Our family farming history began with my great-great-... (nine generations ago) grandfather Johannes. He, his wife and three children left Saxony, Germany, on April 20, 1734, aboard the ship St. Andrew, mastered by Capt. John Stedman. They landed at Philadelphia on Sept. 22 and eventually settled our family’s first "New World" farm near Society Run in Frederick Township, Montgomery County, Pa., in 1743. Pig farming was our family’s specialty until the mid 1950s. A lot has changed since then. Our BQA cow–calf operation includes 100% grass-fed registered Red Angus, Hereford and purebred Beefalo; 30 to 35 pastured Duroc and Spot pigs; 100 Freedom Ranger broilers; and 90 Golden Comet and Buff Orpington layers. We organically maintain 80 acres, comprising 15 acres in rotational pastures, 15 acres in tillable cropland, and alfalfa/mixed grass hay on the balance. We have never used chemical pesticides or herbicides on our pastures or hay fields. We are not a "certified" organic farming operation, but we prefer the natural/organic approach to help promote sustainability.
Why not BEEFALO?
Jul 22, 2011
Focus on Crossbreeding
Clear targets are required when choosing what beef breeds you plan to use in your crossbreeding program. Selection at the cow-calf level have focused on productivity per cow with emphasis on reproductive and growth traits for the last 20-30 years. The importance of hitting the market target has resulted in the emphasis shifting toward evaluation and selection of carcass characteristics. The first important step is to ensure your cow herd matches your environment and resources and then determine how to hit your market targets through breed and Bull selection.
Our 100% Grass-fed BEEFALO are a combination of 3/8’s Bison and 5/8’s Red Angus. We’ve found that it optimizes and fits our regions many environmental challenges and extreme changes. The BEEFALO breed is not limited to only Angus. We also have Hereford and Charolais BEEFALO on our farm. If your operation is small enough to allow you the opportunity to attend a weekly/local farmers market or maybe you have a store or farm stand on your farm/ranch, simply ask your customers what they want! And be sure to ask them for their feed-back after tasting your products. Good and bad critique of your products is the only way you will know what if anything needs to be changed. That’s how you create a niche in your market/area.
Although the benefits of crossbreeding have been known for many years, it has been accepted by commercial cattlemen only for the past few years and has become a standard for the commercial industry.
To increase profitability, crossbreeding must be used in a systematic plan, since many production benefits will result only from an organized approach. Before designing an effective crossbreeding plan, you must have some understanding of how crossbreeding increases production.
BREED for VIGOR!
Correctly cross-bred cattle exhibit hybrid vigor! Our BEEFALO remain productive through our below zero winters and above 100 degree summers. This "Vigor" also directly relates to an increase in production longevity, coupled with greater calf vigor and survival, resulting in increased calf crops, lower birth weights (which translate into easier calving especially for first calf heifers), higher weaning weights and faster finishing. Our cattle generally reach optimum harvest weight by the time their 15-16 months old.
Your ultimate reason for crossbreeding should be to take advantage of your breeds complementary characteristics, since weakness of one breed can be offset by combining it with a breed strong in that trait. The resulting crossbreed may not be superior in any single trait but be superior in overall performance.
For us at The Kuhn Family Farm, raising BEEFALO is more than EPD’s and cattle science. BEEFALO represent the best of two entirely different species and something more. It’s a chance to have the heritage of the American West living in your pasture or on your range.
As the World War II generation passes it’s farms down to you and I , we’re confident that consumers will continue to seek out naturally raised, heart healthy LEAN BEEF product for their family & friends. A BEEFALO Bull added to your present herd will allow you to create your own vision of this great breed. Because BEEFALO is a unique blend of species, it offers the ability to bring your herd to registered status.
A crossbreeding program that will increase profitability must take maximum advantage of these characteristics of crossbreds. In other words, you must keep your breeds highest qualities at the highest level possible and combine breeds that compliment each other as you create your own PBP!
"Perfect BEEFALO Product"