Who We Are
We are Neal and Colleen Craven, along with our sons Richard and Kyle and their families; we welcome you to our site. Born and raised in Chatham-Kent we are third generation beef producers. We pride ourselves in operating as birth to beef cow-calf farm with a focus on animal care and comfort. It is our focus to ensure our cattle are clean and dry and well fed. Quality feed and lavish bedding are the foundation of our approach to animal husbandry.
About Our Herd
We have a mixed herd of Red Angus and Charolais cross cows bred naturally by purebred Red Angus and Charolais bulls. Our cows calve on our farm early in the spring and then spend the summer on pasture land not suitable for growing grain or vegetable crops. With calf at their side the cows graze the rolling grass lands all summer. A free choice mineral supplement balances the diet. Several acres of dense trees provide shade and shelter. Donkeys are used to provide predator protection to the herd.
Once the grass becomes sparse in late fall the herd is brought home where they are fed dry hay and corn silage through the winter. All major feed stuffs are produced and stored on farm, while supplements are used to balance the diet at the direction of a beef cattle nutritionist. In winter the cows and calves are kept clean and dry in open air barns with a cement yard and feed alley. When weather conditions allow the cows have access to roam the pasture adjacent to the barns.
Our barn has facilities suitable for treating potential complications of animal agriculture in a safe and low stress environment. Vaccination and treatment are administered on an as needed basis at the discretion of our local large animal veterinarian.
We have long been a farm committed to reduced tillage and soil preservation. We have been practicing no-till for soybeans and wheat for several years in a rotation with conventional till corn. More recently is our investment in strip-till. We are adopting a strip-till approach to planting our corn crop. In addition to reduced tillage and fuel consumption this allows us to band fertilizer in the root zone. We utilize GPS guidance to further reduce fuel consumption and over application by limiting equipment overlap. Soil amendments are applied as needed based on crop removal and soil tests. Manure from the cattle is a valuable resource that is applied back to our fields.