If you lived in the Midwest of the United States this year, I’m sure you were very aware of the heat and lack of rain. In a typical year July would be very hot and humid with regular thunderstorms. August would also be hot, but at some point a change would come and the heat/humidity [...]
The National Organic Program (NOP) has released new rules for livestock that mandate access to pasture for ruminant animals. These rules require that a percentage of the necessary dry matter intake per day come from pasture. The minimum is 30% dry matter per head per day for at least 120 days over the grazing season. [...]
There seems to be an increased interest in 100% grassfed dairy products out there in the marketplace. The food products that come from animals raised on grass are said to have a higher nutritional value (click here for more information http://www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm). Eggs, meat and dairy are the main areas of focus for farmers trying to [...]
If you live in Iowa, you know it’s been raining a while. It seems like the faucet turned on in June, and basically hasn’t stopped very much since. I believe east of here (east of Kalona – like Des Moines) has been getting more, but we’ve been still pretty wet. For the conventional farmers it’s [...]
Sheep and cows together are a good thing. I’m currently grazing cattle in a planned rotation, moving them daily. I also have a herd of St. Croix hair sheep, which I allow them to graze at will. Couple of comments about this arrangement and my thinking behind it:
1. In nature the overriding principle is diversity [...]
So far, so good. I’m coming up on my one year anniversary on this project. I got the sheep in August of 2009 as ewe lambs from a cutting-edge breeder down in southern Missouri. One note of importance is the critical issue for any 100% grassfed program is to MAKE SURE your genetics are right. [...]
Amongst many things I do on this farm, I have a custom grazing service for the Amish/Mennonite dairy farmers in the area. Due to the new organic pasture rule that has just passed through the USDA, organic dairy farms must graze their animals (except for their bulls) in such a way that a minimum of [...]
I switched out our Icelandic sheep herd last fall, in a radical attempt to reset my entire genetics with a low labor/low cost breed that would be parasite resistant in the summer and that would be hardy enough to dig through the snow in the winter and eat stockpiled grass. And, if that wasn’t enough, [...]
Here are two current media articles where we and our farm is featured.
The article below was featured in ABC channel 7 in New York, New York.
The article below was featured in the Kalona News, a local newspaper serving the Kalona area.
Well, summer is here with a bang. Spring was long, cool and wet, but there was a window of opportunity in April for most of the vegetables to get planted, cover crops put in, and lambing to occur. Lambing went well for the most part. There were a few deaths due to me not being [...]