The Hayman Farm produces high quality “beyond organic” grass fed beef. We do not use antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, or residuals. We produce and harvest all our own hay and haylage and all the beeves we sell as beef are born here on our farm. We are grass based because we prefer the taste and believe grass produces meat that is healthier for you, because the cows are healthy. The reduced tillage of a grass based farm preserves soil and other valuable resources, and thus Mother Earth as well. Don Eskelund, the owner operator of the farm, graduated from Northeastern College of Pharmacy in 1981 (He has substituted the PH for an F and now calls himself a Farmacist). He was employed developing, formulating, and testing poultry vaccines after graduation, where he met his partner, Heidi Jacobs. Heidi was responsible for the “test farm”, where the research and tests were conducted. Heidi moved on and worked as a veterinary assistant, then for Johnnie’s Seeds, and now part time for LL Bean as a home agent, and on the farm where she gardens, tends our private poultry flocks, and a growing flock of Katahdin sheep. Don bought the 30 acre “home farm” (15 acres of fields and 15 acres of woods) in 1981. It has since grown to 225 acres, about 175 acres being hay fields and pasture. The home farm had been a poultry farm. A portion of one of the poultry barns has been converted into our super insulated passive solar home. We call it the Coop de Ville:
We grow our own vegetables, eggs, chicken, turkey, lamb, and beef. Beef has been our only commercial product so far (though Heidi did sell eggs when she worked at the LL Bean call center). We will have lamb available for the first time in the fall of 2012 and are considering the possibility of doing some custom poultry if there is interest. We spoil our cows. We both like and respect all of our animals. We do not hit them with sticks. We do not own a cattle prod. We do have to work with bulls, and they can be dangerous, so we do carry a stick just in case, but we find a gentle touch moves them faster then a whack, and a bucket of treats moves them best of all. The stick extends our reach when we guide them through the corral, and to the cows, who don’t have the best sight, it makes us look twice as big as we really are. Our cows love ground kelp, and we use this as a mineral supplement, and as a lure when we do need to catch them. We have good handling equipment, including a squeeze chute and swing tub. This keeps them calm and minimizes stress on the rare occasions that they need to handled. We use a rotational grazing system, but we do not MOB graze. We will intensively graze on occasion, but would rather clip the pastures with a mower to kill weeds before they go to seed, rather then risk that the cows might not get all they want to eat because we have put too many cows per acre in attempt to get them to trample and kill every plant they don't eat. Our cows are provided free choice dry hay year round. Fresh young grass is sometimes so high in protein that the cows can develop uremia (which can give the meat an off flavor) if they can't access the hay that provides the carbohydrates they need to balance their diets.