Let me give you a little background about Bob and I and our family and our farm:
Our farm is in upstate NY in the Finger Lakes region. We are 12 miles from Cornell University, between Seneca and Cayuga Lake. We raise Grass-fed Beef using Scottish Highland, Black Angus, Belted Galloway’s and Herford as our Herd Brood Cows (moms). Cows are MOB grazed, meaning they are given an area of grass to eat then moved 2 to 3 times a day to fresh grass. This helps our land and builds great microbes in the soil. During the winter they are fed local hay and balage that comes from fields that are not sprayed.
In the summer months we raise 3-4 batches of 500 Freedom Ranger chickens.. Freedom Rangers are much less genetically modified than the typical Cornish cross that MOST farms raise. They range better for grass and bugs and quite frankly, act more like a chicken! Cornish Cross just walks about 5 steps and sits down and eats and poops. We feed the chickens all natural grains that are grown locally. They are raised indoors. For the first 3 weeks of life they are in a brood house then they are moved onto pasture and roam free inside netting to protect them from predators. We follow the Freedom Rangers and our laying hens after the cows in the pasture to benefit the grass and soil. We move the birds to fresh grass one to two times a week.
We work with another farm to purchase our pork. The heritage breed pigs are all raised on pasture and also fed local grains. We trust this farmer and have seen how the pigs are raised. Not being full time farmers makes it hard for us to pasture raise pork, too.
Bob and I both work off the farm. He works for NY State and has 4 years till he can retire. I work part time off the farm. Most days doing chores at 6am, going to work at 7:30 then back home to check the animals before I open our farm store.
In 2011 we hire a part-time farm hand. Someone to do the things we don’t have time to do, or to help us when the other one is at work. My biggest complaint is dealing with the State and government with payroll taxes and insurance. What I have to deal with to have someone help us 10-15 hours a week is ridiculous.
We do have 2.5 children. Our daughter (17) is graduating this Spring and works part time. Her plan is to attend community college in the fall. Her farm responsibility is egg washing and packing. Our son (24) has just graduated from training and is working as a Part time Sheriff’s Deputy. Our .5 child is our neighbor’s son who might as well be ours. He is 29 and also a Sherriff’s Deputy. All the kids help us we need it, but have their own lives outside farming. When it is time to sort animals to be sent off the butcher or moved to separate pastures we have to plan a day or evening when we all can be available to get the job done.
That is a short background about us. When I have time I try and send a monthly e-mail to keep our customers up to date on what is happening on our farm. You can also follow us on