Mary Nachreiner and Rob Hare
After over 25 years in the military and moving from North Carolina, Mary Nachreiner thought it was time for her and her significant other, Rob Hare, to dip their toes into farming.
Little did she know, that with the help of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Sauk County Land Resources and Environment (LRE), they would dive head first into rotational grazing. After Mary moved to Wisconsin, she started farming by growing organic heritage grains. However, she wanted to move away from aggressively tilling the soil for weed control. After cropping, Mary and Rob started with a few organic chickens, a rescue horse and goats with a penchant for escaping. After hearing about rotational grazing at an organic conference in winter of 2018, things fell into place and Mary and Rob bought a herd of Belted Galloway’s who needed a place to live immediately. This winter hardy breed was perfect for their 24-acre organically certified pasture atop a ridge in Plain, Wisconsin.
“The first year of grazing was tough, there is such a huge learning curve!” Mary says, when explaining the struggles of converting to rotational grazing. However, the cost share for the grazing practice from NRCS and Sauk County LRE were able to balance some of the start up costs to make the conversion more seamless. NRCS and Sauk County employee communications, along with attending pasture walks helped them through fencing and making grazing plans. Mary explains, “At first, it was difficult to know when we should move them. It helps that our bell cow, Bea lets us know when she wants new grass to eat.”
Mary and Rob applied and were accepted to utilize the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) and LRE funds.
With the financial help provided, they were able to expand their herd by a few head this year. With the help from programs like EQIP and Sauk County LRE funds, this partnership can get more conservation on the ground! “Even just with one year of grazing we have seen a change in the land,” said Mary.
In just one year’s time implementing rotational grazing, they have seen more wildlife, less soil erosion and better weed control.
Mary and Rob hope to keep their herd happy and healthy moving forward. With the addition of a third party bee apiary, a maple syrup operation, and experimentation with new pasture and hay mixes, they are sure to be busy in the near future.
Mary says, “On our farm, this is a true success story! It’s great to make a little money doing it but, having animals is really just great for our happiness.”
Rob’s Dad, Robert Hare Sr, is an accomplished, self-taught artist. His original work will be available for purchase at Mary’s Organic Farm during the Hill and Valley Exploration Tour. Visit Rob Sr at Mary’s Organic Farm to find that perfect Wisconsin painting! For more information about Rob Sr click here.
Mary’s Organic Farm
(Chickens with on attitude)
Certified Organic eggs for sale @ 4.50/dozen
also for sale locally @ Plain Shell station & Ederer’s Do It Best Hardware, Plain, WI
Freezer beef for sale:
Grass-Fed gourmet Galloway beef
No Antibiotics, chemicals, hormones or Soy
5-10-20-30-40-50 lb combo individualized bundles available by order
or… by the half, or quarter (split/side) includes hamburger.
Quarters are $650 total (all processing costs already included).
Price may vary a bit based on total weight.
Wrapped meat, approximately 60-65 lbs include cuts : steaks, roasts, soup bones, & hamburger)
Registered Belted Galloway Bulls, Heifers for sale as herd starters
We will be offering Hayrides, lots of petting & holding & feeding of chickens, miniature horses, goats, and a rescue horse….. during the event. ($5.00 suggested donation for hayrides)