"When deciding on the breed of livestock to raise, we fell in love with Heritage Breeds, breds that have been threatened with extinction due to industrial agriculture's focus on a few commercial breeds.
We discovered the Livestock Conservancy website and after studying all the cattle breeds and speaking with staff, Pineywoods Cattle stood out as the cattle breed for us. We loved the idea of becoming part of a small community of farmers that were helping to bring this historically significant breed back from the brink of extinction. We were attracted to their disease and parasite resistance, heat tolerance, mothering and natural calving ability (we wanted the breed we chose to be able to birth without our help!) and the fact that they could thrive on less than ideal forage. And of course, they are beautiful animals!
These traits made good business sense too. When comparing Pineywoods to commercial cattle, at least on paper, they add up to a net positive. Disease and parasite resistance meant lower vet bills; high natural calving and low calf mortality rates meant higher revenue; ability to thrive on less than ideal forage meant lower annual cost for organic hay. On top of the tangible savings this should give us, it should also free up time spent managing the herd to build the business. Only time will tell if this will hold true, but we are already seeing anecdotal evidence. When speaking with local farmers, we are feeding a lot less hay than they are." - Mike Hansen