About 30 participants enjoyed a farm visit on June 5, along with two beef producers from the region. The tour was sponsored by the Lincoln County Farm Bureau and focused on rotational grazing of grass-fed cattle.
Grass is the natural food of cattle. While grass-fed beef takes longer to ripen to market weight, the beef produced is lower in fat, high in antioxidants, and tastes great! And the benefits of buying local, knowing who produces your food and who processes your meat, gives buyers confidence in the quality and availability of their food supply.
The tour started at Tom and Linda Daigle’s farm, Twin Creeks Cattle in the town of Harrison. Lincoln County owner Tom Daigle has been an advocate for grass-raised beef for years and has organized numerous pasture walks for those interested in learning more about the process. Her brother, Paul, who works for the Marathon County Land and Water Conservation Department, was also there to answer questions. Representative Calvin Callahan also attended.
Participants learned about the environmental benefits of grass-fed, rotational-grazed beef. The animals rotate between the pastures, changing each day to a new pasture, which allows the natural fertilizer to be distributed evenly and slowly throughout the pastures. Each pasture plot has time to recover, so the growth is richer and more diversified than in a situation of classic large grazing. Perennial grass means the soil is not tilled every year, preserving the soil and allowing the pasture to absorb water that would otherwise flow into adjacent surface waters. This helps prevent flooding and slows the loss of nutrients to groundwater and surface water. Pasture grasses use less commercial fertilizer, fewer insecticides, and fewer weed control chemicals than the grains used for today’s mass-produced beef.
Another benefit of using local grass-fed beef is the confidence that the meat-filled freezer gives your family. Tour coordinator Laurie Groskopf explained that during the pandemic, when meat was scarce and prices volatile, having a lot of meat in the home freezer provided the serenity that there wouldn’t be. shortage in the family diet.
The cattle themselves are also raised in a healthier environment than the traditional feedlot where market cattle are “finished” by being grain fed. Pasture-raised oxen live their lives outdoors, which is natural, and have their natural herds to rely on for their company. Groskopf recalls: âI visited the second farm (Jerry and Stephanie Conlan’s farm in King Town, Lincoln County) during calving. What an exciting thing to see, and to my surprise, Stephanie explained that the cow approaching the new mom’s calf was last year’s calf. A multigenerational bovine experience! It was a revelation. “
âFinding out where your food comes from and discovering a real farm is not something that many people are fortunate enough to experience these days. We hope to offer farm tours in Lincoln County and surrounding counties each year, and we certainly appreciate that the Daigle and Conlan families donate a day to help others experience the benefits of grass-fed, grazed beef. rotation, âGroskopf said.