The mission statement of the South Poll Cattle Breed is:
"To promote gentle South Poll Cattle as the premier heat-tolerant maternal breed for the efficient conversion of grass to tender beef."
We believe the South Poll Cattle are best suited to the heat and humidity of our area, perform well in a grass operation, are of a size and phenotype to support calf development, fertility, and longevity.
We believe that a grass-based program results in: healthy cattle, healthy consumers, healthy land, and healthy wildlife. We never feed our cattle grain. We utilize cover crops throughout various times of the year to provide forage for the cattle and cover for healthy soil.
Depending upon the time of year, we may rotate the cattle up to 8 times a day. Intensively managed rotational grazing is a tool we use to promote increased utilization of our forage resources, increased rest periods for our pastures, support of healthy soil, and increased weight gains on our cattle.
Effective stockmanship is a method of handling cattle in a way that uses their natural tendencies to get them to move in a more effective way that results in less stress on the animal and the handler. We feel that it results in increased animal welfare (including reduced sickness), a safer environment for the rancher, increased performance gains in cattle, and a more enjoyable ranch life. If you come to watch us work cattle, you will most likely see a quiet, hands down, and efficient process. JR periodically helps other ranches and demonstrates effective stockmanship. If you are interested in learning more, let us know.
We have been working with Steve Campbell of Tailor Made Cattle (using the principles expounded upon by Gerald Fry and Bonsma among others) to make sure that we have mama cows that have the right phenotype (body shape among other features) to excel in our grass operation. We strive to have cattle that can:
eat for three (support a healthy body weight on grass while nursing a calf and supporting a pregnancy)
exhibit a healthy glandular function
exhibit increased fertility and longevity
produce increased buttermilk to support calf growth
We tend to think that man's efforts to replicate Mother Nature typically fall short. We run a holistic ranch that eschews the use of commercial fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. We view what others call "weeds" as supplying the cattle with a diverse source of minerals, nutrients and micro-nutrients. We believe that natural supplements such as sea salt, bentonite clay, and apple cider vinegar provide the cattle with a better source of supplementation at a lower cost than other alternatives available to us.
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