On April 13th, Arndt Farms hosted an extremely educational experience with 30 Wisconsin School Nutrition Association members. These members work with school officials and directors in order the purchase food for school lunches for youth across the state. SNA members are very influential in making food selection decisions within their school districts and individual facilities. It is important to Wisconsin’s beef industry that these influential individuals choose to promote the use of beef in Wisconsin schools.
Arndt Farms held a diversified tour which included visiting the cow/calf operation in the pasture, observing the farm’s unique feedyard operation and talking about the different crops they grow like corn, wheat, soybeans and peppermint.
The group started in the Cow/Calf section were Austin Arndt spoke about the first 6 months of a calf’s life. Attendees had the opportunity to observe the calves in pasture with their mother while Austin answered questions about the family farm and the process of weaning calves from their mothers. Austin also talked about the reproductive technology he uses on the farm to ensure stable and genetically superior pregnancies including embryo transfer, invitro fertilization and artificial insemination.
The next stop of the tour was to the grain stuffs near the home farm. Because Arndt Farms is a diversified operation, they are capable of feeding the products of which they grow in the fields such as corn and wheat to their cattle compared to buying it. The attendees asked questions about how Arndt Farms makes sure the cattle are fed evenly. “How do you know what they (the cattle) need to meet all of their requirements?” one attendee asked. Austin, who graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science, says they use a computer program which determine nutritional value of the different feed stuffs from frequent testing and measures how much must be applied to meet that specific animal’s requirements at that stage of their lives.
On the final stop of the tour, attendees had the opportunity to walk through Arndt Farm’s feedyard and ask questions about the feedlot section of beef production. Attendees loved the curious steers and giggled at their long tongues. “These are some happy cows! Not like what I thought it was going to be like” said one attendee.
After the tour, attendees hosted their monthly meeting in Arndt Farm’s shed with Classic Sloppy Joes provided by Wisconsin Beef Council. All 30 of the attendees said they would share this experience with their networks and look forward to engaging other Farm Tour opportunities.