The Calves Come Marching In

Our calves arrived this morning.  It is always a pleasure to see the young ones here on the farm.

We have a great arrangement with our neighbors.  They manage their herd of Angus cows and bulls, and we buy the calves from them each spring and fall as the weaned calves are ready.  We raise the calves for the next year and a half until they are fully grown and ready for butchering.  It helps each farm to focus on one aspect of cattle rearing.  And the situation suits the calves because they don’t need to undergo any stressful travel to distant farms.

Buying from neighbors and supporting a local farm economy is important to us.  To the extent that we are successful we feel the need to make sure that success is shared around.  There are many places where only one sprawling farm is left standing, but that isn’t the goal of the agricultural model we’re pursuing.

These calves will spend the rest of the day in the corral to allow them a chance to acclimate into the new location, and then tomorrow morning we’ll walk them out to join the older cattle in our herd.  Right now they are little 600 pound guys, but soon enough they’ll be 1200 to 1400 pounds.  All from eating grass.  I never cease to find that transformation remarkable.

“Sustainable farms are to today’s headlong rush toward global destruction what the monasteries were to the Dark Ages: places to preserve human skills and crafts until some semblance of common sense and common purpose returns to the public mind.”

Living at Nature’s Pace: Farming and the American Dream by Gene Logsdon

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