The Land: Egeler Beef Farm, going green.

August 28, 2017

Eric Egeler stands by his herd on his Victory Township farm.

 

The Land: Egeler Beef Farm, going green.

#TheLand #MasonCountyAgriculture.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — It’s feeding time at Egeler Beef Farm, 2940 West Victory Drive. Eric Egeler walks out to the pasture and relocates the thin electric fence. It takes about 15 minutes to move the fence and the herd follows him to the new section of pasture. Feeding time is done.

“Feeding can take a lot of beef farmers a couple hours,” Eric says. “This is one of the things I love about grass feeding.”

Eric, 47, has been farming all his life, on the same land his parents, Ralph and Polly, farmed. The farm specializes in beef and about four years ago Eric took part in a study by Michigan State University researching the benefits of grass feeding cattle instead of feeding them grain.

“Naturally I was excited to do it. I had already been transitioning our herd to a foraged based diet and this was a great opportunity to learn more about the process,” Eric says. “Grass is the natural diet of the ruminant animal. It’s not corn,” Eric says. “We used to feed a lot of corn and we always had problems with our animals. They were always getting sick. In four years I have not had to buy a bottle of medicine.”

Feeding the cattle in the winter requires preparation, just like any other farm. Eric stores bails that are a mixture of grasses, including clovers and alfalfa wrapped in plastic. 

Eric says one of the keys to feeding grass to cattle is to replace starches with sugars, using grasses such as sorghum. “Sorghum is very high in sugar,” Eric says. “The higher the sugar content, the better.”

Eric sells his beef to a variety of sources, but also sells directly from the farm. He can be contacted through the farm’s Facebook page here.

Egeler Beef Farm is part of the Mason-Lake Conservation District’s fall tour, scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 7. See more information here.

This story, photographs, and video are copyrighted © 2017, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

 

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