After a long winter behind us, spring is welcomed by every Nebraskan, Midwesterner, and anyone else who was personally victimized by the vicious weather we experienced. There were plenty of blizzards. There was a lot of mud. There was a lot of layering up with 25 layers for protection against the frigid cold. But, I don’t want to dwell… Instead let’s focus on the blessings spring has brought.
While we start calving (cows giving birth) in January, the new babies are thriving in the spring weather. Grass is growing. Calves are running around pastures, kicking up their heels because they feel that great! The calves are growing tremendously, too. They start at a weight around 80 pounds and weigh close to 300 pounds in May.
In May, we trailered all cows to pastures that aren’t by our home farm. We live in a predominantly farm land area, so our pastures are spread out across the county. In the winter, we bring all the cows home so we can assist in calving, if needed. But we don’t have enough pasture and grass to sustain all of our cows year-round. This is why they are brought to their summer home (fancy, right?) when the grass is strong enough to support them.
We always say livestock producers (ranchers) are the original sustainability crew- we have to be careful to take the best care of our land to ensure that it is strong enough to take care of us. This is called rotational grazing.
What the process of moving to the summer home entails:
We get asked a lot how the whole process of Oak Barn Beef works! How fun it is to dive in and answer that question. If you want to read how our family farm produces premium beef, that is dry aged by a local small town butcher, this blog post is for you! Here's a summary...