The beef cattle operation is managed entirely on pasture to produce grass-finished beef. The herd consists of about 50 cows and is primarily composed of Angus and Angus crosses with Gelbvieh, Red Gelbvieh, Devon, and Simmental.
The calving season is April-May when the pastures are in full spring flush and can support the high nutrition needed for lactation. Calves are tattooed, ear-tagged and the males are castrated within the first week of birth. The calves are fence-line weaned at 7-8 months of age. Some heifer calves are retained as breeding stock and the others are finished on pasture with the steers.
The cattle are rotated on mixed perennial pastures year-round and supplemented with hay as needed. Grazing is managed intensively with the use of portable polywire and pigtail fencing. This system allows for sensitivity to plant growth, grazing efficiency, and a more even distribution of manure for nutrient cycling.
The beef we produce, which is Animal Welfare Approved, is sold to the College’s dining hall, to the community at the Farm Store, and to individuals and families as custom-cut whole or half beef.