Friday, July 24, 2009

Fox Hill Farm - New York

Larry Lampman is a successful boutique beef producer in upstate New York, where he is now primarily working with British White and Murray Grey cattle. Larry uses lots of Artificial Insemination in his breeding program, and J.West Cattle has been pleased that he has chosen to work with semen from our herd as well, including our senior herd bull, J.West's Elvis, pictured here. The following article is found at CountryFolks.com , and Larry Lampman was as well featured in the past April issue of the Stockman Grassfarmer. Larry's approach to cattle production and marketing of his product is a lesson in perseverance and success.


The following are excerpts from this article, please follow this link for the complete article.


by Sally Colby
"Larry Lampman is the third generation farmer to live on a scenic Berkshire foothills property that was established as a farm in 1882. Larry’s grandfather raised driving horses and sheep, then Larry’s father and uncle established a dairy farm. When his father and uncle gave up farming, Larry started a herd of beef cattle with a herd of what he refers to as ‘old-fashioned’ Angus and Herefords in 1999. Larry said the idea of a cow/calf operation appealed to him, and was aware that people are interested in beef raised on pasture.

........After a few years of raising traditional beef breeds, Larry started to add heritage breeds known for their ability to thrive on grass: Red Devon, British White and Murray Grey....... Right now, the herd totals 90 animals, 50 of which are brood cows. Larry uses British White and Murray Gray A.I. sires, respectively, on those breeds.
.............“I like to have calves born in May,” he said. “The only time I don’t calve is January through March. But since I feed baleage, I can finish steers at pretty much any time of the year.” When selecting sires, Larry is most concerned with temperament and breed type rather than EPDs. “I want the animal to be tame, and in the case of British White, properly marked,” he said. “Type is most important — the kind of offspring that results from a sire.” As he built his herd, Larry retained many heifers, but he’s now ready to market some registered adult British White females.

.........Larry notes that consumers have an interest in purchasing locally produced food, but with a lack of local, small-scale inspected slaughterhouses, it’s difficult for producers to serve this need. He envisions customers getting together, purchasing an animal, sending a check for their portion; then hiring the farm owner to take care of the on-farm slaughter. “To sell retail, you have to go through a USDA-inspected slaughterhouse,” said Larry, adding that the public actually finances inspected USDA slaughter facilities. “My goal is to be able to call the inspector and make an appointment for him to come to the farm; the farm would be an approved facility for slaughter. It’s the least-stress ending to the animal that’s had a good life on the farm.”

..........Animals for retail sale are processed at a USDA facility in Litchfield, CT. In addition to an array of traditional cuts, an extremely popular offering is custom-recipe hot dogs. “They’re our best seller,” he said. “People love these hot dogs. Senator Gillibrand, a strong advocate for agriculture and on the Senate ag committee, uses these products.” The executive chef at the governor’s mansion purchases locally grown meat whenever possible, including that produced at Fox Hill Farm.

........Larry spends time simply observing his animals, and finds that this, along with routine vaccinations, is the key to keeping the herd healthy. “What we’re trying to do is responsible, sustainable agriculture,” said Larry. “I’m interested in food security and growing more food close to people, and doing it sustainably without using a lot of fossil fuels. I have to run tractors, but I haven’t used any commercial fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides since I started.”

Visit Fox Hill Farm online at www.foxhillfarmgrassfedbeef.com

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