6606 304th St E. Graham, WA

Heritage Livestock Conference Update

Growing real food in beautiful Graham, WA

Heritage Livestock Conference Update

Heritage Livestock Conference Update

I travelled to Fishers, IN to attend the 2018 Heritage Livestock Conference organized by The Livestock Conservancy.  It has been a great learning experience so far and the actual conference hasn’t even started!  Today I attended a conference workshop – “oxen basics” and it was a chance to learn a bit about driving a team of oxen including some hands-on practice (although I opted to watch).  Last night at the welcome reception I met other farmers that share our interest in preserving heritage breeds.  I’ve been getting an understanding of how others raise and market their animals and have been learning about various breeds that people are championing.  The actual conference starts Saturday, and I’ll continue to explore other breeds and how to raise them with the goal of starting to raise our own sheep in 2019.

Heritage Breed English Longhorn Steer

A Heritage Breed English Longhorn Steer, one of the two oxen we worked with today.

The conference itself is held at Conner Prairie, an educational interactive history farm/museum. They raise a number of breeds here on the farm, and today we were working with English Longhorn cattle and got to watch an Ossabow sow and her piglets while out with the oxen.

Two young bulls

Two young bulls, learning ox stuff

Learning to drive the oxen

Learning how to drive the oxen

And of course, much thanks (and love) to Erica who is shouldering all of the workload while I’m gone, including having to deal with emergency electrician call for repairs to restore power to our house!