Charolais cattle have distinctive look at Bostdorff farm
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Farm Editor
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 09:44
While poultry has white and dark meat, beef cattle has the white hide of the Charolais cattle.
|Elizabeth Bostdorff tends to a Charolais cow Sept. 3, as a herd is seen in the background at the farm north of BG. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Chuck Bostdorff and his daughters, Elizabeth "Liz" and Brittany are the owners of the CLB Charolais in Bowling Green.
"I've been around beef all my life," Chuck Bostdorff said.
Elizabeth Bostdorff says she was the one who pushed the family into the Charolais beef production through her FFA project. She said she showed one of the white or cream-colored animals and they moved into the field ever since.
Their operation is considered a full-blooded registered Charolais farm. Dad and daughter estimate their current herd is approximately 75 percent registered. The herd ranges in age from 2-year-old heifers up to cows that are 10 years old.
They have 10 acres of pasture and rotate the cows out on the various areas of the pasture. This year they have seven new heifers.
"That's going to be a challenge," he said.
There are two sides of the operation the Charolais cow-calf operation where they sell seed stock for breeding including both heifers and yearling bulls.
Elizabeth added they also sell a lot of their calves for beef feeder projects for 4-H or FFA members.
She added that their animals make good projects animals because of their gentle nature despite their large size.
"We keep a focus on the temperament," she said.
Unlike larger operations, many of their heard have names, though some of the newer additions are only identified through their ear tag numbers. She said they often buy back the project animals and keep the name given to the cow by the students.
While the operators were in the lot with the cows, some of the bovines readily approached both Chuck and Elizabeth, acting more like pets than livestock.
She noted how those which have been shown, either as 4-H projects or at other state and national shows tend to be friendlier and "like attention."
In addition to the cow-calf operation, they also operate a feedlot. In a separate area of the farm, they have roughly 70 head of primarily Charolais as feeders. Those animals are raised and sold to be butchered at either an Indiana facility or locally for freezer beef through Belleville Brothers Meat Packing.
"I'd rather be out with the cows, but have to farm, also," Chuck said. "There's something about being out with the cows that is very calming. Everything just floats away."
Despite the term "chores," he says the work involved to care for the herd has that relaxing effect for him.
"We've always loved working with the cows," his daughter added.
The cattle business has allowed them to travel where both Elizabeth and her father said they have met so many people and made new friends, especially in the Charolais industry.
In addition to her work on the farm, Elizabeth serves as the district representative for Congressman Bob Latta.
On the farm, she helps her father out with handling the herd and many of the business decisions. Though Brittany has moved away, she is still consulted with all business decisions and also will periodically attend trade shows and help with the selection of animals for the herd.
The Bostdorff's are sold on the Charolais breed noting how the large animals are heavily muscled with lots of good muscle,
"(The breed) provides a nice lean cut of meat that is well-marbled," Chuck said.
Chuck said an additional reason the Bostdorffs stayed in the cattle industry is their acreage is "un-farmable" due to the rocky ground which only has enough cover for the good layer of grass.
They pasture their herd most of the year and supplement with hay. After the corn is harvested in an adjacent field, the cows and bull are turned loose in that field.
"The rotation keeps the pasture going strong," Elizabeth said.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 11:43