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The Farm

We are an 80 acre grass centralized farming model.  We maintain native grass pastures and grow and harvest hay for our herd of purebred Scottish Highland Cattle.  Our cattle are rotationally grazed and we don’t use antibiotics.  We use regenerative and sustainable farming practices and do not use chemical fertilizers.  We compost and spread all of our own fertilizers with an emphasis on soil building.       

This land was originally the homestead of the Ed Offten family.   The original buildings were demolished in the late 80s.   The land was farmed as rental property until Mark purchased it in 2006.    It was obvious that 20+ years of abusive farm practices had taken its toll on the land.  The repeated cycle of herbicides and harsh chemical fertilizers had left the soil virtually void of organic material.  Everything is tied to good soil health.   A couple years of strategic crop rotation consisting of edible beans and wheat started the healing process.   A “minimal till” over-seeding of a pasture grass mix was the next step.   In 2010 cattle were added to mix ,which provided a needed fertilizer element.   The concentrated application of natural fertilizer has obvious soil building benefits to the pasture ground as well as being accumulated and composted for field fertilizer.  

GRASS FED SCOTTISH HIGHLAND CATTLE

Highlands are a hearty heritage breed.  A heritage breed is an animal bred over time to adapt to a certain local condition, but still maintaining a true genetic breed. In simplest terms:  If you breed a Highland to a Highland you will yield another true genetic Highland. Highland cattle are well suited to being grass fed and are very tolerant to the Wisconsin Climate.  They do well on hay and other marginal forage such as wooded areas, etc. 100% of their nutritional needs are met by grass or hay and simple mineral supplements. In general the breed is considered very calm, social, and they are known for their breeding longevity and nurturing. We breed for health and temperament as opposed to size. We often hear people say, “My cattle are twice as big as Highland cattle.”   but the fact is smaller cattle are much more efficient producers and foragers.   It is far better for the land, the animal, and yourself to have ten 1,000 lb. animals than five 2,000 pounders.     

 

Our farm plan is constantly evolving.  As a result the “To Do” list never ends.   There is always equipment to acquire or upgrade, always something to build or fix.   We are always trying something new.  Every year we look at the previous year and say “That worked good” or “Damn, that failed miserably”.  We live by the rule, “If you don’t fail once in a while, your aren’t trying hard enough.”   We are constantly learning from the those experiences and seeking to improve as we go.  

Contact us for more information on animals we currently have available for sale, or to reserve a beef share for our next butcher date.