Raising cattle is more than a business for the Payne family, it is about instilling respect for the animals, land and resources in each generation.
For the past 47 years, we have operated a commercial Angus cow/calf operation. We background our calves, Marketing steers into an all-natural program. The higher performance heifers are developed and artificially inseminated (AI) to join the commercial herd. Heifers not chosen for replacements are marketed. We are constantly working to improve the quality of our cattle through extensive performance testing. We raise alfalfa and corn for both silage and grain, as well as small grains, but our biggest crop is grass.
To keep our animals safe and healthy, we strive to remove outside factors that could harm the health of the herd. By utilizing AI, we are able to obtain replacement heifers, as well as many of the bulls. We work to maintain the complete health of all animals by working with our veterinarian on a herd-specific vaccination/health program. We also incorporate a mineral program catered to our herd needs, while also utilizing forage tests to produce a well-balanced diet.
We practice responsible care of the environment by utilizing many principals, including a rotational grazing program to ensure pastures are not overstocked. We have developed dependable water systems with large tanks in all pastures to accommodate for the number of animals. In addition, special care is used in managing our largest crop – grass. All farming is done with no-till practices.
A farm or ranch is a great place to raise a family. You can teach kids to be responsible, motivated and caring individuals. It is a hard and tough life, but one that is also very rewarding. I grew up on a farm where we had dairy and beef cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, geese, and many other fowl, and my parents drove school bus. Very early we learned responsibility as well as the need to do our part for it to work. My husband and I have tried to teach our four daughters that same responsibility and to take pride in your work. My husband has always said he would put any of our daughters up against a guy for any job! We have enjoyed working together every day, doing what we love to do. And, at the end of the day you don’t have to ask, “How was your day?” because you have spent the day working side by side.
My favorite beef meal is a good pot roast with potatoes and carrots hot from the oven!