e56. Turning Bedrock into Thriving Grazing Land with Claudia Kaelin

In this episode, Claudia Kaelin shares her experiences raising cattle, goats, and turkeys on Fossil Ridge Farms in Canada, detailing the challenges of grazing on bedrock and the importance of forage utilization. She also discusses the regulations and quotas Canadian farmers must adhere to and the importance of bridging the gap between consumers and their food sources, the personable nature of turkeys, and her experiences with full-blood Limousin cattle. Additionally, Claudia shares invaluable advice on working deliberately, understanding the dangers of moving parts, and taking extra precautions when working with animals.

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These transcriptions are automatically generated. Please excuse any errors in the text.

0:00:00 – Cal Hardage
Welcome to the Grazing Grass Podcast, episode 56.

0:00:05 – Claudia Kaelin
You’re a grass farmer before you’re a livestock farmer, so you have to take care of your grass. If your grass is not in good health, your cows aren’t going to benefit from it.

0:00:13 – Cal Hardage
You’re listening to the Grazing Grass Podcast, helping grass farmers learn from grass farmers, and every episode features a grass farmer and their operation. I’m your host, cal Hardeech. On today’s episode, we have Laudia Halen from Canada on to discuss grass-fed beef, turkeys, pork and some goats in there. In fact, we talk about boar goats and then limousine cattle in the overgrazing section. She is our first guest from Canada, so we’re excited about that And I think we have an excellent episode you’ll enjoy.

However, before we talk to Claudia, 10 seconds about my farm. So I told you last week got home from the grazing conference. It motivated me to do some daily moves and I’ve been semi successful with that. I’m really moving more like every other day, but I am moving the cattle. I did get a teeler farm gate that I plan on getting to work tomorrow, and also I purchased a couple more South Pole cows for the farm, so I’m excited to increase the South Pole numbers. And it’s been raining not as much as I want, but we’re getting some rain, so that’s really great. And there’s been some areas around me that’s been very dry that’s gotten more rain than I have, so that is excellent news for them. But enough about me, let’s talk to Claudia. Claudia, we want to welcome you to the Grazing Grass podcast. We’re excited you’re here today.

0:01:55 – Claudia Kaelin
Thank you for having me Cal.

0:01:56 – Cal Hardage
Claudia, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your operation?

0:02:01 – Claudia Kaelin
So my name is Claudia. I was originally born in Switzerland and then our family moved to Canada in 1998 when I was five months old. We’ve been farming here ever since. I’m from St Pascal Bélin, that’s in Eastern Ontario, Canada. It’s about an hour out of Ottawa and an hour and a half from Montreal, so we’re right in between. There We started with dairy, and then we gradually moved to cash cropping, And then, when I graduated high school, I went off to McGill University and studied in farm management and technology, and then I came back to the farm, and here I am.

0:02:45 – Cal Hardage
Very good. And when did you So? your family has crops. Did they have cattle or any other livestock at the time when you came back from school?

0:02:57 – Claudia Kaelin
So we had dairy animals at the beginning, until 2003, and they sold the dairy to focus on the crops. Yesterday they sold the dairy cows. They kind of missed having animals around, so they bought some charlotte beef And so we had those for a while, but then they kind of weaned down the amount of animals they had. And then so I went to college and when I came back we still had a couple cows, two cows and a half or so. That’s what I started working with.

0:03:27 – Cal Hardage
And what were your goals there when you started working with the cattle?

0:03:31 – Claudia Kaelin
Well, at the beginning I just wanted to feed our own family. I was like, well, we have beef, eat our own beef. So, because we do crops, so most of our land is for corn, beans, wheat, that’s what we do. But then, right where our farm is, we have this marginal land. It’s just bedrock. So we’re on a rocky ridge and that’s where the farm name comes from, so Fossil Ridge Farm, and this rocky outcrop is like a little island in the sea of like good farmland and it’s just you can’t do anything with it. So I was like this is the perfect opportunity to graze and try and make something of this essentially useless land into something useful. And so that’s how that started.

0:04:18 – Cal Hardage
Very good, And that was. You came back to the farm 2016, 2018?.

0:04:24 – Claudia Kaelin
I finished college in 2016, and then I worked a year at a different farm, and so I came back to the farm in 2017.

0:04:33 – Cal Hardage
So once you came back to the farm and you started down this path to provide beef for yourself, were you thinking the time grass fed, or what was your thought pattern there and where did you start towards the grass fed?

0:04:51 – Claudia Kaelin
You know I have a lot of influence from my parents and my dad. You know we grow crops, so he’s like feed corn And I was like, okay, we have because we have when we, when we process our corn in the fall, we have corn finds and it’s a waste product essentially. It’s basically just cracked kernels. So it’s perfectly fine, It’s just oh yes you can’t really sell it.

So my dad’s like we have an abundance of this, just feed it. And I was like okay, but I wasn’t happy with how my animals were doing when I was doing that because you know I started to have some bottle calves to raise in the first year alongside the other ones. And those bottle calves they were getting some some of those corn finds And I had some developed acidosis and then their feet were sore and they couldn’t walk.

0:05:33 – Cal Hardage
So I was like I don’t want to.

0:05:35 – Claudia Kaelin
I don’t want to do this. I don’t want them to not be able to walk. So I was like no, no, no, let’s just stick to grass fit only Like I don’t need to mess around. And with the beef cows, you know the forage we have, like they almost get fat off of it anyways, i don’t need to give them anything extra.

0:05:52 – Cal Hardage
When is your first and last for us, so our listeners can get an idea of your growing season?

0:05:58 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, so typically our last frost is at the end of April, beginning of May. Sometimes we have one later in May, which occasionally happens last year we had that and it was not great for a lot of people And then our last frost is typically at the end of September, beginning of November, but we prefer it to be later, obviously, and so that leaves us with a very short growing season and a very long winter.

0:06:28 – Cal Hardage
Oh yes. So what kind of forages are you growing there for your animals?

0:06:34 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, so we have most of the regular stuff you can think of. So we have orchard grass, kentucky blue fescue, timothy, we have red and white clover and we also have some native grasses pretty much what most people are familiar with. How?

0:06:52 – Cal Hardage
warm does it get during the summer and how cold does it get during the winter?

0:06:57 – Claudia Kaelin
So in the summer it can get pretty warm. So typically it’s around 25 to 25 degrees Celsius, 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and then sometimes we get up to 40 degrees Celsius, which is pretty hot. That’s around 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

And okay, it can get quite warm And our region is humid. So, like in the western parts of Canada, it’s more dry. Yes, where we are it’s very humid. So when it gets hot, you feel the heat And when it gets cold, you feel the cold, because it’s like a humid cold. In the winter, it’s typically around minus 25 degrees Celsius, and we can go all the way down to minus 40 degrees Celsius, which is also minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

0:07:38 – Cal Hardage
Yeah, temperatures I don’t like.

