This post is sponsored by Moyer Beef. All opinions are my own.
On a rainy October afternoon, I made my way out to Lake Canandaigua in the Finger Lakes region of New York State to attend a Beef Tour event hosted by the New York Beef Council. As I raced the setting sun, thoughts of what was to come in the next couple of days intrigued me. I was about to meet and learn a little more about New York Beef farming and the highlight would be The Ameele Farms.
My childhood best friend spent many weekends and summer nights at her grandparent’s small farm in Northern NY and she would often take me along for the ride. Memories of long walks in hilly pastures hugged by knee height stone walls as far as the eye could see, riding horses, moo-ing to cows from the hayloft through holes in weathered barn slats, and sleeping on the screened in porch listening to the song of crickets; I loved everything about farm life.
One thing has always stuck with me from time spent on that small farm; everyone took pride in their role as they worked hard from before the sun rose until it set. They cared for each animal, whether it be a cow, horse, dog, or cat that roamed through the fields, barn or house. I would soon learn that this mindset was not reserved for just my friend’s family. No, It is a quality that courses through the soul of every person who is a farmer.
Our group of 17 food writers, photographers, and bloggers set out for a full day of learning more about veal and beef farming in New York State. We reached our second stop of the day, the Ameele Farms, and after donning our plastic boot cover sleeves, we were ready to learn more about this capture a small snapshot of how this multi-generation farm chugs along.
Ameele Farms is full of Forward Thinkers
Ameele Farms, owned by Mike & Colleen Ameele, is huge! They own and farm 2000 acres, which equates to roughly 2,000 football fields, where they have fields of grain, corn, soybeans and two-hundred thousand apples in addition to cattle. They have created an efficient and sustainable way to keep their cattle feed fresh. This farm utilizes an edible pumice from their apple by-product as an alternative to using tarps and tires to cover the silage. They place a very high priority on knowing what is in the feed. What could be better than growing the feed on your own farm? I found this one nugget of information the most impressive fact from the whole weekend.
When asked why they farm, Mike humbly answered “I like the lifestyle. It’s in your blood or it’s not. It’s not for everybody.” This answer brought me right back to that childhood memory of time on my friend’s farm. Humble, hardworking, caring, and innovative is what I remember and see it has been passed down through this family as well.
Respect the farmer when it comes to all the food on your table because who will raise your food if they don’t do it?