby if he’d wander off again and lay down to sleep elsewhere (and 100 calves is a lot of calves to search through). Eventually she and my husband came to an understanding. He’d tell her to stay right there and wait while he’d go find her baby. Being able to read the calves’ tags he was able to find her baby much faster. Eventually he found her baby and he’d holler “I FOUND HIM!!!” and sure enough, that cow raced right up to him at a full charge and came at a dead stop right in front of him and her baby and then loved on her baby. Once that relationship was established, she’d sometimes even moo a “HELP ME!” to my husband as soon he entered the pasture. Luckily for her, this year’s baby is a lot less flaky.

I love the variety of different personalities and mothers we have in our herd. Each and every one of them is special to us and teach us that there is more than one right way to raise a baby .