0:07:41 – Claudia Kaelin
When I go out in the winter to take care of my cattle, I have like five layers and I look like the Michelin man, you know.

0:07:47 – Cal Hardage
Yes, now are your cattle on pasture during the winter, or what do you do with your cattle during the winter?

0:07:55 – Claudia Kaelin
So we had the old dairy barn And I was like why not use the barn as a barn So all the animals go there in the winter And we basically have like lockdown. Essentially everyone is inside except for the mother cows which can go. They have a little yard outside So they can go out and like they do go outside, even when it’s minus like 40, minus 30, they’re out there enjoying the sun, like if it’s sunny weather. If it’s not sunny, they’re all inside. But they do enjoy going outside. But for the most part, just because of the amount of snow we have, we keep them in the barn. It’s just easier to manage with water and feed.

0:08:29 – Cal Hardage
How much snow do you get in a year?

0:08:32 – Claudia Kaelin
So typically probably around two to three feet, and then in more snowy years we can. we can get all the way up to six feet of snow.

0:08:40 – Cal Hardage
Oh yeah.

0:08:42 – Claudia Kaelin
Sometimes we have a snow dump. we have two feet of snow in one night And it’s just yeah, oh, yes, so you are able to.

0:08:49 – Cal Hardage
I think you said your last frost is sometime in May, usually maybe early May. Yeah, so you are grazing now.

0:08:57 – Claudia Kaelin
So in the spring we are very muddy here. It starts to thaw around the beginning of April, but obviously our pastures are only starting to wake up And then, with all the snow thawing and melting like the ground gets hyper saturated. So we try to avoid paking them out until it’s dry and be the grass has a certain amount of growth to it.

We just put them out a day ago to the one pasture. We have two sacrificial pastures. We have the barnyard and then we have the first sacrificial pasture. I’ll put them on just to get them out of the mud And then we have the second one to get them out of that one when it becomes muddy, And then from there they move on into the main pastures.

0:09:46 – Cal Hardage
So do you have them on like a bedrock pasture? now to start rotationally grazing them.

0:09:52 – Claudia Kaelin
Yes, so they are on bedrock. So we have actually two groups. So I run half full blood limousines and I run half like commercial cattle crosses. Usually they’re a bit charlotte influence. So we have two groups, because I have an AI group and I have a natural service group. So I have a group out with the bull and they’re the ones that are out on the main, on the main rotation, and then I have the other ones which are on a separate rotation.

0:10:21 – Cal Hardage
You’ve got two groups out. Are you able to do daily rotations? Are you doing? what kind of rotations are you going and doing and how’s that going for you?

0:10:32 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, so because of the difficulties of working essentially trying to graze on rock, we’re not doing daily rotations. We’re not at this point in the season and not in the pasture day right now. The grass is too short, essentially, and the fencing is a big pain. What we do is we have mainly step-in posts because you can’t put in a permanent fence, you can’t dig a hole to put a cedar post in or anything, so we use step-in posts and we just kind of try to stab at the ground until I feel a spot that doesn’t go clink, clink, clink every time I try to put it down. You make it work, but it’s almost the way it is set up right now, the paddock there, and we can’t really separate it into individual like into smaller rotation paddocks. It’s plans to do, but what we have to do is it would require major management kind of overhaul, trying to figure out how we can run those fences across that stone.

0:11:31 – Cal Hardage
Oh yes.

0:11:32 – Claudia Kaelin
So we have a second paddock across the road, that’s our bigger pasture, and there we kind of run it like a modified wagon wheel And it’s a bedrock outcrop and it’s got a bush on it And so we leave them in there all the time And so that’s where their water is. We can’t pull water lines through most of our pastures because we have essentially, like you, dig down maybe 18 inches and you’re on bedrock or some spots It’s like a bald spot, because it’s just rock, because we can’t pull the water line in and it gets minus 30 degrees here in the winter. You know it has to be at least three feet deep and we can’t achieve that. So we have to put it where it has to be and we can’t move it anymore, so they stay there, and then what we have is we have little, i guess, spools or whatever you call that off to the side, where we’ll let them go in to graze.

Oh yeah, And then we’ll close it back up and open it up to the second one, so they can always come back to where the water is and where the bush is. That way they graze the area provided, which is black muck, so they actually have some growth on that spot, but they’re able to eat the fresh grass and they’re able to go back in the bush and get shaped and they’re able to to browse in there. And the second part of that is we kind of want them to put a little more pressure on that area, because it’s a very wooded area and we want them to kind of help open it up a little.

0:13:00 – Cal Hardage
Oh yes, So you’ve got centralized water there. And then you mentioned wagon wheels and you’re using step-in posts and a single strand electrified fence.

0:13:10 – Claudia Kaelin
So we use electric fence only for because we can’t put in the permanent one Step-in posts. And what we have also developed is essentially we take a culvert. So when you do drainage those drainage tubes they come on this old like a culvert That’s usually its defective culvert And so we take those and we cut them into about their maybe a foot tall.

So a foot tall rings and then we’ll take a like a pipe and we’ll put it in there and we’ll fill it with cement And then we have basically a post that that’s pretty solid and we just place it in strategic areas to make corner posts or Oh yes. Or like, if we have a long fence line, we’ll put it in the middle and it’ll just help keep that in place.

0:14:01 – Cal Hardage
Very good. That bedrock really causes a delimit there on your fence. And yeah, when I have a lease property that you know whenever I go put in the step-in post, half the time I have to move it over because it hit a rock. But it’s not continuous rock, it’s just little limestone pieces that I can miss if I move over a foot. So it’s much easier than what you’re dealing with.

0:14:27 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, sometimes, like if you’re in a really bad spot, like it’s just a solid rock, if it’s a better, better spot, it’s kind of like a cracked rock. So you can find. Usually if you look on the ground and you see the grass, you’ll see where the grass is taller, That’s where the crack is And that’s where you try to aim your fence posts. But I probably have the record of the most broken fence posts because when I try to go put them in I just they just break on me.

0:14:51 – Cal Hardage
Oh yes, So I can see some challenges there with your bedrock. You’ve listed a couple already. Putting your fences in has presents its own challenges. Watering presents its own challenges. So you’re using a centralized water system. What other challenges does that grazing bedrock present to you?

0:15:12 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, so there’s two main things, and that’s the lack of organic matter means there is not very much nutrients available to the forages, and also we can’t hold onto water. So when it rains like we get around 30 inches of rain during the summer, but like the ground can’t hold it, it just all it’ll soak in what it can, but the rest is just gone.

0:15:35 – Cal Hardage
Do you have any plans or any ideas how to increase that organic matter there for you?

0:15:42 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, So we do fertilize for one. I know a lot of people they might not like that, but we have to introduce nutrients to there.

