Thursday, July 3, 2014

We Are Indiana Agriculture: Indiana Raise Beef

By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life

The Lawson family began farming in Boone County over 50 years ago when Donnie’s dad, Don Lawson began raising brooder chickens for laying houses throughout the Midwest.  Donnie and Tammy were married in 1985 and returned to the farm after graduating from Purdue University.  Their daughter, Kay Leigh, and her husband Jeremy joined the operation full time after their wedding in July of 2013.  The Lawsons also have a son, Clay who is in the Army.

The Lawsons raise corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa near Thorntown, Indiana along with their large beef cattle herd. Additionally, they run a finishing operation that cares for 500 beef cattle up until they are ready to enter the food supply.

Like all other farms, each family member has their own responsibilities or niche.  Tammy and Kay Leigh focus on managing the cattle, feeding, breeding schedules, calving and pasture management while Donnie and Jeremy focus on crops, trucking, and equipment maintenance and together everyone contributes to the daily surprise tasks that are omnipresent on a farm.

“Beef is nutritious and a great source of protein and vitamins.  Most cuts are low in fat and superior to many other types of protein,” Tammy says.  The Lawsons sell freezer beef and schedule processing upon request.

When asked what she wishes the public better understood about farming or the beef industry Tammy replied, “We suspect that most consumers are confident of the safety of their food, but it is always important to reassure them that our land and our animals require a large investment that has and will be passed from one generation to the next.  Healthy, wholesome and safe food is our commitment.”

Tammy feels that the greatest reward of farming is, “The combination of working the land, protecting the environment, managing the animals, caring for the calves, reaping the rewards from a long growing year or enjoying the outcome of a difficult calving season are all reasons why we farm.  We feel blessed that we were born in this industry.”

Visit this link for the recipe of a Lawson family favorite that is perfect for grilling on the Fourth of July.

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