Our farm (the soil, water, grass, trees, etc.) is our most valuable resource. We manage it in a way that takes care of the resources, the animals, wildlife, and our health. One of the most important ways that we take care of the farm is through conservation and we work to regenerate the soil for healthier plants and animals. We have fenced our cattle out of the creeks to help improve water quality and erosion. We believe that doing this provides better water quality for our animals, nature, and everyone down stream from us. We also have 20 acres that we have taken out of production to plant berries, nuts, fruit trees, hardwood trees, and conifers. These areas provide wind breaks for the cattle in the winter and provide shelter and food for wild animals which is much needed to keep a healthy environment.
One of our latest developments is creating a swale. A swale is created so that surface water that runs off from one area moves to other areas that the water can be utilized. This swale helps to reduse soil erosion and improve water usage. The swale diverts surface water that runs off of our barn and house area that would usually run directly to the creek. This water erodes gullys and increases high water levels in the creek during rain events. We are diverting this water to the pasture where we can utilize the water by our perennial grasses and nuts, berries, and trees. Physically creating the swale involves using a bulldozer to dig a trench that will direct the water to where it can be utilized.
None of our beef, chickens or turkeys are given any steroids, hormones (growth or otherwise), or antibiotics. They are not altered chemically in any way and no preservatives or artificial ingredients are added to any of the products grown on our farm.
We treat our animals humanely and continue to develop and integrate our facilities to work our animals in the best and safest way possible.
Why is knowing where your food comes from important?
The importance of knowing where your food comes from starts from the ground up. If you're not taking care of the soil, the soil can't take care of the plants and in turn the plants are not healthy feed for the animals that we ingest. On our farm we are actively involved with the following programs to ensure the highest soil quality:
--Iowa State University --Drake University --Chichaqua Conservation --Practical Farmers of Iowa --Iowa Forage and Grassland Council --Steering Commitee for Grass Based Working Group --Iowa Cattlemans Association --Polk County Cattlemans Association --Iowater, Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring --Iowa Farm Bureau --NRCS --EQUIP