We don’t really have much oxygen and you can only grow organic matter so fast, and if you’re harvesting meat off of that, you have to replenish it somehow. And then the second thing is that we’re what we’re doing is we’ll graze bales out. So if we’ll have like a bald patch or a very shallow patch of soil, we’ll put a bale down and then whatever is essentially quote unquote waste is not wasted. It’s just it’s gonna cause, it’s gonna create some organic matter there.

0:16:20 – Cal Hardage
Oh yes.

0:16:20 – Claudia Kaelin
Some substance for the grass to grow on.

0:16:23 – Cal Hardage
Right That that bale will give you some more carbon and get organic matter there, really build it up. It takes a while, though, doesn’t it?

0:16:31 – Claudia Kaelin
It does, yeah, but it works faster than if you don’t do anything.

0:16:35 – Cal Hardage
That is true, yes.

0:16:37 – Claudia Kaelin

0:16:38 – Cal Hardage
Now, in addition to cattle, you also have other species.

0:16:44 – Claudia Kaelin
Yes, we raise these bore goats, and we also raise hogs and turkeys.

0:16:51 – Cal Hardage
You mentioned the bush there. where your watering system are for the cows, are you using your goats to graze that area or Eventually.

0:16:59 – Claudia Kaelin
it’s the plan At this point. they’re not quite out there yet. with the, with the cattle, i would like to have a flurred eventually, but at this point, like I just started with the goats in 2020. So I’ve only had them for three years and I started with a small group. So I’m trying to increase my, my herd size And the other thing is we do have a predator presence in our area and I’m just I haven’t been comfortable to remove them from. like we have a small like we have an area that has a permanent fence.

Oh, yes, and that’s where I do, that’s usually where I run them, but I haven’t been confident enough to put them outside that fenced area unless our male goats will do what we call plaster tests, and I have. Essentially it’s a big crate that I it’s like, it’s like a big chicken tractor but for goats And I put my bucks in there and I pull that along, but it’s like it’s enclosed or I have an electric fence that I put on with it.

0:17:53 – Cal Hardage
So similar to what Justin Rhodes has for some of his sheep.

0:17:58 – Claudia Kaelin

0:17:58 – Cal Hardage
Yeah, and when you, as you think about your goats in the future and liking to get get them out there, are you thinking livestock guardian dogs or some kind of guardian animal help, or What’s your thoughts there?

0:18:12 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, so I was looking into getting dogs or a dog, just because, like we do have coyotes and They’re pretty bold, i think they’re. They might be koi dogs, mixed breed.

0:18:23 – Cal Hardage
Oh yes.

0:18:24 – Claudia Kaelin
I’ve been out, you know, doing fencing, and I turn the corner and there’s a coyote like 10 feet away from you. And and you know, it’s just, it’s looking at you and it’s not thinking I’m gonna run away. It’s thinking, is this a potential meal? and I’m like, no, you know, if it’s staring at me like that, i don’t know what it’s gonna try with a goat.

0:18:42 – Cal Hardage
So oh, yes.

0:18:43 – Claudia Kaelin
So, yeah, definitely before they go out, i want to have a livestock guardian dog there with them.

0:18:51 – Cal Hardage
Are your turkeys out on pasture?

0:18:53 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, so they’re out too, and the same kind of tractor, chicken tractor Style I guess it’s a turkey tractor and then, like they aren’t right now, i just keep them close, for the same reason as the goats. I keep them close to the main prop, like the main buildings and stuff, where that they’re less likely to get Predated on. I did lose one once, but he jumped the fence, so I probably kind of did that to himself Eventually, like when we like. My goal would be when we have the flurred, so I would run the herd in the front and then I would run the turkeys in behind them and No, yeah, we you know kind of help The turp predators just by being around the bigger animals as well.

0:19:34 – Cal Hardage
Now you mentioned a turkey tractor. Is it completely enclosed or you using like electric netting, or can you tell us a little bit more about it?

0:19:42 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, so it’s basically it’s. It’s similar to the to the goat tractors, like a crate. Oh, yes, and and it pulls along and then like when they’re small they’re enclosed and when they get bigger I have a have a fence that they can go out and how do you move that? Oh, I pull it with either the gator or tractor.

0:20:00 – Cal Hardage
Oh, okay, yeah, because it sounded like it’d be a little heavy to move by their belt heavy duty and they kind of come like that.

0:20:07 – Claudia Kaelin
So like what? like what happens if my parents they buy in equipment? So these particular care crates? they bought a new hay rake and so it came. It was shipped in a crate in two crates, so I had two crates for me. Oh yeah, they’re already built, You know. I just had to modify them to to To be strong enough to be pulled around.

0:20:28 – Cal Hardage
Oh yes, Yeah, very good reuse of that material. What breed are you using for your turkeys?

0:20:34 – Claudia Kaelin
Our turkeys are the miniature whites. I Raised everything from bronze to the bronze breast to commercial whites, heritage breeds, and I found that the miniatures are kind of the best of both worlds. They’re a little more hearty than the commercial white, like those ones. I’ve had them and they, they, literally they’ll be standing in front of me And and they’ll have a heart attack in them.

0:20:58 – Cal Hardage
There was a 30 pound bird.

0:21:00 – Claudia Kaelin
So the little ones. They’re a little more Hearty and, as well, the processor that I have available to me He owned. They only do birds up to 20 pounds.

0:21:11 – Cal Hardage
It’s easier for me to manage these birds because they don’t get very big and when he processes them for you, is he Processing them into whole bird packages or you doing part?

0:21:22 – Claudia Kaelin
We get them packaged into whole birds and my main market for them is Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then whatever we don’t sell at Thanksgiving or Christmas, the, the rest gets made into sausages because that’s it’s too long around to the to the next Thanksgiving and not many people buy whole birds. Oh yeah throughout the year, so it’s just easier and a lot of people actually love the turkey sausages and I think You have some different regulations to deal with than I would if I was raising turkeys.

0:21:54 – Cal Hardage
You have a quota you have to work with.

0:21:57 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, so we have a quota system up here in Canada and essentially what it does is You buy the rights to produce a certain amount of animals and that guarantee kind of the price you get for that animal So or for that product. Milk and eggs are included in this. So if you’re a dairy farmer you know you have 50 kilos of quota. That means you have, you can have 80 cows and you you you’re always guaranteed your milk price is gonna be stable. For turkeys you’re only allowed to raise 50 birds per year. If you don’t have quota for chickens, you can raise up to 300 birds. No quota. For meat You can have 99 laying hens Before you need quota. And for milk you can’t have one milk and cow.

0:22:41 – Cal Hardage
Is there a quota on like goat milk or sheep milk?

0:22:45 – Claudia Kaelin
No quota on sheep or goats. Oh, that’s, that’s open market. Usually people do sign contracts with processors, though. Oh there are still. There are still like regulations You have to follow and yes how you can process the milk and this and that, and it’s usually easier when it you just sell it directly to a Processing plant.

0:23:05 – Cal Hardage
Why did you choose turkeys as opposed to chickens?

