Producers: Ryan & Eugene Herman
Farm Location: New Albin, Iowa
Distance From Luther: 30 miles from Luther's campus
What is produced on the farm: Grass fed beef
Ryan & Eugene raise only grass fed beef on their farm. After they are old enough, the cattle are sold through Grass Run Farms.
The Herman farm is about 550 acres in size. Ryan and Eugene are the fifth generation to own and operate the farm. 190 beef calf-cow pairs are fed and raised on the property. When they can, they raise their own replacement stock and bulls. They occasionally purchase bulls if they need to. Because of holistic planned grazing, fall rest periods, and mob grazing, they are getting more grass without increasing their land area. On the farm the cattle are allowed to graze freely in paddocks of about five acres in size. They are moved to a new paddock one to two times a day depending on how much they are eating. During the breeding season, the cattle are rotated faster and given a higher quality of feed. All of the calves are grazed as yearling and then sold to a grass finishing program.
The Luther students who visited this farm had to follow a long driveway that lead from the road up to the house and buildings. There were a lot of pastures and when they arrived a friendly Golden Retriever came to greet everyone.
The students were surprised to learn that this farm has been in the family for five generations. They were also surprised to discover that the Herman's have not made hay for their cattle since 2005.
When Ryan was asked what he liked most about farming, he said that he enjoys farming because he is able to be outdoors in nice weather most of the time he is working. He also likes being able to run his own business.
Ryan said weather and budget are always big challenges when it comes to farming. Also, the economics of farming and how they have been in the past few years is sometimes an obstacle.