The cattle got out on pasture for the first graze of the spring this past Tuesday! We are really excited for this grazing season!
We had a new calf born on the farm a couple of weeks ago! It is the first calf we have had on the farm in years after making the decision to purchase our own cow herd this past fall. This calf is a 7/8 American Aberdeen heifer calf born on April 4.
How important is it to have cattle out on the land? How important is it that we move our animals every day to fresh pasture? Take a look at these two pictures in the same field. The first is from the spring of 2019. You can see the bare ground; the poor color on the plants indicates a lack of nutrition. This was after years of baling hay.
Then we fenced it.
We added cattle. The cattle grazed it off one time… and then, the picture on the right. That picture is from mid-summer. Most grass pastures in mid summer are short, dried out, and unproductive. But ours came back with lush grass and newly arrived clovers! In one cycle, we took this field from something with marginal feed value to a cornucopia of grasses and legumes for our livestock.
Because we treated the land correctly. Because we grazed it as nature intended.
We moved the cattle to a new paddock every day through that rank, unproductive grass. We supplemented beet pulp because the feed value was low and we had to keep up with nutrition on our animals; but it was worth it. We are regenerating the soil on our farm with our grazing practices. We are feeding the microbes that live below: the earthworms, the spiders, the dung beetles. And they, in turn, fertilize our soil and give us lush, green pastures.
We even see more wildlife. Most farms are taking out their fence rows, while we put more in. For every species of animal that we can make a home for, we encourage eight other species to be here, and that diversity is better for our soil, better for our animals, and better for our customers who buy our beef and feed it to their families.
Exciting things are happening to the land here at Red Timber Ranch. We’ve been at this for two grazing season only now, and the results have been better than we could have expected.
We are very excited to announce that we will once again be a part of the Eat Healthy Eat Local Festival in St. Johns, MI on May 9, 2020. We will be providing select cuts of our all-natural pork, and we will feature our latest Grass Fed and Finished Beef! Make sure to stop by and see us on May 9, 2020.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Red Timber Ranch!
- Transition from conventional grain finished beef to 100% Grass Fed and Finished Beef. We believe that this change is imperative to our mission to heal the soil and the landscape on which our animals live.
- Transition to all Non-GMO feed for our pork production.
- Increased pasture land and hay ground on the farm, which will increase our soil organic matter, and improve the environment in which our animals live.
- Addition of a new cow herd. We will no longer need to source calves from other farms and raise them here. Now our Red Timber Ranch Grass Finished beef will be born and raised right here on the farm.
- Addition of pasture-raised meat chickens (broilers). Please let us know if that is something you will be interested in! We have already had several requests for this addition to our farm and we are happy to oblige.
- Addition of a hay harvesting business. We will add sales of small square hay bales and large round bales to our products.
- Improvement of our pig handling facilities. The long term goal for pigs at Red Timber Ranch is to provide a pasture land specific to their needs. We are beginning that cultivation process on a 2 acre parcel near the barn this year. While we may not be able to finish pigs on the land yet, we are moving towards that long term goal.