As we’ve mentioned before, I, Nathan, am a banker, and Meghan is a full-time student, working through her clinicals to be a registered nurse. We balance life with work, school, and make sure we fit in as much time as possible with our six-month old baby, Harper. On top of all of that, we are in the final stages of flipping a house that we bought before the homestead, a project that got put on the back burner with everything we had going on. Because of all of this, getting cows was something we had to wait patiently for. Luckily, the waiting is over and we are bringing them to the homestead this week!
Growing up, my Dad always kept a breed of cows called Angus Cross. They are well known for grain finished beef here in the states and one of the most common breeds. After we bought the farmstead I started to do research on what type of cows I would want for myself thinking that maybe I would differ from what my Dad had. My research led me to a breed I’ve seen around but didn’t know a lot about, a breed called the Belted Galloway. We primarily want to raise grass fed beef so these seemed like the perfect fit. They are a heritage breed known for their ability to forage and live on rough terrain in southern Scotland. They are somewhat rare in the US, but have recently started to become slightly more popular now that grass-fed animals are being recognized for all their health benefits. I went and visited a homestead not too far from our own that raised these Belties. I spent some time with the owners, looking and having a great conversation, but I decided that these aren’t for us, not yet anyhow. They are great, but they are definitely more costly than some of your more common breeds making it hard to get our money back from their offspring. If we would end up trying to sell the beef, the cost would be too high for most who don’t know the great benefits of having that particular breed of beef. I still really like this particular breed though and think I will have some someday.
For now though, we are sticking with Angus Cross! We have a great opportunity to start with three heifers that are actually already tied to our family. My dad shares a bull with the owner of the heifers we are buying, so, while they weren’t born on his homestead, they are from one of his own. We loved this tie to the homestead I grew up on, to start our own with cows that are tied into my dad’s , the place I was born and raised and developed a passion for the lifestyle. The plan is to have them mostly grass fed, but may finish on non-GMO grain if we can find something nearby that doesn’t break the bank.
This past weekend I spent a lot of time out in the barn, clearing all of the old broken things out that were left when we bought it, preparing for the cows. After clearing everything out, I got the watering trough ready and installed a couple gates to keep them contained to the appropriate area. Luckily, I had the help of my parents, when Meghan was in the house entertaining Harper. After all the hard work, we did one of my favorite parts of the weekend. We hung a swing (thanks Grandma) for Harper to be out, learning to spend time in the barn, having fun and enjoying the animals!
It was another productive weekend on the homestead. A lot of work was completed, memories made, and one step closer to the homestead we’ve dreamed of.