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‘Solar-Powered’ Beef

July 3, 2012

Guest blog by The Minnesota Project intern Collin Motschke.

Prairie Horizons Farm, an organic grass-fed beef operation located in the glacial moraine near Morris Minnesota, blissfully embodies the pastoral nature of the region, both in appearance and philosophy.  It retains a traditional farmstead aesthetic while passionately promoting the progressive ideals of environmental stewardship and human health.    Last week, Jake Fischer and I took a trip to western Minnesota to see what’s going on at Prairie Horizons.

Founded and managed by Mary Jo and Luverne Forbord, Prairie Horizons Farm began as a conventional, 150-animal dairy farm.  After a few decades, Mary Jo and Luverne’s growing intolerance for astronomical veterinary bills, excessive fossil-fuel consumption, and hazardous chemical and pesticide usage caused them to search for an alternative.  Mary Jo’s experience as a registered dietitian and Luverne’s fervor for humane and economical farming practices greatly influenced the search.  Eventually, the couple’s values converged at organic grass-fed beef production.

Now, Prairie Horizons Farm is home to a herd of 48 cattle, known as Australian Lowline Angus, that rotationally graze on approximately 300 acres of tallgrass prairie pastureland.  Considerably smaller and leaner than the industrially produced Black Angus cattle, Austrailian Lowlines are short-legged, natural-born grass-lovers.  Their fat is of healthier composition (more unsaturated omega-3 fats than grain-fed cattle).  They are hormone and antibiotic free.  They rarely need to see the veterinarian.  They only eat grass from organic pastures.  And, according to Luverne, each animal uses only one-half gallon of fossil fuel from birth to slaughter; he claims that his cattle are ‘solar-powered’!

Undoubtedly, the transition from conventional to sustainable agriculture has been a wholly successful venture for Mary Jo and Luverne Forbord of Prairie Horizons Farm.

For more information about Prairie Horizon Farm, see their website.

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