0:23:09 – Claudia Kaelin
I have raised me bird like the meat chickens, but I prefer to turkeys. They’re just more social and they’re more. They’re more curious about walking around and then going out and doing things. Maybe I just like turkeys better to eat as well.

0:23:23 – Cal Hardage
I am a fan of turkey. I have not raised any, but it is something I talk about occasionally Using. My wife says I have enough going on.

0:23:35 – Claudia Kaelin
One of these days I’m on raise some turkeys what I don’t like about them, though, is that they are very personable, so they’re kind of like puppies. Yes and they do recognize you and they do getting it. They, you come out to them and they see you and they, they, they come on over and they start talking to you and stuff, and so it is kind of hard. From that perspective, to send them a chicken will be easier.

0:23:57 – Cal Hardage
I would assume, based up on your description there They’re they’re more similar to goats, because goats have such personalities.

0:24:05 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, exactly So they’re more. Yeah, they’re more like a ruminant and personality, or like a pig. They’re just more intelligent, i guess that’s.

0:24:13 – Cal Hardage
That’s what it comes down to in addition to The cattle, the goats, the turkeys, you also have pigs. Do you raise them on pasture or how do you raise your pigs?

0:24:25 – Claudia Kaelin
I guess you could call it forested pastures. So we have another area of bedrock that’s more heavily infested by trees. I don’t want to say infested, but it hasn’t. So I’m leasing this from the neighbor and the neighbor hasn’t. They don’t really go there much because they don’t live nearby.

So, it’s kind of like been forgotten and you know, over all the storms we had and these storms, like trees have fallen and it’s just overgrown. So they’re in there and that’s where I run them, try and help clear it up a bit and eventually, hopefully, we can graze other animals on it. Look, before that, they really need to open it up more and I’m using the pigs to do all the heavy work.

0:25:08 – Cal Hardage
How’s that going for you?

0:25:10 – Claudia Kaelin
Pretty good. They’re very good at clearing.

0:25:13 – Cal Hardage
Now, do you have breeding stock, or are you just buying feeders and raising them?

0:25:18 – Claudia Kaelin
I used to buy feeders and I guess the common thing for a lot of people is the people that raise the feeders are usually retiring because they’re older. they’re older folks, and so I used to buy them from one person and he retired and I started buying them from another guy and he retired and I started buying them from another guy and he unfortunately passed away because he was older, gentlemen. And then I bought some more from another person yet again, and then, you know, i just wasn’t happy with the quality of the animal that I was getting. So I was like I’m going to do my own because I don’t want to always have to change who I’m getting them from, because you never know how their biosecurity standards are and what they could bring to your farm. So I just decided it’s safer if I raise my own stock.

0:26:07 – Cal Hardage
You know I watch a YouTube channel that in your direction. Now how close to you, i’m not sure because that’s way away from here. But Pete from just a few acres farm and he is struggling with the same issues on sourcing feeder pigs. So he’s changing the direction somewhat of his direction of his pig program and breeding in some different breeding stock. He was raising some of his own and buying some, so he’s changing it around for some of the same reasons that you brought up just sourcing those feeder pigs with quality genetics. That’ll work.

0:26:48 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, exactly, And yeah, I know, Pete, I watch him too on YouTube. He’s actually. I looked it up he’s about five hours south from me. Oh, yes, So it’s closer to me than he is to you. that’s for me.

0:27:02 – Cal Hardage
Yes, that’s true, he’s running Dexter cattle. He is doing rotational grazing, but he’s working with that cold environment, like you are, so there’s some limitations. Where I’m trying to keep cattle on pasture 365 days of a year, that’s a little bit harder for you all that far north and something that I really liked that Pete does that I would like to talk to him about. I see pastures getting short And this is wherever I go, rather at the end of my driveway the pastures really short. My neighbor’s faster, but it’s really short. But at times you need to pull off of it and let it recover.

If you have to put your cattle up and I know certain grazers are like don’t, you, shouldn’t have a sacrificial patty, but at times you do, depending on the operation and depending on where you’re located. But Pete is really good about summer. If he’s looking like he’s not, he doesn’t have enough grass, pulls his cattle up and he feeds them. Hey, until that grass is able to catch up and get ahead of him so that he’s not out there hurting his pasture, and that’s. That’s one thing I really think he does really well.

0:28:22 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, yeah, exactly So. We do the same thing. So we suffer from drought. Usually around end of July, august, we usually go into a drought period and obviously with a stone like there’s nothing growing. So we we take the cattle and they put them in a sacrificial area and we just feed them, because if you keep them on there, they’re always going to keep nipping at that grass and it’s just not going to be able to to recover if it goes dormant, you know, and they just nip it flat. You know it’s not not helping the situation And you have to think of it. You’re a grass farmer before. You’re a livestock farmer, so you have to take care of your grass. If your grass is not in good health, it’s not going to. It’s not, your cows aren’t going to benefit from it.

0:29:04 – Cal Hardage
I completely agree. You’ve got to manage the grass. And then you’re using a livestock to harvest the grass and turn it into your markable product, whatever that may be, And you’re doing a few different species there to get it there. Yeah, but your grass. Without your grass, you can’t produce the other.

0:29:24 – Claudia Kaelin
Your soil is the pantry, the sun is the chef And the grass is the stove you’re cooking on. If your stove isn’t working, you’re not going to make anything.

0:29:36 – Cal Hardage
Yes, you’re right. Yeah, because all the ingredients are there in the soil and you’re putting it together, but if your stove’s not doing anything, you can’t produce that end product. One thing you talked about a few different species there. Are you marketing meat from all those species directly to the consumer And I know we talked just a touch about turkeys and taking them to the processor But how are you marketing those products?

0:30:05 – Claudia Kaelin
Yes, so my main market is directly to consumer. So I sell either at farmers market or people that have met me beforehand and they now purchase from me directly and word of mouth And that’s that’s my main market. I used to do stockers and when I got into cattle I started with those two, two cows, and then I bought some, some bottle calves to start out a bit more. Let’s grow to herd size. And then I bought some more cows because my dad was like, if you want to make money with cows, you got to have a bigger herd. Okay, so I bought more cows, so I bought some, i had some Angus, i had some Herphoids And then I had, of course, i had my my full blood limousines. So I had a big herd and I had more animals than I could sell directly to people. So I was selling stockers and I’ll tell you like it’s a bad market for stockers even up here.

I went to the local sale bar and just for fun to see how it is, and essentially there’s two guys there that are buying cattle And the one guy deals mostly in Holstein crosses because we have a lot of dairy farms up here and they’ll, they’ll AI to Angus or one.

