The 40 acres was primarily used as pasture and had an old farm house, corn crib, dilapidated chicken and farrowing house, several small sheds, and a small pond. Currently, we converted the pasture into corn/bean/oats/hay rotation. Over the years Jake has slowly been transforming the farm stead back into an up-to-date farming operation headquarters.
We have currently rebuilt the chicken cope, constructed an erosion control dike with EQUIP help, remodeled the corn crib into a barn with heifer calving pens, tore down the small sheds, built a hay shed/cattle shelter, and trenched in new water lines. Future plans for the farm include new lot fences, cattle coral and working facilities, small grain bin, a machine shed/work shop, and remodel the house. Even though not all of our updating goals have been achieved we are still able to farrow our few sows, keep free range laying hens, and finish out our livestock for consumption on our farm.
The owner of these acres spent many years building terraces, establishing waterways and buffer strips, and tiling to prevent erosion on these acres. Jake continues the same practices on these acres. The corn we grow on these acres is Non-GMO corn. The Non-GMO corn is sold to another farmer in the area to feed Non-GMO laying hens providing a truly sustainable way to convert corn into healthy food for people.
The cows give birth to their calves in April and May, graze grass spring, summer, and fall, and are hayed during the winter all on this pasture. We have the pasture split into 6 different paddocks and rotate the cows between pastures throughout the grazing season. In the winter Jake un-rolls hay throughout the pasture to distribute manure, increase organic matter, and diversify plant species for the next growing season . Having functional efficient cows with grass-based genetics, utilizing rotational grazing, and utilizing their natural fertilizer has enabled us to increase our stocking density and better utilize the pasture acres we rent.