Marty and Amy Andersen own and operate a 60 head purebred Angus and commercial cow/calf beef farm in New Glarus, Wisconsin. Not only are the Andersen’s dedicated beef farmers, Marty is also employed full-time through Zoetis as one of their cattle nutritionists.
Marty plays a vital role in the beef industry as a nutritionist by helping producers formulate diets in a very delicate way that both the animal and the farm will benefit. Marty and his team of nutritionists evaluate what a farm has obtained from the previous year’s harvest, combine the commodities and pull together a feeding plan that is most resourceful for everyone involved.
“These animals can turn otherwise useless land that cannot be managed for human food production through crops and convert it into the most valuable protein available. That is pretty incredible” says Amy. Beef cattle are masters of being resourceful. Not only can they utilize land that is otherwise not suitable for crop production, cattle can thrive on other food materials that would otherwise be wasted such as cookie crumbles, granola, kool-aid and skittles from factories who cannot package the product to be sold in stores. These ingredients in addition to a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals provide a well-balanced and nutritious diet for cattle.
The Andersen’s have partnered with other beef producers from across the country to ensure their calves are as resourceful as possible. After weaning, their calves will travel to Texas where they will graze on winter wheat fields for a total of three months. “Not only do the calves really blossom on the nutrient-rich wheat fields, the wheat farmers also harvest a better crop too” says Marty. “The calves fertilize the ground while the calves prosper from the wheat fields. Wheat farmers reap a tremendous crop this way. The wheat farmer, the beef farm and the consumer all benefit from this practice.”
As first generation beef farmers, the Andersen’s have had to overcome many obstacles since their start in 1988. Through hard work and perseverance, the Andersen’s were able to continue producing high quality beef. Amy explained, “We had to cut ends and sacrifice a lot to be where and what we are doing now. If you are willing to make a few sacrifices for your family and your animals, any interested person can start just like we did.”
Marty has a passion for consumer education as he sat on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board of Directors for 6 years planning promotional and educational materials for consumers across the United States. He has seen too many times the misconceptions and misunderstood aspects of the beef industry first-hand. “If you have a question or concern, ask a farmer, seriously.” Marty explained. “The only way you will find a true answer is if you ask someone who raises cattle for a living. We would be more than happy to answer any of your questions.”
As Wisconsin beef farmers, the Andersen family prides themselves on providing healthy and wholesome beef for your family and theirs.