Our farmers know that cows do best when they can harvest their own feed from the pastures around them.
Our cows eat a complex diet of native and managed plants and grasses that changes throughout the seasons. Much of the year, the herds harvest their own feed from the farms’ pastures, choosing different feed depending on the weather, the cow’s health, the land on the farm, how close the cow is to giving birth, and the time of year.
Pastures may contain just one or two, or up to dozens of species of plants and grasses. Thus, our cows’ diets range from fresh pasture grasses such as indiangrass or switchgrass in early summer, to orchardgrass, ryegrass, or clover in mid-summer. Most surprising cow food choice in fall? Turnips!
During the winter months when the ground is frozen solid in the Midwest, our farmers provide their cows with stored forage, typically grown on the farm or purchased from nearby farms. Depending on the farmer and the situation, winter feed may include one, some, or all of the following organic foods: roasted soybeans (for protein); corn (for energy); barley, hay, haylage, balealge, silage, or wheat.