Our farm, tucked away in the hills of eastern Nebraska, started when Doug set up shop on his own in 1991. After marrying Krista and moving back to the farm in 1999, we began raising grass-fed beef and free-range chickens. Customers soon began asking about fresh, organic dairy products and we soon discovered our true niche in agriculture.
Grass is at the heart of our operation. We use management intensive rotational grazing (MIRG) to ensure the grass we feed our cows is always at peak condition. It also allows the pasture to rejuvenate, so there’s never any need for artificial fertilizers or herbicides. Once the cows are finished in one section of the pasture, they are moved to another with fresh grass.
Following the cows, we apply our own compost, along with whey from the creamery, including liquid fish fertilizer, and an over-seeding of clover. This really makes the paddocks ‘pop’ and also extends our grazing season from April thru November.
Our herd of Jersey cows are milked twice a day year round. During the growing season cows are moved onto a fresh paddock of grass every 12 hours. The cattle graze off the the succulent clovers and grasses and trample the stemmier forage. This ‘pulsing’ of the sward insures that organic matter is being built and that soil and forage health is maintained and improved. When the farm ecosystem is in balance, the result is nutrient-dense foods that are better tasting and healthier for consumers.
It’s a three-year process to become certified organic. We became officially certified organic through OneCert in 2007. This means a lot to us. Not only is it better for the land, the air, our animals, and us, it also allows us to deliver products that we know are nutritious and wholesome. When you purchase any Branched Oak Farm product, you can be assured that you are putting only the finest, freshest food into your body. It’s the way food is produced by people who care.