“We want to honor our ancestors by keeping cattle on the operation. It's in our roots, and raising cattle is something we know how to do very well.” - Nick Erf
Transition and Technology
Erf Family Farms Inc. is completely family owned and operated. Off the farm, Kevin is a salesperson for a local company, Steven is fully employed on the farm, Minetta is retired from teaching, Nick recently graduated from The Ohio State University and plans to pursue a career in Animal Nutrition while staying active on the farm, Mike and Matt are currently studying at The Ohio State University ATI with the intentions of returning to the family farm. Erf Family Farms Inc. was a dairy operation, milking Holstein cows until 2008. It was then that the cows were sold, steers were retained, and the farm transitioned into a beef production operation. Today Erf Family Farms Inc. is a feedlot operation consisting of Holstein steers with several acres of row crops used to provide feed for the herd.
Years since transition to feedyard from dairy farm
Family members run the operation
Head of cattle are housed on the farm
Head of cattle are finished each year
Meet the Erfs
Q: What are some technologies you use that consumers would be surprised by?
A: One of the most recent technological advancements we have added to our operation is our automated calf milk feeder. This feeder allows calves to drink milk, just as they would from their mother, at any time during the day. This process is better than having designated feeding times because the calves can get nutrients right at the time of need.
Q: How does using advancements in technology make farming easier?
A: Technologies like this allow for less physical labor and the farm to produce more beef in the long run. Every piece of technology we add to the operation is an effort to become more efficient, safer for us and the animals, and become better stewards of the land.
Q: How do you keep animals safe and healthy?
A: Cattle that are raised on the farm are given a series of vaccinations throughout their life cycle. These are administered at different growth stages to allow for animals to fight of any diseases they may encounter. Furthermore, all livestock pens are cleaned and kept bedded regularly to ensure cattle are clean and dry at all times.
Q: Why is it important to give your cattle the best care possible?
A: It is important to give our cattle the utmost attention and care at all times. By monitoring overall herd health, we can assure that cattle are gaining weight and are comfortable. This is crucial because if cattle are not gaining weight, it costs the producer extra money. Furthermore, we want to ensure that the consumer is always getting safe and wholesome beef. By keeping cattle healthy, this allows the end product to be wholesome from the start of the growth process.