SVHC: Thanks for joining us for #farmerfridays, Lucky 13 Beef! How long have you been raising beef cows near Cortland County?
L13B: I grew up on a registered Jersey cow dairy farm, but knew I never wanted to be a dairy farmer. In 2002, we bought our first herd of 13 beef cows. I’m a fourth generation farmer in Onondaga County. My great grandparents immigrated to the US from Switzerland in 1912.
SVHC: Raising food for your community, such as beef, cannot be an easy task to take on, why engage this type of lifestyle?
L13B: Growing up on a farm, I vowed to NEVER be a farmer. When all my friends were out having fun, I was raking/mowing/baling hay because “you make hay when the sun shines”. I hated it. But as I got older I realized that people were so anti-farmer yet pro-food. It made no sense. So after my husband bought the herd of 13 cows, I slowly shoved my way to the front of the line and took over and quickly realized my life’s passion was cows and agriculture education. I LOVE giving farm tours and having groups at our farm so I can explain how and why beef is raised the way it is.
SVHC: Can you tell us a bit about your cows?
L13B: I raise grass-fed beef as well as grass-fed lamb. We (my father and I) also grow hay, corn, soybeans, and barley (for malting).
SVHC: What has been your biggest joy as a local cattle producer?
L13B: My biggest joy every year is calving season. I love seeing healthy calves and attentive cows out on pasture. Some people go to church. I go to the pasture.
SVHC: What has been your greatest challenge as a local cattle producer?
L13B: My biggest challenge is always Mother Nature. Winter is brutal (and I’m a winter lover), and our extreme summers have been tough (too hot, too dry, but worst of all... too wet).
SVHC: If you could tell your community one thing, what would it be?
L13B: Your food is safe. Whether you choose organic or conventionally raised foods, they’re all safe. As producers, we eat what we grow. We wouldn’t raise and grow food we didn’t feel good about.
SVHC: How can the community connect with you if they desire to have a pasture tour or purchase some beef or lamb?
L13B: My beef and lamb can be purchased directly from our farm. I list all meat availability on our Facebook page.