So there’s one guy who just buys that And then the other guy buys everything else, so there’s really no competition. Like, even when I sell directly to to a feedlot, it’s kind of like Oh, this breed is not necessarily sought after, because they don’t quote, unquote, they don’t eat a lot, which to them, you know, eating a lot of food essentially equates to gaining a lot of pounds, which is not necessarily truth. So I was selling a lot at the beginning to to the auction market because I couldn’t market everything directly And so I really cut back on the amount of animals I had. So I let some animals go and and now I’m pretty much able to sell all of my animals directly to consumers. And so like at this point, because I’m able to do this like an animal that before I would have lost money sending her to the auction, but now she’s my most valuable animal because not only has she produced X amount of calves over her life, she’s now also walking ground beef for me which is my best seller.

So now I’m. I took a product that wasn’t very sought after and is now able to turn that into a profit.

0:32:30 – Cal Hardage
So you’re able to sell most of your animals or market them directly to the consumer. I know you said earlier you went to the farmer’s market is and word of mouth. Is that the only way you built that consumer base or customer base up, And what do you do to keep it going for you or to increase it as needed?

0:32:53 – Claudia Kaelin
When I originally started. I started it was Kijiji, which is kind of like Craigslist, which is kind of posted. I have local meat available and you know some people who contact me and then they come visit the farm and then they would see that. And then I also had a Facebook page and then I made it a website and then I got more people coming and visiting and then buying and essentially the relationship developed like that with your customers And like it’s usually it’s an ongoing relationship. Especially with customers that buy whole halves and quarters, i have a better relationship with them. And people that buy retail cuts they’re less likely to come back than someone that’s putting a bigger investment into.

0:33:33 – Cal Hardage
Oh yes.

0:33:34 – Claudia Kaelin
Into a bigger animal.

0:33:36 – Cal Hardage
You built that relationship. Are there things you’re doing, ongoing, like do you email them or how do you stay in contact, or do they just contact you when they need more beef or more whatever?

0:33:52 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, so with most people I keep in contact either with email or with texts.

So a lot of people I’ll just you know they’ll text me and I’ll send them updates on the animals or send pictures, or they’ll come out to the farm once a year to visit the animals during the summer, or it depends how far they are from the farm. Sometimes they’re a bit further, so they don’t want to come out too many times, but they’ll be here once at least, and then that’s kind of. They see the animals, they see the environment and they’re happy with how their animals are raised and they’re confident in my capabilities of bringing them a quality product. So that’s kind of how that starts and then, you know, we just kind of keep in touch.

0:34:32 – Cal Hardage
Yes, and I think that on the farm visitation, getting them out there, seeing your practices, seeing you, seeing your animal husbandry they want to support things that they believe in. So getting them out there really helps. And that’s something as I look towards the future and what I want to do with grass-fed meats. I want to get people out here on the farm see what we’re doing. You know as and I mentioned this before our guests have mentioned it before more and more kids. They don’t talk about their grandparents farm because their grandparents have lived in town that long. We’re just getting further and further removed, so it’s important to get people out and build that relationship.

0:35:22 – Claudia Kaelin
For sure, Like there’s a lot of, even around here, people don’t understand that for a cow to make milk she has to have a calf. Oh, yes, or meat comes from an animal, that it’s harvested from an animal, and it’s really sad that that’s where we’re at now. It’s so removed, so far removed, and it’s hard for us because we grow up knowing this and it’s totally an alien idea for a lot of people.

0:35:45 – Cal Hardage
Oh, yes, one thing you mentioned was like if they purchase a whole animal or a half or even a quarter, are you selling pigs and goats the same way?

0:35:57 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah. So the beef we do whole, half quarter, and then pigs we do whole, half, and then the goats we only do whole, because they’re only, they’re only so big, and if you have them, you really, you really you don’t have that much. So we only do whole goats.

0:36:11 – Cal Hardage
Do you find you have a good market for goat meat? We have.

0:36:15 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, so far it’s slow growing because I’ve only had them for three years. I’ve been doing my best marketing and it’s still a work in progress, but so far we’ve had pretty good success with selling them. So we sell them. Like I said, we sell them whole and we sell retail cuts as well.

0:36:33 – Cal Hardage
You’re using boar goats.

0:36:35 – Claudia Kaelin
Yes, boar goats. If you think of a boar goat, a lot of people think like a feedlot animal. They grain, you raise them, like that. But originally I wanted to get Kiko goats which were raised in a system that I find is like ideal, right. You want low input, high output.

0:36:54 – Cal Hardage

0:36:56 – Claudia Kaelin
And so I spoke to. I had originally spoken to Garik Batten. He’s the developer of the Kiko breed. Unfortunately, there was no, or not many, Kiko’s available in our area in Canada.

0:37:10 – Cal Hardage

0:37:11 – Claudia Kaelin
At that time, and for me it was really important as well that they came from biosecure and tested herds, and there just wasn’t the availability for that. So what I ended up doing is taking boar goats from a breeder that did all those similar ideology of like how the animals should be raised, like you only pick your best growing animals, and et cetera, et cetera, and so now I run those boar goats like Kiko goats. So we do the same we wait them at birth, we wait them at weaning, we wait them at finishing, and then so what I do what I call it’s buck testing. So I have all my bucks. They’re all raised in the same conditions, they’re all run together on that goat tractor.

0:38:00 – Cal Hardage
Oh yes.

0:38:01 – Claudia Kaelin
At the end of the season, i take my best growing animals and then either retain them or I sell those as breeding stock, and anything that doesn’t meet my criteria is sold for meat. So it’s a good system to make sure that you’re only retaining good genetics that perform on grass.

0:38:20 – Cal Hardage
Oh, yes, And are you sticking with the boar goats or you crossbreeding Amy?

0:38:26 – Claudia Kaelin
At this point we’re sticking to boar goats because that’s what’s around. Yes, Eventually I’d like to import a Kiko buck at some point or maybe a boar buck, but probably a Kiko buck from the US, But at this point our border is closed to goats. Just, they just closed it in December 2022. They closed the border, So we can’t import. We don’t know when we’ll be able to import next, So until then, I have to work what we have.

0:38:53 – Cal Hardage
Yes, you’d mentioned AI earlier. Have you considered AI on your goats?

0:39:00 – Claudia Kaelin
Yes, i have considered AI and my AI tech. We’ve spoken and he was really excited about the idea. The problem is it’s very expensive to find. So if I wanted to buy a buck in Canada, i could buy a buck in Canada and just ship them here. It’s not that big a deal. But if I want to buy semen, i could buy semen from the States, but at $200 a straw, and then you have the conversion of the dollars, so for me it’s even more expensive. And then you have to ship it and you have to find a company that it’s willing to ship goat semen up into Canada. And then at one point you know just, the cost accumulates too much and the success of AI and goats is lower than in cattle. So you kind of have to weigh your pros and cons. If I were to do that, i would probably try embryos rather than semen, probably a little bit more successful. But it’s in there, we’re thinking about it, but it’s just at this point, the cost.

