Randy and Megan are transitioning from conventional cattle grazing to Managed Intensive Grazing (MIG). The goal of MIG is to constantly rotate the cattle to forage that is at its optimum growing state. The animals do not stay on the paddock long enough to eat the forage too low, which causes damage to the root system and stunts the plant’s growth.
The MIG system requires few inputs, so has a low yearly cost. Manure is the only fertilizer that is needed. Meanwhile, cattle have a balanced diet and the strong and thick growing forages provide natural weed control. Profits from the grass-fed cattle operation, along with their natural pastured poultry, would create a full-time farm position. The Smiths will sell beef to individual consumers through tailgate markets.
Smith’s Sweet Grass Farm is a multi-generational farm that has been in operation since the 1950s. Randy’s grandfather sold milk to Biltmore Dairy. The farm was converted to beef cattle in the 1970s.