One-hundred acre farm which is used primarily for the production of hay. Our 40 head of bison are now grass-fed. We do grow some corn / soybeans as a cash crop.
I was using a multiple area grazing practice, [before receiving this grant], and have added another pasture area.
1. Increase consumer knowledge with bison
2. Develop marketing to area restaurants / stores
3. Utilize marginal land to produce bison
1. When our schedule is free, we set up at our county Farmers Market. We are able to speak to countless potential customers. We also encourage people to visit the farm to see where their food comes from.
2. Our local restaurant now features bison burgers on their daily menu. Table tents explain the nutritional benefits.
3. Our bison are not 100 percent grass-fed. This year we will raise our own non-GMO corn to use as a corn stock feed.
• Eagle Graphics – Don Cochran
• Matt and Rachel Sterling – Kathy’s Korner Restaurant
Kathy’s Korner Restaurant
100 W. Fremont St.
Arcadia, Ohio 44804
• Dave Thomas – Coordinator for the Hancock County Farmers Market
We learned that the demand for bison in our area is greater than what we can supply. Our original intentions were to expand our herd, but economic changes have halted the purchase of additional breeding cows. We are able to maintain our present level without going outside our farm for feed.
We have had 4-H groups and other various youth groups visit the farm. Several assisted living facilities drive their vans through our drive to view the bison.
Health issues in 2007 also played a huge part in the expansion of our business. We are now able to expand it as the economy changes.
Participating in our county Farmers market was our first step in communicating with the community. I am primarily a commercial beekeeper, running 1,000 – 1,500 hives per season for pollination. When two surgeries in 2007 happened, I almost lost everything, including the bison. It has taken three years to regain my financial stability, but I am constantly fighting to keep my bees healthy and alive. I was able to maintain my [bison] herd but never went beyond the market and our local restaurant.
Excellent opportunity for farmers to explore new ideas. Writing the grant was time consuming but helpful when setting goals / objectives. We appreciate the extra time we were allotted to file our report.