See how Michigan beef farmers and ranchers are rethinking the ranch to raise sustainable beef through land-saving, wildlife-preserving, and award-winning environmental efforts.
Voogt Farms in Marne, Michigan began in 1967 and is owned by Gary and Shirley Voogt. In 2002, the farm added a waste handling and retention basin to protect the environment and promote cattle well-being and health. Voogt Farms is Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) certified in 4 areas – Livestock System, Farmstead System, Cropping System, and Forest, Wetland and Habitat. The Voogts have worked diligently on farmstead layout, run-off and erosion control, tree management, and bird habitat -- and as a result, Voogt Farm was recommended for the National Beef Quality Assurance Award (BQA). The National BQA Awards recognizes outstanding beef and dairy producers, marketers, and educators that best demonstrate animal care and handling principles as part of the day-to-day activities on their respective operations.
"We are committed to protecting and enhancing the environment, caring for our animals' welfare through good animal husbandry and stewardship, and raising wholesome beef." - Gary Voogt, Owner, Voogt Farms
The Wernette family, of Remus, Michigan, started farming and raising cattle in the mid-late 1800’s. There have been many changes over the course of 5 generations. Today, the Wernette Cattle Company LLC raises about 230 cow-calf pairs, 200 stocker cattle, 600 custom backgrounders and 30 finished cattle. On top of that, they also operate Wernette Beef which is their retail beef division that sells directly to Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids and many farmers markets across the state.
Raising beef is a complex process, but throughout the entire journey, one thing remains constant – the shared commitment to raising cattle in a safe, humane and environmentally sustainable way by using the latest technology and resources. Today, there are more than 1.1 million cattle and over 12,200 cattle farms in Michigan. Learn more about beef farmers and ranchers who are raising beef from pasture to plate in The Great Lake State.
Michigan farmers produce more than 300 agricultural products, making the state one of the most agriculturally diverse states in the nation.