Grant Award: $6,000
James is diversifying his vegetable operation with grass-fed cattle. He purchased seven calves to pasture on 16 acres. He feeds them on grass until autumn before slaughtering them for sale to restaurants and individuals in the local community.
James has conducted soil testing and fertilizing, purchased solar powered electric fence chargers and fencing, and has purchased a hay storage shelter, which will be installed in October. With help from the Soil and Water Conservation District, he installed multiple water tanks.
“I anticipate being able to provide the community with locally grown, grass-fed beef at a reasonable price,” James said. “By having cattle on the property, it will improve the stewardship of the farmland by eliminating weeds and unwanted growth while improving the sustainability of the farm.”
The added income assists his other farm ventures. Since 2005, James has grown a variety of vegetables to sell to Mountain Foods, TRACTOR Food and Farms and various restaurants. He grew up on his family’s dairy farm, which then switched to beef cattle and tobacco in the 1970s.