2 years and 4 months ago I decided I wanted to raise grass fed beef beef and I wanted to make a profit at it.
I had zero experience with livestock, zero agricultural background, and to top it off my full time job was at the opposite end of the occupational spectrum: I was a digital marketer in the retail apparel industry.
Despite all of this I knew I had to do something.
So I went shopping for a book about how to raise grass fed beef and found Salad Bar Beef by Joel Salatin. At that point in time I didn’t know Joel Salatin from the next guy… but because there were cows and dollar signs on the cover (two of my primary interests) I immediately fell in love with this book.
And I started reading Salad Bar Beef:
Not knowing anything about farming.
Not knowing anything but that I had 23 acres of grass and I wanted to raise cows.
It was Salad Bar Beef that introduced me to the concept of rotational grazing and regenerative agriculture for the first time.
But Salad Bar Beef appealed to me more on the basis of economics than ecology.
What caught my attention was that this was a system of raising and grazing beef that I could launch with just a few hundred dollars in electric fencing supplies.
I read about a direct marketing mindset that made a way to earn an income off a small herd, despite nosediving live cattle prices.
I read how that with a small amount of money, and a little time every day I could earn 300% more than the average rancher by way of increased feed production on pasture… essentially turning my 23 acres into 69 acres.
So I put these methods to the test. And what you have watched on my channel over the past two years has been me, as an absolute beginner, just doing it.
And it has worked!
Two years almost to the date of reading the first chapter of Salad Bar Beef, I was in Virginia moving cattle with Joel Salatin. I was seeing firsthand the fruit of 40 years of consistent stewardship, unconventional marketing methods, and radical diversification within a farm business model.
I met his staff and his stewards and was so encouraged by both.
There are a lot of people that don’t like Joel Salatin.. and I’m not here to make you like him… But I am here to say that what he preaches in that one book works for me. His model encouraged me to start small… And his model allowed me to go from never owning livestock, to harvesting 1000lb of my own grass fed beef in just 18 months.
I met so many of you at the Polyface Stockman Grass Farmer event. It was such an incredible joy to look into the faces of a lot of the names that have been just names on a screen for the past two years.
The best thing was just seeing in your eyes the way I feel about this work.
I also want to thank my friends Bill and Judie Croft at Meadowcroft Farm for hosting me at the Meadowcroft Inn while I was at Polyface. The Inn at Meadowcroft is just 7 miles down the road from Polyface. Meadowcroft is hands down one of the most beautiful Inn’s I have ever stayed at.
Cindy and Aletha were the amazing chefs at Meadowcroft and served us fresh fruit parfaits and a hot breakfast (made with farm sourced ingredients) every morning. Chicken lady got really spoiled… like we came home and she was demanding yogurt parfaits and bread pudding every morning.
In addition to the Inn, Bill and Judie raise a large herd of grass fed beef cows and meat sheep that are organically raised and marketed through a unique supply chains. As if that wasn’t enough diversity, Bill and Judie run the Meadowcroft Cannery and I am going to link to the sandwich spread, the German pickles, and apricot jam that were my favorites… I actually bought 12 cans of jelly and spread cans before I left. All of the ingredients are organic and they are made with pure cane sugar no synthetic flavors. Their cannery website Website is linked HERE and you get free shipping when you buy 12 or more cans!
Thank you for “traveling” with me!
“A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” John 3:27