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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Welcome to my Family's Factory Farm

Frobose Family Farms

Fortunate enough to be home for the Thanksgiving Holiday, I thought it would be an appropriate time to highlight our beef cattle operation back home. We raise quite a few cattle as a family, not a factory!

I am very grateful to have a great family and a fourth generation farm outside of the small town of Pemberville, OH. For those of you who read my last blog, "Animal Welfare Judging", I briefly described that our team assessment involved evaluating a covered beef feedlot. This assignment struck particularly close to home as we operate a covered feedlot back home.

Since beef feedlot production systems have been criticized heavily over the past few years, I thought it would be beneficial to show some pictures of our feedlot, where we house approximately 100 head of beef cattle for approximately 150-200 days. Because we live in an environment that recieves 35-40 in of rainfall each year and about the same amount of snow, raising cattle outside in a dry lot situation is really not an option. We feed our cattle in the original Frobose barn, built in 1868, and have built additions in order to provide appropriate space for the amount of cattle we raise. We aren't about to haul out manure and fertilize our fields as often as would be ideal because of the added rainfall, so we provide straw or corn stalk bedding throughout the year in areas where the cattle rest.

The cattle on our operation are fed high quality ingredients including shelled corn, oats, a soybean meal supplement to provide additional protein, and a red clover hay as a forage to maintain gut health. Our cattle also have free access to wheat straw in order to prevent acidosis, a condition that can occur when cattle eat too much grain and not enough forage.

Our cattle are marketed through Ohio Signature Beef, a branded product line that our family and other Ohio producers created in order to provide an outlet for Ohio consumers to purchase a high quality beef product that was raised and fed in Ohio. Through our production system, we choose not to implant our cattle and we do not give antibiotics to our cattle in order to provide beef that some consumers prefer. Oftentimes cattle can get sick and need to be given an antibiotic, and in such case we market them through other outlets or often just process them and put them in our own freezer at home, because we know there are no issues with antibiotic or hormone residues in beef raised with traditional methods.

I hope you've enjoyed the story of our feedlot operation, if you have any questions about our family farm and dispelling the idea of factory farms, please feel free to email me at



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