Samantha and Kevin have installed a self-propelled irrigation system to boost their vegetable and grass-fed livestock operation. The reel irrigation helps them maintain greener pastures and increase vegetable production. It also provides water for workshops and tours when they offer 4-H days and other educational opportunities.
With the increased forage matter, Samantha and Kevin expect to extend the herd’s grazing for 60 days, saving in hay costs and potentially growing enough hay to sell to others. They are part of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems’ Amazing Grazing Program. The program includes educational workshops that assist producers in improving pastures to increase profitability, animal health and sustainability.
Increased soil moisture promotes healthy soil microbial activity. The moist soil also more readily absorbs animal waste matter. “Our goal is to produce quality wholesome products, while maintaining a balance with nature,” Samantha said. “This includes natural soil amendments, cover crop usage and rotational grazing.”
LeatherNeck Farms started in 2011 and offers natural grass-fed beef, lamb and goat, farm-raised pork, vegetables grown on two acres, and farm-fresh eggs. Samantha and Kevin work with butcher shops to provide specialized meats, and also market through word-of-mouth and social media.