The beef cattle operation is managed entirely on pasture to produce grass-finished beef. The herd consists of about 50 cows and is primarily composed of:
- Angus crosses with Gelbvieh
- Red Gelbvieh
The calving season is April-May when the pastures are in full spring flush. During this time, pastures can support the high nutrition needed for lactation. Calves are tattooed, ear-tagged and the males are castrated within the first week of birth. The calves are fence-line weaned at 7-8 months of age. Some heifer calves are retained as breeding stock. Others are finished on pasture with the steers. The cattle are rotated on mixed perennial pastures year-round. They’re supplemented with hay as needed. Grazing is managed intensively with the use of portable polywire and pigtail fencing. This system allows for:
- sensitivity to plant growth,
- grazing efficiency
- and a more even distribution of manure for nutrient cycling.
The beef we produce is Animal Welfare Approved. It is also sold to the College’s dining hall, to the community at the Berea Farmers Market, and to individuals and families as custom-cut whole or half beef.