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The best way to understand our farm's practices is to start at the beginning. 

Currently, in our main breeding herd of 75, we have 58 cows, 6 bred heifers, 2 bulls, and 9 calves that were born in the summer or fall of 2022 and have yet to be weaned. All the other 45 calves born in 2022 have already joined the yearling herd.  All of our females (cows and heifers) have been born on the farm from one first Hereford herd purchase back in the 1950's.  For one, this is fairly rare, as most cattle farmer's purchase calves or replacement females over a farm's life span.  Therefore, the only outsourced cattle that we introduce are our breeding bulls. 

 

This is why we can say from "birth to beef."  All our butchered steers, heifers, and cows will have been born on the farm and come from over 70 years of on farm breeding.  This means we know what went into each and ever butchered animal and this means everything to us!

We keep another herd that we call our yearling herd.  Depending on the time of year this herd includes either just yearlings or the additional 'to be' yearling calves.  Currently for 2023 this herd of 70 animals has 16 live animal custom beefs, 8 replacement heifers, 45 calves and a couple older non breeding cows.  In this herd, we keep replacement heifers and our animals that we are raising out for our live animal custom beef shares.  We like for cattle to be at least  2 years old before taken to the processor/butcher.  Therefore, all of our calves born will need to be rotated on pasture, fed hay, tended, and loved on for at least 2 years before they become replacement heifers or are taken to the processor to be butchered for custom beef shares. 

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CATTLE PRACTICES

All our cattle are treated the same.  Both herds are always being rotated through grass and clover pastures during the green season, which for East TN runs from April-Novemeber...8 months.  Sometimes if there has been enough stockpiled paddocks, pasture that has not been grazed, then we can even have some grazing in December.  

Grasses and clover is all our cattle eat, we do not offer any grain rations, as there has been plenty of research showing that cattle's digestive system was not designed to eat grain anyways.  Yes, it will take more time before our animals can be butchered for meat, but the quality and health benefits of our meat absolutely supersedes a quicker feedlot grain finished animal.

 

Moreover, we are creating local viability and vitality by keeping the farm to customer cycle right here in our tri-cities communities.  This is a win - WIN - WIN - WIN for farming, for animal welfare, for health, and for the envirnment.

 

The only supplement our herds get is the availability of a free choice, year round Kelp and Mineral Mix. 

The free choice mineral feeders move with the herds' rotations and the cattle eat as much of it as they feel they need.  We feel like this is the best organic/OMRI listed free choice supplement mix that we could offer the cattle. Our mix does not contain any grain fillers or artificial ingredient that can be found in about all other mineral supplements on the market.  The largest advantage of our mineral mix is the high bioavailability of nutrients to the cattle.  

OUR MINERAL MIX

  • Thorvin Certified Organic Kelp Meal

  • Redmond Beef Cattle Mineral Mix

  • Diatomaceous Earth

  • Magnesium Oxide Mineral

  • Certified Organic Garlic Powder

Our goal for our herds is to focus on their nutritional core. When we combine their access to high quality pastures with year round continual access to their kelp-mineral mix, we are hoping to eliminate deficincies that would cause their health to falter.  We want our cattle to have such a genuine base that they stay well and vibrant without needing routine antibiotics or vaccinations. 

All of this also correlates with the great authentic flavor of our cattle's meat! Happy, Well, and Beautiful Animals produce high quality beef meat!  

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In the Winter, December-March,...4 months,  despite not being able to eat fresh grass from the pastures, our cattle get fed dried cut grass and legumes, HAY.  On average we cut and put up about 75% of our own hay and then we purchase the other 25%  from a farming partner just a few miles away.   Our animals get fed as much as they need to keep good flesh on them through the winter season.  We try our best to rotate the cattle herds around on our dormat fields while feeding out hay, in order to allow the animals to improve tthe land with all their great fertilizing manure.  Here in East TN, with our often wet winters, winter is our most challenging season as we try to keep a good balance on regenerating and not degenerating the land.  

Our herds do not receive routine chemical de-wormers, chemical fly controls, synthetic growth hormones, GMO's, vaccines, or antibiotics. 

The three things that set us apart from other 100% grassfed beef products, are the chemical de-wormers, chemical fly controls, and vaccines.  This is what allows us to state that our beef is organically raised, as we object in the use of synthetic chemicals. 

These just end up in the cows manure waste that then ends up back in soils and water and in the the people in expressions of underlying chronic health conditions, and genetic mutations.  These chemical controls are why Dung Beetle populations are hard to come by on farms these days, but we have a thriving population!  Also, never do we use chemical herbicides on pasture or hays.  We just do not see a place for synthetic chemicals on farms.  Our next generations do not deserve to inherit an earth in which all that we need to live...Air, Water, and Food, have been chemically polluted by large scale conventional agriculture that ships subsidized food and animals around the country in unnecessary ways.  We the people have the right to healthy clean food and in our eyes it should all be that way. How our countries' food system has strayed onto such a complicated synthesized path is beyond understanding. We believe in nature and the vitality of health, and the true cyclic patterns that can be created when wholeness of the elements can be manifested without the alteration by chemical masks.  

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With all this being said, cattle farming is not easy. Even though our farm name is Foothill Frolic Farm, we do not spend all our time frolicking around the fields. This is the wonderful job and life of our cattle.  All the work that goes into the upkeep, maintenance, and regeneration of a grassfed, organically raised herd is almost never ending.

All our practices that I mention above have to come together to create a synergy that allows us to farm without the use of chemical synthetics or chemically grown/GMO supplemental grains. Every season there could always be couple outliers that we have to address in a non-synergistic fashion.  For example, out of 50 calves born here rises the occasion, without the long story, of one calf needing an antibiotic, because all other options have been tried and exhausted. In two years, there is not going to be any remnants of that one time antibiotic in that steers meat, and because of all our ongoing practices it is not fair or appropriate to have to deem that steer as non-organically raised.  For transparency, we will let our customers know if a butchered animal had to have something like this done.  The point of this type of farming is to eliminate the routine applications of synthetic chemicals and medications,  which is exactly what we have done and the reality is that every year there could be the couple of unusual circumstances that led to the administration of antibiotics or something a veterinarian would prescribe medically that would not be in our norm in order to save the life of an animal.   

 Our cattle herds understand that we are working really hard to give them the best farm life that they could deserve and we share a mutual respect for each others' being in the farm system that we are apart of.  We believe in a better local agriculture and we take pride in following the work ethic of the farming generations that came before us, in that the heart of small communities were working viable farms. 

A small local farm can only be as good as it's local customer support and that is where you our customer fits into the picture of keeping working local farms viable.  We are doing the best we can to offer a farm product that is above and beyond any other meat product in a grocery store and we are proud of that and we think you will feel the same.

Just take in mind all that has been presented here and give our Live Animal Custom Beef Shares a try... we know you will LOVE IT...satisfaction guaranteed!!!

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