0:40:00 – Cal Hardage
Even being in the States for myself. I no longer have registered goats, but I did have registered Kikos for a long time And I went to the AI school for goats. I planned on doing it. I even purchased a little bit of semen and it just didn’t work out and I didn’t get it done. But even when I start figuring it up and I don’t have some of those exporting importing costs that you have and I can probably get it a little bit cheaper than you can, it’s still hard to factor in, to make money with it, unless you’re selling seed stock. And then it makes a difference if there’s some specific genetics there.

And one thing that I mentioned on the podcast before marketing is not not one of my strong suits, or I don’t think it is, and so I haven’t done the best towards that end. I got into the registered Kiko’s, thought I’d be do that a little bit more. I found I didn’t, so I sold my registered Kiko’s and now I’ve got some commercial goats. I figure it fits me a little bit better. Maybe at some time in the future when I have more time, that’s a possibility. But right now I think these commercial goats are doing all I need to do right now.

0:41:20 – Claudia Kaelin
So for me I decided to go with registered stock, just because it’s just that one layer more of potential sale that you can reach. So if I make all my calculations on just meat stock, and then you have your breeding stock on top of that, you have your breeding, your tested breeding bucks on top of that, it’s just you have the potential to sell a better animal at a better price And so it’s just that door is open. So you could do that if you wanted to, but you make the numbers work on your meat animals.

0:41:55 – Cal Hardage
Right And you mentioned a good point there. You have multiple exit strategies for your animals you’re raising. They potentially can be as breeding stock, they potentially could be meat. But you got multiple exit points with that. With my commercial flock, you know I’m limited on those exit plans for them. They become meat, or that’s about what they become Now. There may be some potential for some replacement does to be so, but it’s not the same market as seed stock or that multiplier level of registered business.

0:42:31 – Claudia Kaelin
And for me also, like with the well it’s less with the goats, it’s more of the cattle Like when you have a registered animal, you have a bit more data on that animal And so like you have birth weights, you have weaning weights, you kind of have like a set history and you can kind of plan your breeding based off of that. Obviously you should always take in consideration how your animal actually performs and not just look at the pedigree. I know that’s what Garrett like when we were speaking. He was because then he was starting the Kikunri project, because the Kikos in the US people are going back to breeding with pedigrees and breeding based on performance and that defeats the whole purpose of the breed, right? So in my setting here, like how I treat them, is performance based breeding and selection to make sure. But you have that added history of the papers just to make everything easier.

0:43:24 – Cal Hardage
Yeah, a little bit more predictability. And before we dive in a little bit deeper there with your cattle and what you’re doing, when you think about your goals for the next few years, where do you see fossil rich farms going?

0:43:37 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, So I definitely would like to settle more into trying to get that pasture rotation more organized and maybe be able to set up a few more grazing paddocks and just divide it up more, Like we started with one pasture where the cows just used to sit out there, and now we had, and then we went on to, okay, well, we move them back and forth a bit And then now we had added a couple more pastures and you know it’s a progress. But I would definitely like to see more rotation and just try and help the organic matter grow on that rock and make it more healthier, essentially for the soil and the cattle, and produce meat from that and then just, you know, do my best.

0:44:22 – Cal Hardage
Excellent. I think that journey from set stocking rate were continuous grazing to rotational. If you listen to the experts, you know they’re telling you daily moves or even every 12 hours. sometimes they talk about even more For me. you know, i went to grazing school recently and that seemed courage me to do more frequent moves. but at the same time you’re getting benefit, and I forget what those percentages are.

It seems like you get 30% of forage utilization with continuous grazing And by the time you get to daily moves you’re at 70% of forage utilization, but to continuum. So you start improving. even when you go to four paddocks It makes a big difference And you’re just working on that continuum and being more efficient with your forage harvest. but you’ve got to work with what works for you, what works for your farm, and I think sometimes when we talk about daily moves we scare people off because they’re like how do I have time to do that? I think the most important thing is to get started. wherever you are, get started, move your cows a little bit or whatever animal you have, and you’ll start noticing a difference. but you don’t have to jump off the deep end tomorrow.

0:45:47 – Claudia Kaelin
If I would have started the farm I worked at between college and coming home. We did daily moves. He did New Zealand style dairy operations, so we were moving them daily. But his setup was so that it was easy. He had his paddock set up and you would go in there, you would put a new fence and then you wouldn’t take the old one off and they would just keep going And it was set up for it. But you have to work with what you have. If I would have tried to do that at the beginning, i don’t think it would have been very successful because it’s just you weren’t set up. I didn’t have the knowledge for doing it. You kind of have to work with the ground you have to My soil.

my bedrock ridge here is not going to allow daily moves. And then that’s the other thing you have to consider. You can’t just switch between doing daily moves and then leaving them a bunch of times and then doing daily. You kind of have to stay consistent because the way the bacteria in the room and far you don’t want to always introduce a different kind of feed to them. You kind of want to keep whatever is going on consistent. So that’s important too, because I guess there is such a thing as starving in plentiful. So if you move an animal from one feed to a different feed and the gut bacteria had no chance to adjust to it, they can starve even though they have a field full of grass, because the bacteria aren’t there yet.

0:47:13 – Cal Hardage
Well, claudia, it is time we transition to our overgrazing section, and in our overgrazing section, i think, we’re going to talk about some limousine.

0:47:24 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah. So I would like to talk about full blood limousine cattle. The limousine is a continental breed. It comes from France. So other continental breeds you might be familiar with are the charolet, cementale, blanc, taquitte, montpellard. Those are continental breeds. And then your Angus are British breeds.

So back in 1968 is when the first limousine bull was imported to North America and he came to Canada. So full blood essentially means that that animal has 100% bloodlines coming from the original French stock, so you can trace this animal’s history all the way back to the French herdbook. A purebred animal will have had at some point different breed introduced into its lineage, so not 100% of it can be traced back, so it’ll max out like 99%. And so the difference these days is that because of the crossbreeding effort to adjust to the North American market, the purebred limousine is a lot different in phenotype than the full blood limousine. If you look at a semen catalog it’s hard to distinguish it from an Angus because they tried so hard to make it into what the commercial processing plants and feedlots wanted, which was Angus type animals.

0:48:48 – Cal Hardage
So they tried really hard I don’t know if they tried on purpose, but they definitely looked like they did to make an Angus It drives me crazy when I look at a semen catalog And I have to look at the top of the page to find out what breed I’m looking at. It’s just crazy to me.

0:49:07 – Claudia Kaelin
You got four big processing plants and they all dictate what kind of animal they want. So all the feedlots are like, okay, well, we want this kind of animal. And so now all the breeders go like, okay, well, we’ll make that kind of animal. So they all live for breeders. I think the only breeder that doesn’t fall into that is probably herford’s. But essentially from the commercial breeds they’re all the same kind of type-ish animal. So the limo, the purebred limo, looks like an Angus kind of caves, like an Angus Like in the European and the French standard for a limousine, or limousine in the French. It’s a long-bodied animal, so it doesn’t have a huge belly. It kind of looks like I don’t say a weinerdamm, but like it, kind of looks like a dashon. It has a long narrow torso.

