Reverence Farms taking ‘local’ to another level
By Joel McNair
Saxapahaw, North Carolina — Quite frankly, what is taking place here at Reverence Farms is almost too much to describe.
There’s the 45-cow dairy herd with its rapidly growing raw milk sales program, plus the possibility of a further-processing venture at some point in the future. There’s the Jersey linebreeding program and bull/semen sales based on genetics that do well on no-grain rations and mediocre forages, along with a variety of milk qualities ranging from ultra-high solids to A2A2 genetics. Continue reading “Rebuilding soils and community”
By Joel McNair
Many dairy farmers believe that low milk prices are the biggest danger to their livelihoods. For more than a few, the thought is that the best solution would be a Canadian-style supply management program to boost milk prices and keep them at profitable levels.
I don’t buy all of the arguments for quotas and such, and there is no reason to believe that our elected representatives will ever enact anything approaching Canada’s system. Continue reading “Price alone won’t solve our problems”
Latest research shows that good grazing is good for the planet
By Allen Williams and Russ Conser
Somewhere along the road, cattle got a bad rap. Just when the fear that eating animal fats will kill you appears to be fading, concern is growing that cattle are intrinsically bad for the planet.
So, it’s refreshing to see some countering truth peek through the clouds of fear in a brand new scientific paper from Michigan State University, “Impacts of soil carbon sequestration on life cycle greenhouse gas emissions in Midwestern USA beef finishing systems” (Stanley, et. al., 2018). Continue reading “What to tell environmentalists about cows”
Breitkreutzes up their game with covers and grazing
Redwood Falls, Minnesota — Most cash grain growers in the Upper Midwest run big equipment across thousands of acres of GMO corn and soybeans and maybe — just maybe — feed out some of those crops to feedlot cattle or confinement hogs. Often it doesn’t get much more complex than that.
Things aren’t quite that simple at Stoney Creek Farm. Over the past 20 years, Grant and Dawn Breitkreutz have converted a conventional crops and cattle farm into a multi-faceted enterprise that is one part experiment, two parts flexibility, and several parts complex. Continue reading “Doing what it takes to build soil health”
by Allen Williams, Ph.D.
Meat and milk consumers are becoming increasingly interested in fatty acids and are asking lots of questions about what they are and why they are important. With that in mind, I’ll offer a relatively straightforward explanation that might help your understanding of fatty acids and better enable you to answer such questions.
Fatty acids are simply the building blocks for the fats in our body and in all our foods. When we eat fats, they are broken down into fatty acids that are then used by the body to perform numerous vital functions. Chemically, a fatty acid is comprised of a long hydrocarbon chain that can have hydrogen atoms attached. It is capped by a carboxyl group (COOH) that makes these molecules acids. Continue reading “What are fatty acids, and why are they important?”
Nature’s Gourmet Farm is bringing good food to southern Mississippi
Petal, Mississippi — Ben and Beth Simmons have a lot going for them in terms of producing grassfed products and marketing to the public.
Pasture can grow here virtually year-round, rainfall is plentiful on an annual basis, and forage tonnage can be impressive. Ben can get many of his moderate-framed Red Angus steers to around 1,000 lbs. live weight, with hanging carcasses at 600 lbs., in no more than 16 months on mother’s milk and grazed forages. Continue reading “Stacking enterprises in the Deep South”