Meet the Benders
Dustin, Erin, Amelia and Mathias Bender reside in Morrow County, Ohio raising about 30 head of grass-fed cattle. Dustin, the Vice President of Bender Communications, and Erin, Director of Licensing in the Technology Commercialization Office at The Ohio State University, have found a special way to connect with consumers. The Benders have a grass fed-and-finished cow calf operation. They sell freezer beef directly to consumers, but also through the Maple Lane Farm Market, in Lexington, Ohio.
In 2006, the Benders purchased two cow/calf pairs and began their business in the cattle industry. Sustainable practices are at the heart of their operation. As Dustin says, his grandmother was farming organically before farming organically was cool. To the Benders, although always a tricky topic, sustainable means having a business that can monetarily be stable or positive, while at the same time utilizing the land and resources available and using best practices to improve those resources for the future.
For the Benders, raising cattle is a family affair. Alongside Dustin and Erin, Amelia and Mathias are also involved with daily cattle work and pasture maintenance. The family checks their cattle twice daily to ensure the highest herd health possible, making any abnormality easier to treat when caught early. The Benders agree their favorite season is calving season on the farm when they get the opportunity to see the calves develop and grow. They enjoy honoring their family heritage in the agricultural industry, and being able to pass along the same values and morals to their family.