New Farm

Big news.  I’m splitting up farming with my parents.

A little background.  My parents own 510 acres with roughly 200 acres tillable, and 300 acres pasture.  I own 120 acres with roughly 80 acres tillable, and 40 acres pasture.  We have managed our farms as a collective farm for the past 17 years.

We raise beef cattle and hogs, pasturing and growing all the forages for the cattle, and growing all the corn and oats and straw bedding for the hogs.  Soybean meal is purchased for the hogs.

A few years ago, I started a partnership with a couple about my age to direct-market an increasing amount of our beef and pork in the Madison markets.  This is where my passion lies, and I want to continue this business.

So I’ve been spending a lot of brain power figuring out how to do this on my farm.  What I’ve decided so far is to buy steers in the fall and grass-finish them the following green season.  I believe I have enough pasture and forage to raise enough cattle to meet the demand of our direct-market.

What I’m going to have to give up is the beautiful herd of cows and calves  pictured below.  I simply don’t have enough land to have everything.

I am going to continue to have my swine breeding stock.  Genetics is another one of my passions, so I have to continue to play with the genetics of something.  I plan on raising just enough hogs for my direct-market.  I’ll probably have to purchase more of the grain than I do now.

Pictured below is a Duroc boar I raised who will be the first herdsire on my new farm.  I haven’t named him yet, so I thought it would be fun if you have a suggestion to leave a comment.  I’ll pick the best name out of your suggestions.

This blog will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of this change.  Since I no longer have anyone’s privacy to protect but my own, I can be as open as I am brave.  I’m looking forward to sharing more.

21 Responses to New Farm

  1. Susan Tiner says:

    I haven’t commented before but my partner Martin and I are fans of your blog and we’re so happy for you and your new plans!

    Congratulations!

  2. sosejasays says:

    This is amazing news! Surely you’ll be successful.

    I hope you’ll be pleased to know that there are anonymous, nobody-much kinds of people ‘out there’ (like me!) who are cheering you on.

    About your swine breeding: I’m interested in malignant hyperthermia (and other manifestations of thermoregulation) in humans. Because it has been a big problem in pigs, also, I’m wondering if you have an opinion about it.

  3. Doug says:

    Congratulations Matt!

    Name: B-Quest for boar quest, or ‘B’ for short.

  4. chris says:

    P’il seung, you can do it, SIR!

    CAK

  5. Maria says:

    Arnold Ziffel for Green Acres from my husband, and Snorky from my daughter for name suggestions.

    Best of luck. You can do this.

  6. Chris says:

    Congratulations, sounds like an exciting step for you. I hope it all goes really well.

  7. Jeanenne says:

    I am pretty sure Walter sounds German?
    So Erste-Vater – meaning “First Sire”

    Also, congratulations on your newest venture!

  8. Kristy says:

    I’d name him Wilder (after Laura Ingalls Wilder, from Wisconsin).

  9. wsb says:

    congrats and best wishes!

    Love the pics; this pig looks like an Archibald or a Lincoln to me.

  10. Kyna says:

    How exciting! Congratulations! I think he looks like “Boris.”

  11. wow…your boar is sooo handsome. Congrats…I love buying direct!!!! Alas, the benefits are obvious but need to be spelled out on all sides..yours and your customers because it is a new way.

    I like the name Jack, and if he wants a last name, make it Palance, for the handsome actor in one of my favorite movies, Bagdad Cafe.

    Again, Congratulations!!! Great move.
    Karen

  12. Elisabeth says:

    How about “Isaac”…after Isaac Frink, the man who named the Duroc breed.

  13. congratulations on your new adventure!

    Your new boar is very handsome, and I propose a name of endearment: Big Boar, or BB for short.

    Enjoy.

  14. Tony says:

    Hi there!

    Could I suggest ‘Ernest’ for the pig, it sounds the same as ‘earnest’ which I think describes the way you’re tackling this.

    I wish you every success, it sounds like a bold and exciting move.

    Tony

  15. L.P. says:

    I’ll go with “Dominion” (meaning relating to new territory) or “Verge” (meaning on the brink of something)

  16. curiousfarmer says:

    Thank you for all your comments and well-wishes! I think I’ll name the boar “B-something.” Bewilder if I keep him, and Begone if I sell him. I’m thinking about buying feeder pigs from a long-time boar customer of mine.
    Sosejasays, Malignant hyperthermia used to be a huge problem in pigs because of a genetic defect called the stress gene. My advisor at Iowa State was the leader on this research. Google malignant hyperthermia and Lauren Christian. He actually used anesthesia and watched for the pig’s response to test for it before they came up with a blood test.
    We don’t use breeding stock with the stress gene so it’s not a problem for us.
    Thank you all.

  17. dl says:

    How about Abraham – father of nations?

    Congratulations on your awesome new journey! There must have been many difficult decisions involved, especially selling that beautiful breeding stock of cattle, but God has great plans for you.

    “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

  18. anon says:

    Dudley. He just looks like a Dudley to me.

  19. Former Pork Industry Queen says:

    How about Willie Pig? Full of possibilities. (If he needs a theme song, my dad, a retired farmer and a writer, wrote a song by the same name years ago, with plenty of verses (“Willie Pig, Willie Pig, Willie Pig, will he grow up to be big . . . ). Very catchy!
    Thank you for writing this blog! So interesting!
    P.S. If Practical Farmers of Iowa is still out there, you might enjoy their programs.

  20. Lisa says:

    Hi, CF! Congratulations on your new venture. I am excited for you and know you will be a huge success. How about “Sprout” for the boar? The word symbolizing the promise of growth and a new life strikes me as perfect for you at this moment.

    Looking forward to hearing your stories!

  21. curiousfarmer says:

    Thanks again for all the well-wishes!

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