0:49:56 – Cal Hardage
If the listeners check out the YouTube video, you’ve got a picture of a bull right behind you.

0:50:03 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, so you can see here he’s got a long torso. So if he was a purebred he’d probably be that much shorter.

0:50:10 – Cal Hardage
Oh yeah.

0:50:11 – Claudia Kaelin
The purebreds. They tend to be a bit shorter and they have like a lower hanging belly which is bigger bellies, essentially more guts to digest grass. But the cool thing about the full-blood limo is it has a gene called F94L that makes a lot more feed efficient than regular cattle. They eat the same amount as an Angus or a Herford, like I’ve had them side by side And if you work with them you see them eating and like they eat the same or less than those cows. Like those other cows they’re just stuffing their face and they’re not really.

They’re not making me a bigger calf than the limo is. You know my limo. She produces me a hundred pound calf at birth and these other ones still give me a 60 pound calf, you know. And then the gene what it does? it creates a more tender meat, so the meat itself is less hard to cut through. So they did shear tests and it’s just more tender and they have more muscle, right. So it’s kind of like a double muscle gene. Their muscles grow big. And the thing is, the full-bloods they are, 94% of them are homozygous herdis gene and the purebreds are only 60%, have the gene at all.

0:51:22 – Cal Hardage
So oh, wow.

0:51:24 – Claudia Kaelin
And this gene like it. You do have an effect when it’s when you have one copy, but you’re real, you really see it when you have two copies of it. So you only really see it in full-blown effect when you have a full-blood.

0:51:36 – Cal Hardage
Is that a gene? you can do a DNA test to see if it’s present.

0:51:41 – Claudia Kaelin
So we do DNA tests for that, like we’re pretty much guaranteed that they have it. There’s a small chance that they have one of the other double muslin gene.

0:51:50 – Cal Hardage
Oh yeah.

0:51:50 – Claudia Kaelin
Like the charolet or like the Belgian blue house, that that causes trouble. Unlike those, this myosthenic gene does not cause birthing difficulties. So the calf is born normal and then when it starts to grow, that’s when it kicks in and kind of helps them develop that bigger muscle.

0:52:09 – Cal Hardage
Now is is that F94 L gene in the same loci as the double muslin gene, or is that a yes?

0:52:17 – Claudia Kaelin
Yes, exactly. So you can’t have that gene and then another double muslin gene. I know it’s like QXL or something. I don’t know Yes there’s a, there’s two other. I think there’s two other main genes that are like that. They’re on the same one. So you can’t have that, two copies of the, the F94 L, and then you can’t have another copy of the other one. It’s, it’s either you got both of those you got, you got a mix of them, or you don’t have any at all Okay so limousines are known as the carcass reeds.

So when you go to slaughter them they have the nicest carcass out of all, all breeds. And This is especially important for me because I do direct to consumer. I want as much meat as possible off that animal, so my customer has as much meat From that animal as they, because we obviously we pay hand in weight and I think you said but you finish your limousines on grass.

So they’re all obviously grass-fed and the way we do it right. So we calves in February, which is like minus 20 degrees, you know it’s a cold time of the year, so we calves them then and then. So we keep them for a year and a half. They’re born the one year and then in the second year, around August, september, that’s when we go to pro system, so we don’t have to keep them through a second winter. It just and it gives us like the biggest growth range that we can manage work for area up here now during the Winter, are you just feeding them hay, or they get anything else?

So yeah, we do silage bales. We usually go for aim for hay. Yes but if the weather isn’t right, we don’t want the quality to go down, so we’ll just wrap it. If the weather suddenly changes and it’s gonna rain on it Like, we’ll just wrap it and make sure that we keep that quality.

0:53:58 – Cal Hardage
We don’t want to grade any, any quality of the hay that we have before we finish up with the over grazing section, you have any last words you’d like to add?

0:54:08 – Claudia Kaelin
the limos are a bit of a bigger animal that what most people Have here as a grazing animal. I know a lot of people they’re probably like geez you’re, you’re feeding a big animal for nothing. But The limo really it’s because of its feed efficiency and despite that you know that it’s a big animal. It’s still an easy animal to work with. So You know they’re pretty docile and that’s something they took it to heart because I think at the beginning, when they came here in the 80s Or so, they were considered like crazy animals.

But the breed associations really took that the heart and made sure that when you register animals that you have to fill out a Behavior score. So you have to score your animal. Is she crazy? Will she try to kill you? She’s super docile so that you know you only keep animals that are nice and docile and, which is really important, because a Calm animal is a safe animal. If you have a crazy animal or an aggressive cow, you know not only is she a danger to you but she’s gonna stress out the entire herd. As soon as you get rid of that one cow, your whole herd’s gonna calm down. So it’s really nice that they’re very nice and easy, docile cattle to work with, despite being a big animal you mentioned a couple of things there, claudia.

0:55:24 – Cal Hardage
One a bigger animal. It’s a little bit bigger. I’m Where I’m located in Oklahoma. I’m working on having a little bit smaller animal. But one thing I think about is you, as you go north and the climate gets colder, the mammals the wild mammals are have larger bodies, so so to me that makes some sense there That you would have a larger animal In Canada. Now I say that every operation is different and you got to find out what works for you. So I think that’s probably the most important thing is figuring out what works for you and your market. If you don’t have something you can market, you got problems.

And then, secondly, my grandpa purchased some full-blood limousines decades ago and they were crazy and and That was an issue my dad and I really focused on was Dossility, and when we purchased full-blood limousine bulls, we made sure to pick Bulls that were really good on that temperament and it made a tremendous difference. On our herd, i was amazed by the progress and I have the advantage I can look at my dad’s herd and I look at my grandpa’s herd and my grandpa’s herd. I still don’t understand. He’s 96 and shouldn’t be out there with him because they’re a little crazy, but our herd he could come out with our herd and wouldn’t be a problem because We made that a point of emphasis. I noticed when we were looking for bulls and limousine We’re moving a little ways away from that with dad’s herd, but when we were looking for bulls full-blood limousine bulls The bulls we looked at were really calm and then we made it, emphasis of it and made a big difference.

0:57:18 – Claudia Kaelin
Behavior is 70% inheritable.

Oh yeah so if you work, if you have a comb animal, you’re 70% Likely that his offspring will also be combed. So it’s easy to breed in guys. It’s not that hard. If you keep a crazy animal, you’re gonna have a crazy calf. If you keep a calm animal, you’re gonna have a calm calf. So it’s very heritable and like I’ve noticed this with my like my bull too. I had to look around that when I wanted a bull and then I saw this guy and I was like I Went to see him.

