We are Mob Grazing--putting as many as 45 animals in paddocks as small as a third of an acre, moving them only when they have eaten or trampled all available forage. Paddocks are formed by single line electric twine using fiberglass rods for posts and carrying an electric charge that would make you yell if you touched it. We try to graze any given paddock no more than three times a year, allowing it a full and exuberant recovery. We stretch our grazing season, relying primarily on hay for only 3 to 4 months. Even during winter, on hay, our herd continues to move across our 80 acres of pasture, out in the open.
This pattern of infrequent and exhaustive grazing replicates the beneficial impact of large nomadic herds in Africa and the great plains of North America, encouraging the native seed bank and protecting the land against vagaries of weather.
We do not breed. We buy calves, typically at 6 months of age, newly weaned and weighing about 500 pounds. Most of them are Angus or Hereford or Belted Galloway, with plenty of beef-type mixes including Limousin, Shorthorn, and Simmental influences. We expect them to be living with us for about 2 years, till they weigh 1100 to 1200 pounds. Then we have them humanely killed and processed at a state-inspected facility (Olde Village Meats, in Frazeysburg, Ohio). We retail our beef as year-round vendors at the Worthington Farmers Market.
Several times a year we acquire a fresh group of young calves and these (after a period of quarantine) join the herd and get into our daily routine, learning from the older animals. They in turn become our lead animals, showing newcomers how things work. We are very much focused not only on the growth habits of animals but also on their calm readiness to be good members of the group. Luckily most cattle are profoundly good natured--one of the reasons it is rewarding to live with them as we do. We take our role as stewards of these gentle creatures seriously, working to make sure they have many good days and only one bad one.
We don't make hay. Rather than focusing on a bunch of equipment, and needing to fertilize our land to keep the hay crop hardy, we prefer to buy hay from other farms. All our ground is fenced pasture
Other than the green pasture they are living on year round, our cattle are fed hay as needed. We always have organic kelp and salt available free choice. We provide well water (they are in no river or stream).
We offer no routine (sub therapeutic) antibiotics. We do not implant our animals with hormone treatments to make them grow faster. We provide no corn or non-forage supplements of any kind. We use no chemical fertilizers or pesticides on the farm. And, last but not least, we are not cloning!
Our mission is to produce delicious and healthful beef, using natural methods as humane as possible to the animals in our care while improving the ground we farm. We aim to be responsible and effective direct marketers. We strive for profit that we may continue. We look to educate and learn from customers and fellow farmers, and enjoy them, so that we can grow and improve while giving ourselves up to this arduous task.