Regenerative farming is comprised of many locally adapted practices. Choosing livestock or poultry for your regenerative farm can seem daunting. There is an endless maze of information about the traits of breeds and sometimes conflicting information about best management practices. We summarize how endangered Pineywoods Cattle benefit our regenerative farming practices in this post.
But first a bit about our regenerative farming goals. As a regenerative farm, we view the farm as an ecological system. When making decisions, we try to take the entire farm ecology into consideration, including but not limited to the health of the soil, conserving and preserving our forests, improving dung beetle health and increasing biodiversity. Pineywoods contribute to all of these, leading us closer to our goal of farming in harmony with nature.
The Pineywoods Cattle Story
1. Pineywoods ancestors were brought to what is now the Southeastern United States in early 1500’s by Spanish explorers.
2. The increased focus on breeds specialized for either dairy or beef has caused Pineywoods numbers to dwindle to near extinction. There were and estimated 200 left in the late 1990’s
3. Pineywoods are a dual breed, they provide milk and beef. Their history in the timber industry makes them excellent oxen.
4. Unlike breeds chosen purely for production, they retain balanced genetics. They are:
There is a general perception that, in order make room for cattle farming, deforestation is an inevitable practice. This is not the case with Pineywoods Cattle. We have lost count of the number of farmers that have come to us eager to start their herd after recently cutting back forest, only to learn that Pineywoods thrive on a combination of pasture and forest at Ozark Akerz.
How Do Pineywoods Cattle Benefit A Regenerative Farm?
The Pineywoods Cattle traits mentioned above can benefit regenerative farms in a number of ways. Here is a list of the ways they contribute to our regenerative farming goals at Ozark Akerz.
How To Choose Breeds For Your Regenerative Farming Goals
Pineywoods Cattle have proven to be a perfect fit to the climate and specific ecology of Ozark Akerz Regenerative Farm. If you're just beginning your search for animals that align with your regenerative farming goals, ask yourself the following questions to help you narrow your choice from the many breeds of chickens, cattle, goats, sheep, pigs etc:
We recommend starting your research of livestock and poultry breeds that align with your climate and environment at Livestock Conservancy.
Full disclosure, Ozark Akerz Regenerative Farm is a member of Livestock Conservancy. They have been instrumental in our selection of heritage breed cattle, chickens, turkeys and geese that are suitable for our climate, ecology and goals.
You may also like:
An Introduction to Heritage Breeds
Plants for Biodiversity and A Changing Climate
Pineywoods Cattle and Trees- A Partnership in Conservation
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