“As a beef farmer, cattle health is the most important characteristic of our herd. Not only are healthy animals important to the other farmers who may purchase my calves, but also the consumer who eats the products that were born on our farm.”
Trevor Yager and his fiancé Cheyenne own and operate a 75 head purebred Angus cow/calf beef farm in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Trevor grew up on a beef farm as a child but decided to start his own herd once he graduated college. Both Trevor and Cheyenne work off of the farm full time as well as dedicating nights and weekends to the well-being of their herd.
Cow/calf farms are the first step in the beef lifecycle. This is where cows (females) give birth to calves. Calves are typically raised on their mother’s milk until they are 6 months old. Throughout this time, calves also graze on pastures beside their mother and learn the ins and outs of being a bovine.
The Yager Family takes their role as dedicated beef farmers very seriously. Calving season on the farm can be stressful. Long days and sleepless nights are spent in the barn aiding mother cows through the birthing process. Once calves are born, beef farmers ensure they receive their mother’s colostrum. Colostrum is the first milk that comes down in the cow’s udder and is packed full of vitamins and minerals to help start the calf’s immune system. Many beef farmers will also utilize vaccinations in order to build strong antibodies to fight diseases in the young calf’s very early stages of life.
In addition to being beef farmers, Trevor works for a genetics company whose mission is to provide mating options to improve the world’s beef products for both the producer and the consumer. All beef farmers use genetics to guide their herd to feed the world. Genetic traits can be chosen to influence their mothering ability, carcass traits, frame size and more. By utilizing genetic and reproductive technologies, beef farmers can quickly improve beef products to suit consumer demands.
Cheyenne works for a company who supplies supplements to beef farmers to increase cattle immune systems, digestibility and more. Just as many people take a vitamin in the morning to support their bodies, beef farmers provide health supplements to their cattle in order to improve health and prevent disease on the farm.
Beef farmers like the Yager family also invest money in new management technologies to be used on the farm. Trevor and Cheyenne use a herd management system called CowManager to help track the heath and activity level for each cow in the herd. CowManager is a monitoring system located in the ear tag of each cow which is most commonly used for identification. This monitoring system can also track when cows have been bred for future calving dates and can catch early signs of a health event based on cow behavior.
“As a beef farmer, cattle health is the most important characteristic of our herd. Not only are healthy animals important to the other farmers who may purchase my calves, but also the consumer who eats the products that were born on our farm,” says Trevor. The Yager family works closely with their veterinarian to ensure healthy and happy cattle.
As Wisconsin beef farmers, the Yager family prides themselves on providing a powerful protein for the center of your plate.