Red Poll Beef. Shilofarm has been raising Red Poll cattle since 2003 – all the cattle here now have been born and raised here. The breed is now considered ‘rare’ where once it was a multipurpose beef/milk farm cow and used on small farms like ours.
Beatrice & her new baby – June 18, 2021
We have purposely reduced the size of our herd over the last 3 years because of a shift towards the CSA as the primary product of the farm. That said, there are still three moms in the herd (pregnant, we hope, and due this Spring) as well as three 18 month old youngsters.
The practice hereto now has been to sell beef each year. That is already done for 2021; the next sale will be the late fall of 2022.
One of the main reasons for cows is that they do an excellent job of pasture improvement. Much of the higher land on Shilofarm is gravely loam, which does not retain moisture or nutrients. Feed hay is spread over the winter paddock that needs improvement. The cows eat it, and process it right on the spot, so to speak. It is evident that they are totally unconcerned about where they are when they have a certain need. That leaves a rich mulch that does a wonderful job of helping establish grasses and clovers that the cows eat and then recycle.
The other big benefit is that rather than a slow composting system, waste vegetation from the CSA is fed to the Composting Organic Waste System (C.O.W.S) for 24 hour processing. It’s all good.