Here we go! As I enter my fifth year of full-time farming, I've decided to add blogging to my list of farm tasks. The goal of the blog is to give you insight and information about our farm, family and why we do what we do. Of course we'll also share some excellent recipes you can try with our pasture-raised meat.
First, a little bit about our family. Farming skipped a generation: my grandfather was a dairy farmer in Fitchburg, WI milking registered Brown Swiss cattle however I grew up in the suburbs of Milwaukee. I loved coming to the farm and spending time with my grandparents! As I grew older, I was able to help more and more on the farm learning how to drive tractors, fix equipment and the many other tasks farmers do.
After high school graduation, I took over my grandparents' sweet corn business to earn money for college. I planted, cultivated (sometimes by hand!), picked (always by hand!) and sold the sweet corn off the farm and at the nearby farmer's market. This gave me great insight into direct marketing from the farm. In fact, I wrote my senior capstone paper at Luther College on how small farms could compete by direct marketing their products. I then spent 7 years working in healthcare IT before the itch of farming took over.
Keely grew up in Door County, Wisconsin. Though not a farm girl, she knew she wanted to live on some acreage. While we were still dating, she was very supportive of me getting a few chickens for the backyard of my house in Madison. Little did she know this would be the gateway drug of livestock! Shortly after being married, I convinced her to buy our first two cow/calf pairs with the goal of raising one beef for our family and one to sell to pay for the expenses. She's been so supportive of my transition to farming.
Five years after purchasing our first cattle, our little hobby herd reached 40 animals and growing. We had the opportunity to expand our cattle business and started selling into restaurants in addition to farmers markets and bulk beef. We now average around 125 Scottish Highland cattle, about 10-12 pigs and occasionally some egg laying hens.
Our boys, Liam (age 3) and Odin (20 months), love the farm as well. Liam tends to like the animals a bit more, especially helping feed them. Odin loves sitting in the truck and tractor while helping with chores. Looking forward to their continued interest in the farm and starting their own enterprises on the farm in the future.
What would you like to know about our farm? Let us know and we'll post an article about it! Looking forward to sharing more about our farm with you.