Operations / Process
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the Catoctin and Frederick Soil Conservation Districts hosted an event at Hedgeapple Farm to celebrate and highlight the successful conservation efforts of Hedgeapple and other local farmers and ranchers that are leading to an improved Chesapeake Bay watershed.
At Hedgeapple Farm we raise Black Angus cattle that have been carefully selected and bred to produce high-quality beef on an all-forage diet. We have two groups of mother cows that we breed to produce calves every year. One group of cows are bred to have their calves born in the early spring (February-March) and another group will have their calves in early fall (September-October). We do this to help balance out our supply of market-ready cattle over the entire year.
Recognition for Innovative Conservation
“The agriculture sector has been a leading contributor for improving water quality in the bay, responsible for 50% of the reduction in phosphorus and 75% of the reduction in sediment runoff since 2009,″ said Jason Weller, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief. “NRCS will continue to work side-by-side with farmers and ranchers in Maryland and across the Chesapeake Bay who are voluntarily making conservation improvements to their land. Voluntary conservation works and is a key to improving outcomes for the bay.″
Dr. Scott Barao, Executive Director of Hedgeapple Farm, spoke about the farm's voluntary conservation efforts: "We put 254 acres that border the Monocacy River into a conservation easement. We make use of the Environmental Quality
Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program with practices which include fencing, a watering facility, pasture and hay planting and Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program planting. These practices improve the bay and contribute to our operation's sustainability in the long-term."
A springtime wagon tour of the farm
Cows are always free to roam
We proudly display our certification outside the market
Hay rolls are stored to supply the cows with food during the winter months
Fresh water troughs are found throughout the farm
Calves stay with their moms from birth until they are approximately 8 months of age. They initially consume only milk but as they grow, they learn to graze and enjoy the various forages in our different pastures. When the calves are weaned they remain together with all the other calves of similar age, consuming an all-forage diet. The cows are re-bred each year while they are raising their calves with the goal of having a new calf each year.