Bedient Farms Natural Beef

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Posted 8/15/2017 1:58pm by Angela Bedient.

Today we were moving a group of cows with calves to a new paddock to graze fresh grass.  There were 11 fairly new calves, ranging from 2 days to 2 weeks old, to get moved.  Most of our moves are planned so that we open a gate and move to the adjacent field or section of a field.  Today was a "hard" move.  In this particular field we had come to the end of the line and had to go back, via a lane.  The cows are easy...they see us open a wire gate and they go down the lane.  The calves on the other hand are clueless.  

So we got everything setup and ready, called the cows, rounded up all the calves, who of course were napping in every nook and cranny of the field, got them all with their mothers and opened the gate.  The cows slowly start milling through the gate and down the lane.  The calves immediately break from the cows go under the single electric wire and are dashing around and around in a big open field, but always back to their mothers (thank God).  So the site to see is the cows going nicely down the lane and calves everywhere, but generally heading in the right direction.

So as I'm calling the cows and guiding them down to the new paddock, I see 11 calves in the wrong place but going in the right direction.  I think to myself isn't this the truth with a lot of things?  Our life most days feels basically like some form of controlled chaos.  We put up "fences" to guide things toward our goals or keep things in check, but sometimes, most times, things go outside the fence, through the fence, past the gate opening.  We can panic or know that the calf always wants to go back to its mother.  We can panic, get down or know that things will always get back to center if we stay true to our goal, work hard and diligently and believe that GOD's plan is number one.

In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

 

Posted 10/12/2016 7:25pm by Angela Bedient.

In case you didn't catch my column in the Newsletter last week, check it out here!

The popular question for this time of year is always “Do you have things caught up?” or “Are things slowing down for you now?” Sometimes I wish the answer was yes, but it never seems to be the case.  Since we raise our calves start-to-finish and market all of our meat straight to the consumer, there never seems to be a “slow time.”  

We currently have the corn crop harvested, cover crops on, and just a small amount of hay to finish. I am busy working on fences and keeping as many of the cattle on pasture as possible. Some cattle, I was forced to pull off pasture, are being supplemented feed that should be for winter, so not only is this making more work to do each day but it is depleting our winter feed store.  

As has been typical, I still have no steady source of help. I am very thankful that despite this fact, everything always seemed to work out, making hay, chopping corn and completing other large tasks.  It was a juggling act with Mark and Tyler helping me around their full time jobs and the family chipping in a ton!  I am so blessed that they all do way more than I could ever expect!  This has definitely been an on-going challenge over the ten years that I’ve done business on my own, and now more than ever I feel the stretch of trying to run essentially two businesses and spend time together as a family.

This summer I had to work extra hard to keep the farm going with the drought and because of this, and I think other factors, the marketing end of things has suffered.  Business has been slow, we have lost some large accounts and have had to put a lot of money into some off-farm feed purchases.  

Given all of this…I made the decision last week to sell some of my beef animals.  This decision was not an easy one and I could write and maybe will write a totally separate letter to you all about this.  But for now I will say, this decision is the first step in many to be taken to try to revamp, rethink and restructure things so that I can do a better job managing the farm and my family life.  For now I can reassure you that I will have plenty of beef animals to finish out the regular market season and probably the winter too. We still have TONS of chicken and lots of pork.  We also have 100+ turkeys that are being finished for Thanksgiving and many of them are not yet spoken for. So definitely let me know if you would like to sign up for one. 

We will continue to take orders for quarter, half and whole beef, and half and whole hogs…as you all know, I feel very passionately about the fact that this option is the very best option, economically and morally.  

Please know that the main reason I chose to be a direct-market farm ten years ago remains the same today. I truly believe that our product is the healthiest choice for my family and yours.  I truly believe that the only way a farm can be economically stable and sustainable in today’s world is to market their product directly to consumers who are aware of the value in nutrient-dense food. When I chose to farm the way I do I didn’t choose it because it was easy or popular, I chose it because it was what made sense for sustaining my farm and family into the future. I am very pleased with the outcome and honored by how many families trust in us to put healthy food on their tables.

Posted 2/4/2015 10:45am by Angela Bedient.

I hope this finds everyone doing well!  We are in February already!

I suppose this means we are more than half way through winter.

Here on the farm we have spent the winter keeping everyone happy and fed.  Until this recent snow of 12 inches we really haven't had it too bad.  All of the animals are doing really well, staying content with our ample supply of stored feeds and they are all healthy.

Before this long stretch of cold set in we began working on a fencing project at one of the summer pastures.  Our old cattle handling pens were so far gone that I could not bear the thought of trying to use them another season.  Also the fence at this farm, which is one of the oldest farms we own, is all a hodge-podge of old, very old and some newer fence.

So I made the decision to tear down the pens and 3,000 feet of perimeter fence.  Before the frost set in we removed the pens and most of the fence and posts.  But as we were preparing to clear some brush and start pounding new posts the ground became too frozen to continue.  We will now be awaiting a thaw.

At another location, last Spring we lost several hundred feet of fence in the flood.  So after being shut down up on the hill, we moved down by the creek to see if we could start work there.  I believe that we could have, but this week we got the snow!  So again, we are shut down.