I’m like this is the calmest bull I have ever met in my entire life I’ve been a little, i’ve been around a lot of bulls in my life and you know I was like, you know That that’s the animal I want and so that’s what we got. And then the other thing was yet with the larger cows. For us We want bigger calves. So my preferred calf size is around the hundred pounds and Because it’s cold here when we have we have in the winter It’s minus 20. You have a hundred pound calf and they hit the ground running. You know it’s like the cold doesn’t even affect them.

As soon as they’re dried off, you know, they’re fine, you know. And then the thing is, when we have the Angus or the Angus crossbred animals and they have these smaller calves like 60 pounds, 70 pounds, they’re always cold. They’re just not as hardy from the beginning. They just have to work that much harder To get where that hundred pound calf is.

0:58:40 – Cal Hardage
Oh yes.

0:58:41 – Claudia Kaelin
They just fall behind and we prefer the larger animals. And I know a lot of people are probably like damn a hundred pound calf. But if you look at it this way, a thousand pound cow should be able to have a calf. That’s 10% of her weight, which is a hundred pounds. So your Angus cows should be able to have A hundred pound calves. Is just, there’s been this huge emphasis on like birth weights, low birth weights, over to these last few years that everybody’s now scared of a hundred pound calf, which is normal, like in theory. My fifteen hundred pound cow should be able to have a hundred fifty pound calf, but a hundred pounds is ideal for me.

0:59:18 – Cal Hardage
Very good, claudia. Claudia, it’s time We move to our famous four questions. Same four questions We ask of all of our guests. Our first question What is your favorite grazing grass related book or resource?

0:59:34 – Claudia Kaelin
Yes, so my favorite resource is YouTube. I’m not a big reader and you know there’s only like when you buy a book, you know You have, you have your information in there. But when you go on YouTube and you’re like I have this very specific Problem or question, you type it in there and usually you have a couple of answers or a couple of different ways of fixing that problem, or or explanations or whatnot. So it’s it’s nice to have a variety and it’s a variety of people you can find to to help you with that solution.

1:00:04 – Cal Hardage
I am a reader, but I do love my YouTube channels And I have a a certain set of channels that I watch each week and usually Saturday and Sunday morning, when I got it Get up before everyone else is up, i go through my YouTube channels and catch up on what’s going. Do you have some favorite YouTube channels that you watch?

1:00:24 – Claudia Kaelin
Obviously just a few acres Pete. Then there’s I think it’s called heifer USA. They have some oh yes. There’s a few others, but I can recall them off the top of my head.

1:00:36 – Cal Hardage
I think they’re sure shirts and park farms our second question What is your favorite tool on the farm or what tool could you not live without on the farm, like go-to would be my gator or Tractor, because I use that every day.

1:00:53 – Claudia Kaelin
Obviously the fencer, because we only run like electric. But you know if I had to, if I had like. I think that’s a pretty standard thing. If you have livestock, you have a fence. It doesn’t really I. Don’t think you can count it because you have to have it. But yeah, so definitely like the gator or the tractor because it just they’re my workhorses very good.

1:01:14 – Cal Hardage
And our third question what would you tell someone just getting started?

1:01:19 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, so there has been a lot of good advice given by many different people and I Haven’t heard this one yet. So I’m gonna say take into consideration farm safety.

Farms are dangerous There are there’s a lot of things that can go wrong. If you’re not paying attention, if you’re not being careful, if you’re rushing to get something done, you know There’s always a possibility of injury or death. You know I don’t have a shortage of of stories of people getting injured. And especially I want to say I Either you you’ve grown up on a farm and you already notice stuff and you need a reminder, or you’re just starting into it. You you never been on a farm, or you you grew up in the city and you haven’t been exposed to the dangers. And and then you come and you don’t realize that you know a PTO or or Or an angry mama is a danger.

Oh yes and so And like, especially like when you have kids too, it’s It’s important to step up your, your farm safety even more, because I seen a lot Like unfortunately, just last year we had a child. He was run over by a bobcat because, he was riding.

He was riding in the bucket and then they hit a bump and he fell out and he got run over. And then We also had a situation last year where a new farmer Purchased the Tractor and he had gotten caught in the PTO because he didn’t turn it off when he went to go Oh no and I One of my teachers in college.

He said this there’s no such thing as an accident, because Accidents can all be prevented. If you take a moment, you’re like, oh, if I turn the PTO off then this is gonna be. If you turn the tractor off, then the the clutch can’t slip. Go go check on your bale spear if it’s actually Locked when you put it on to your front motor. You know, things like that When you’re working with cattle or even sheep can be dangerous, you know if you ram butts you in the head, you know you’re probably gonna have a cracked skull like it.

You know There’s danger around every corner. You just have to make sure that you’re you’re aware of what’s going on and not not put yourself at risk.

1:03:39 – Cal Hardage
I completely agree and sadly is, as you talk about those farm stories, i think about farm stories here. People, i know things that’s happened, things that’s happened to To my parents, to myself, farm safety. Take just a moment, think about what you’re doing. No, don’t be in a hurry. You want to, you want to take your time and just make sure you’re doing it deliberately and know what you’re doing, and if you’re not sure, shut all the moving parts down. There’s no reason to get out there among them.

1:04:12 – Claudia Kaelin
And if you’re really unsure what you’re doing like ask for help find someone that knows what they’re doing. You know, if you’re trying to treat a cow and you have no idea what you’re doing, call a vet. They have. They have drugs that’ll persuade the animal.

1:04:24 – Cal Hardage
You know it’s not.

1:04:26 – Claudia Kaelin
Don’t use your physical strength. You never win against the, you will not.

1:04:30 – Cal Hardage
And just like you mentioned the sheep, oh man, sheep can be crazy and you think you can handle them, but they’re, they can be quite.

1:04:39 – Claudia Kaelin
They’re strong. They are for pound. Animals are much stronger than we are, so I’ve been run over by a goat. It’s you know, it happens.

1:04:48 – Cal Hardage
And Claudia. Our last question is where can others find out more about you?

1:04:54 – Claudia Kaelin
Yeah, so we have a website, fossil rich farms dot cca for Canada. We also have Facebook page and an Instagram by the same name. Fossil rich farms have a YouTube channel with a couple of videos, but not nothing too crazy, just some videos of the animals very good, claudia.

1:05:14 – Cal Hardage
We really appreciate you coming on and sharing with us today.

1:05:18 – Claudia Kaelin
My pleasure. Thank you very much for having me.

1:05:21 – Cal Hardage
You’re listening to the grazing grass podcast, helping grass farmers learn from grass farmers, and Every episode features a grass farmer and their operation. If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode and want to keep the conversation going, visit our community at community dot grazing grass calm. Don’t forget to follow and subscribe to the grazing grass podcast on Facebook, twitter, instagram and YouTube For past and future episodes. We also welcome guests to share about their own grass farming journey. So if you’re interested about the form on grazing grass calm under the, be our guest link. Until next time, keep on grazing grass.

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