Let's face it, most people who grow up in the Bronx have little experience with cows and calves on a farm. Why? For the most part, it's a matter of opportunity. When I was growing up in the South Bronx, I didn't know a farmer I could approach and ask "can I visit your cattle?" The closest I came to livestock was the "chicken man" at the open-air market just blocks from my house. This was in the late 1950s, when there were still people who sold live chickens and slaughtered, feathered and gutted them for you on the spot. Yup, that was before most inner cities became food deserts.
Fortunately, things are changing because consumers in cities and countryside are demanding healthful foods.
For me, this has been a journey from the tenements of the Bronx to my own grass-fed beef operation in west central Wisconsin, an easy drive from the Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN metro.
I took this photo just this past weekend while I was repair fences on our 72-acre farm. Britta will nurse her calf for about 10 months. This is very unlike many conventional operations where the calf is weaned from the cow at a much younger age. I leave the calf and cow together for nearly a year because it gives the little bovine time to develop a strong digestive system - one better able to convert grass to strong muscle and bone.
Ultimately, this means a happier herd and better beef for our customers. More info at www.bullbrookkeep.com.
Played: 62 | Download | Duration: 00:29:22Leigh Adcock, Exec. Dir. Women, Food & Agriculture Network (WFAN)
Played: 100 | Download | Duration: 00:27:25
Played: 68 | Download | Duration: 00:23:24David S. Cargo, Exec. Director Upper Midwest Bakery Association