Frustrating you say?  I guess not too bad.  Winter is always like this.  We either get blessed with open days and get a jump on Spring work, or we wait, plan and attack in an organized chaotic manner come a thaw.

So for now I will be doing things like writing this Blog to keep you all posted on what's going on.  I will work on the dreaded taxes and book work.  I will plan for upcoming markets and butchering activities.  And we will keep the animals fed and happy.  We might squeeze in some firewood getting and logging too if we can get around.

There's always something to do. We just work with what we are given.

Posted 5/15/2013 8:22pm by Angela Bedient.

New grass means new babies here at the farm.  So far we have welcomed 21 happy healthy calves into the world.  Mamas and babies are all doing well and grazing away. 

Some people who are familiar with Spring calving, might be saying, "people that I know already had their calves for the year, what's up with this Bedient Farms!?"  Well, we definitely do things differently, and I like to say that's a good thing! ;)

I calve later in the Spring for a couple of reasons.  One reason is that my summer pastures are across town, so in late April or early May, when the new grass is well established, we have to make the moooove across town.  I don't want the cows to be "ready to pop" during the move, simply because it could be a little stressful on them and the calf.  (It's not exacly natural for a cow to ride in a trailer over a bumpy road.)  So we wait, and let them settle in!

Also, I would like the babies to be born on clean, new grass.  Winter barnyards and lots can have manure deposits that havn't broken down during the colder winter months and also can tend to be muddy in the spring, both these scenarios can mean bacteria that can be introduced into a calves naval in an instant.  So, I just don't risk it and I make sure they are going to have a nice clean bed to lie in.

Last but not least, if the cow is grazing new, lush grass when the calf is born (versus still eating winter stored feeds) she is going to produce a wonderful, nutrient-filled supply of milk.  The calf will be better off for it, getting a great start and being a much healthier animal throughout its whole life. 

Now, remember, I don't claim to be the only one in this world that knows how to raise quality beef!  This is just my way and it works for me.  I have found that over the last several years of implementing these practices I have had healthier, hardier calves and cows that require no vaccinating and few instances of sickness that require treatment with drugs.  Therefore I am meeting my goals to bring people healthy beef, raised naturally! 

So with all of that said, wish us luck on the rest of calving season and don't forget that calving season marks market season!  Both Canandaigua and Branchport kickoff summer market season the week of May 28th!  Check out the calendar to be sure you are in the right place at the right time!

Thanks for reading! 

Posted 4/23/2013 7:52am by Angela Bedient.

Spring is officially here!   We are calving in Virginia and the weather is perfect for it.  The cows are beginning to graze a little bit and the calves are coming right along.  Day two ended yesterday with calf number 6 arriving late in the evening.

  

I am always so excited to see what each year's crop will look like.  This year, my Virginia herd was bred to a sweet little calving-ease, Angus bull.  So, the cows ARE calving with ease! The calves are small and very healthy and active. The only disappointing part to me is that almost all of the calves are black!  I love my colors so I am awaiting these shorthorn cows to start throwing some roans and spotted calves :)  Either way, I am very happy to see cute, healthy, happy calves hit the ground running and eating!   

Posted 3/12/2013 7:39pm by Angela Bedient.

It has been quite the winter compared to last!  Reminding us that we do live in New York, we do get snow, and caring for animals in the winter means a lot of hard work.

But we plowed through it and we and the animals are all doing great.  The cattle are feeling Spring nearing each day, with the young and old running around a little more and kicking up their heels. 

We are going full steam ahead continuing with our winter feeding routine but anxiously anticipating the grass growing, so working hard on fence repairs.  And there are plenty of fences to repair!

Every winter storms blow through, knocking limbs and trees over on the fences.  Also deer run around sometimes forgetting to jump a little higher and knock top wires down.  These battles with nature, along with the every year creep of bushes and trees intruding on the fence row and the weather of old posts and wire, keep us busy chainsawing, tearing down, building up and literally tangling with rose bushes and barbed wire.

In the end, when the first blades of green grass reach a nutritious, hardy height and the cattle are turned out into safely fenced in fields, all the thornbush and barbed wire battles are WELL worth it!  

Here's to March and April showers bringing May flowers and acres of green grass! 

Posted 7/30/2012 1:03pm by Angela Bedient.

Hi!  Just wanted to let you all know that we will be at Empire Farm Days this year!  August 7th, 8th and 9th.  We will be in the Cornell Building. 

Come see us and many other vendors for samples galore.  The show offers more than I could ever tell you so check out the website for more information and plan a day out!

Posted 6/25/2012 7:44am by Angela Bedient.

Very happy to announce that the first cutting for the year is all rolled up and stored.  This is always a challenge, given the fact that we are focusing on grazing and calving along with the hay making this first round.  So in other words, it's pure chaos at times.  But...we did it! 

Now as July rolls in, we will continue to focus on grazing and maintainance jobs around the farm, such as weed control by brush hogging and weed eating.  Also we have miles of fence to fix and maintiain in front of the cattle rotation, so we will continue to push push push each day.

Markets are going great!  It's so nice to see all of your smiling faces each week.  We really appreciate your business.  Let me know if you have any special orders for the 4th!

 

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