Much of the landscape here is not suitable for anything besides hunting and grazing. This perfect grazing land also offers protection from the weather for our herd all year. Cattle are efficient managers of the wooded area, converting unusable forage to nutritious beef.
Hello Everyone! We are Bart and Amy Mitchell from Spring Creeks Cattle Company, Boscobel, Wis. We hope to give you a glimpse of our beef cattle farm in the Driftless Region of Southwest Wisconsin and our little piece of paradise.
Spring Creeks Cattle Company is a family partnership between three brothers, their families, and their parents. Each brother has a unique role in the partnership- crops, trucking, and cattle. We (Bart and Amy) primarily deal with the cattle end of the farm. Spring Creeks Cattle Company has three registered breeds of cattle; Angus, Limousin, and Red Angus. The landscape on our farm is simply amazing and the pictures won’t do it justice. Bob and Rhonda Mitchell started the cattle operation in the late 1970s with their young family in Iowa County and Grant County. In 2000, the farm transitioned over to Crawford County, which has a landscape untouched by glaciers leaving picturesque bluffs, valleys, and rolling (and steep!) hills.
Much of the landscape here is not suitable for anything besides hunting and grazing. This perfect grazing land also offers protection from the weather for our herd all year. The cattle have plenty of wooded and open acres for grazing in the summer. Cattle are efficient managers of the wooded area, converting unusable forage to nutritious beef. A crop field in a valley surrounded by woods is home for the cows during the winter and planted in winter rye and then sorghum in the summer.
Cattle eat and eat A LOT!! All of the feed that cattle eat is produced by and on our farm. Bart’s brothers, Scott and Matt, are the men in charge of getting the crops in and out of the ground, hauling the feed, and feeding year-round. We grow hay, corn, corn silage, rye, oats, soybeans, and sorghum for our cattle to eat throughout the year, mainly in the winter. Their diet is strictly monitored and adjusted based on the time of year, the weather (cattle need lots more energy during the cold snaps), their phase of production, and what feed is currently available. We store, grind, and mix the feed all on the farm.
We are raising the third generation of beef cattle producers at Spring Creeks Cattle Company. Our kids all have a role in the operation of the land and cattle. We strongly believe that one of the great benefits of the farming lifestyle is giving youth the opportunity to learn about respect, hard work, responsibility and caring for the land and so much more. We could not be prouder of their dedication and love for cattle. Our oldest daughter, Lily, is quickly learning and taking a major role in the genetic selection of cattle on the farm. She helps work all the calves, cows, and bulls. All of our kids help feed any bottle calves that might be around. They all love checking cattle whether it be by four-wheeler, UTV, or horse. All of them also enjoy getting cattle ready for the 4-H county fair, regional and national breed association shows, and bull sales.
Beef cattle generally raise one calf a year. Our cattle are bred either by means of artificial insemination or naturally with bulls we have raised or purchased. Our cattle operation is a “seedstock” operation, meaning we produce purebred cattle for other farms. We carefully manage and select genetics that will improve the cows we currently raise in order to produce a desirable cow or bull for other farms. Annually, we select around 80 Angus, Limousin, and Red Angus bulls and 40 females that we breed and raise to sell as feedstock. We pride ourselves on selecting and raising quality cattle for other beef producers to use in their herds. Cattle have been ultra-sounded to measure ribeye area and fat thickness. Performance data, information like birth weight, weaning weight, ribeye size, the amount of backfat, and more is kept on all of our cattle to help our customers make informed decisions about purchasing cattle for their herd. Our slogan is “Breedin’ the Feedin’ Kind.” We want our cattle to be both efficient growers for the meat market, as well as excellent cows for the pasture. We highlight these genetics at an annual bull sale in February in Fennimore. Females are also sold off the farm through private sales.
There are quite a few calves born here in the spring and some in the fall. These growing calves require more and more space and feed as they get older. What do we do with them all? The majority of our calves are sold through local sales or privately as feeder calves, 80-120 calves are kept for bulls and replacement heifers, and 50-60 calves are finished on the farm for direct-to-consumer beef sales. Our direct-to-consumer sales of quarters, halves, and whole beef have increased over the past two years and we started to sell at local farmer markets this summer. We don’t miss an opportunity to educate a consumer about where their food comes from and the practices we use for raising beef cattle. We truly appreciate people supporting local agriculture.