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Tom & Gina Perry


Wakarusa, Indiana

Meet Your Cattle Farmers

  • Tom and Gina Perry raise a herd of cattle in Wakarusa, IN that includes primarily Red Angus, Hereford and Ranger genetics.
     
  • Tom handles most of the planning and operational activities of the farm, while Gina handles the purse strings, taxes and functions as a farm hand on occasion. All significant decisions are made jointly.
     
  • What keeps them inspired each day is the feeling of responsibility to be the best stewards and caretakers they can be, and to develop the trust of both the land and the animals to that end.
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Pics from the Farm

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Farmer Q and A

What kind of forages do you raise?

All of our hay and pasture acreage has been seeded to a diverse forage mix which includes fescue, rye, orchard and blue grasses, red and white clover, alfalfa, plantains and chicory. We also raise emmer wheat for consumer markets, seed and chicken feed, and then we use the straw for bedding of the chickens and the cows during the winter.


Can you talk about the life cycle of an animal on your farm?

Except for the 7 brood cows we purchased, all other cows have been born on the farm. Our plans are to raise the heifer calves as either cow replacements or finish them off on grass along with the steers, with ultimate harvesting for butchering. Our brood cows will continue to remain on the farm for as long as they are able to continue to calve. Once the cows are no longer able to calve, they will either be harvested for butchering or allowed to live out their life on the farm.


What production protocols do you follow?

We are a grass fed/finished beef operation. We believe in a regenerative farming approach and our goal is to eliminate all external inputs. We use shallow tillage sparingly and only organic seed. We do not use herbicides, insecticides or synthetic fertilizers. The only antibiotics used relate to specific health events encountered with the cows.


What do you enjoy most about raising livestock?

The interaction and the building of a bond and/or trust with the animals is very challenging and rewarding. Much like us, each of the cows have their own personalities, but the trick is deciphering these personalities through observation and direct interaction, since they can't speak English.


How do your practices improve the health of your land?

By providing the ground with continual cover and a growing root base, we are encouraging the retention of all rain that falls on the acreage and the feeding of the biology of the soil. By utilizing a diverse mix of forages, we are providing diversity to the biologic community with the soil, which much like the benefits of diversity to us and our animals benefits the structure and fertility of the soil. By rotationally grazing the pasture and a portion of the hay fields we are also providing a fertility benefit from the animals direct to the soil and their hoof action provides a necessary shallow disturbance of the soil skin to distribute seeds, integrate carbon matter and allow additional water infiltration.


Why is it important to you that consumers have a trusted food source?

As with most inputs to our daily lives, food sourcing is a choice that everyone makes based on their own priorities. If a consumers priority is clean/nutrient dense foods, then they should have the confidence that those foods that make the claim of being clean and nutrient dense are just that.