Friday, July 27, 2007

Wild Country Ranching

It has been a long time since I last posted a blog. I haven't forgotten about this ... my life has just taken on a extra bit of busyiness. Just because I have been busy doesn't mean that I have stopped thinking, reading, and doing farming. Since my last post I have finished a couple of books (Salad Bar Beef - Joel Salatin and All Flesh is Grass - Gene Logsdon), sent final payment for our cattle (but not picked up yet because of a important family issue), built fence for the cattle, and done a lot of talking with farmers and family.

But, today I had a chance to go to my first PFI (Practical Farmers of Iowa) Field Day. The day was hosted my the DeCook family which farms about 20 miles south of where I live. They raise grass-fed beef on about 800 acres (around 500 head of cow/calves). It was a great tour of their farm that included five stops for some great explanation and question/answer time. I learned a lot about pastures (seeding, management, forage types, and more), fencing, water, and just some good conservation practices. The DeCooks do not run their farm exactly as I have envisioned mine because they do not finish their cattle, but they do send them off to others to be finished on grass so they select for good foraging genetics. It was a very enjoyable morning full of information. I also heard about a couple other field days coming up that I would like to attend. One is next week and focuses on portable fencing and solar water pumping (something I think could be very helpful on my dad's farm).

Hopefully we will have a chance to post some pictures of our cattle at home on the farm soon. Remember, reading is good ... doing is better!

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