South Poll Cattle Farm in Missouri

Ralph Voss
South Poll Cattle Farm

South Poll Cattle Farm

Me getting acquainted with Ralphs South Poll cattle.

South Poll Cattle Farm

South Poll Cattle Farm

Self Explanatory

South Poll Cattle Farm

South Poll Cattle Farm

A river runs through it

South Poll Cattle Farm

South Poll Cattle Farm

My dog ChiChi checking out the Dung Beetle Exhibit

South Poll Cattle Farm

South Poll Cattle Farm

Here's Mark Sturges getting a stroke (hours later it showed up) in the 108 degree weather

South Poll Cattle Farm

South Poll Cattle Farm

Ralph's newspaper

South Poll Cattle Farm

South Poll Cattle Farm

Here's Ralph on his ranch at 108 degrees!

South Poll Cattle Farm

South Poll Cattle Farm

Ralph's NO DOGS ALLOWED house (they fell in love with ChiChi)

Grazing the Goats for Buckthorn Eradication

First Rotation

First Rotation

Stripping all brush, here mostly buckthorn, prickly ash and poison ivy. The goats like to straddle the smaller saplings, then ride them down, chewing off all the leaves and twigs as they go up the tree. When they are done, there will be nothing green on the trees and brush below 6-8' from the ground. If cattle are in the woods, they like to jump up on the backs of the cattle to get more browse! If a tree is partially fallen it's not uncommon to see them 20-25 feet off the ground

Buckthorn

Buckthorn

This is mostly buckthorn and it has destroyed the usefulness of this entire field. The problem is mostly due to lack of grazing. This farm has already tried mechanical chopping and even poison, both have failed and the plants just came back with a vengence... The setting here is Gale Woods Farm just west of the TC area.

After a Few Days

After a Few Days

Even after a day or two you can already see headway, and you can see the plants are getting hit. The fence here was overlapped because it's old but it's all electrified and effective. What little grass is left here is completely ignored by the goats. Ideally, 80% of their total diet is "browse", that is shoulder height or higher. The hair sheep like to have 50-70% browse and cattle prefer about 20% browse or less.

Making Progress

Making Progress

Now you can really see the difference between where the goats are grazing and the other side of the fence. The buckthorn has been grazed once. In 2-4 weeks we go back to this patch where there is plenty of new growth, which is even more delicious to the goats. It takes about 3 hard grazings to kill the buckthorn and allow the grasses to return. In the winter it is now possible to go in and cut down the rest of the bigger saplings mechanically. By 1-2 years this are will be returned to full use.

Minerals

Minerals

In a completely defoliated area the goats love getting a little mineral snack.

Grass-Fed

Grass-Fed

Here, in addition to "grass-fed" milk, you can see how the grass is flourishing and returning amazingly, whilst the brush and weeds are being chomped mercilessly.

Flock Protection

Flock Protection

The flock is protected by devoted guardian dogs who thrive on this natural calling. They sleep nearby the flock all day but are awake and patrolling all night long. They are more bonded to the livestock than to humans. A coyote is no match for these monsters.

Moving Time

Moving Time

When it's time to move to another pasture via trailer, we use herding dogs, like this professionally-trained Border Collies, to precisely and almost effortlessly move the flock to the trailer. The dogs work in teams to outsmart and outmaneuver the wily goats.

Hightail Horse Rescue & Ranch

 

HIGHTAIL HORSE RESCUE AND RANCH was founded and is run by Executive Director Char Tuhy and her husband Joel Hildebrandt. On a mere 43 acres and just 15 miles east of Fargo, ND,  they house and heal over 70 abandoned or surrendered horses, many of which come from sheriff seizures. Using all forms of holistic medicine and healing they have a remarkable record of rehabilitating and rehoming damaged horses. They also run a boarding stable, riding school, trail riding programs and equine grooming and farrier work.  They purchased the ranch, a former dairy farm, over 8 years ago. I'm sure the original owners would not recognize the place now. Visitors and volunteers are always welcome and all donations are fully tax-deductible as this operation is a fully-certified 501-C-3 not-for-profit organization. In my opinion this is one of the most worthy operations to make a donation. Every penny is efficiently utilized and real work is being done to ease the pain and suffering of so many innocent animals.

 

Please send a check or gift to:

Hightail Horse Rescue and Ranch

28953 15th Ave NoHawley, MN 56549701-526-3734

hightailhorseranchandrescue.com

Noah's Ark

Noah's Ark

The ranch is a veritable Noah's Ark of displaced, orphaned and abandoned animals. You never know what you will see.

Char

Char

Executive Director Char is full-time on the job as well as a riding instructor. Her daughter Jordanne is also a full-time professional farrier. Char is trained in homeopathy, flower essence therapy, behavior modification, herbal medicine, and various forms of body work. She is a natural around horses and competes in endurance races and rides.

Joel

Joel

Joel is the operations manager and puts in many hours with horse chores, maintenance and construction. He is also a knowledgeable rider and equestrian.

Roosters

Roosters

One of the many roosters on Grand Parade around the grounds.

Cats too!

Cats too!

Rehabilitated cats also patrol the grounds, and in addition there is a large indoor cat therapy and rehabilitation facility for cats. The entire ranch is a place of amazing harmony and health.

Guineas

Guineas

With a large flock of guineas, it's quite unlikely that a tick or bug will be found.

You never know what you will see...

You never know what you will see...

One of the many strolling peafowl that roam around the ranch.

Jim

Jim

Jim, who is particularly fond of the resident donkeys, is one of the many valuable and loyal volunteers who make things work at Hightail. Jim comes to the ranch after work on Friday and stays throughout the weekend performing chores, feeding animals and giving medications.

Horse Barn

Horse Barn

Here is one of the main horse barns where each horse that requires care or observation can be maintained and cared for in private quarters. There is a large indoor exercise ring inside this barn. That's Jim working away over on the left.

Minne Pearl

Minne Pearl

Minnie Pearl is a Vietnamese PotBellied Pig who lived with an old lady in an apartment in Fargo for over 6 years. When she was finally facing eviction for having a pig, she found Hightail where Pearl now has a residence of honor right in the middle of the farmyard. Her owner can visit her any time she wishes and she does so. Pearl was in poor health from never being outdoors, eating too much and not getting any exercise. She is now losing weight, has had a beautiful pedicure (by jordanne).

Pony Rides!

Pony Rides!

An unusual Shetland who actually enjoys being ridden by children. There are over 10 ponies available for students and children (of all sizes) and they are well-exercised on a regular basis.

Fun for All

Fun for All

Many city children come to the ranch and get experiences they will never forget.

Healing provided in many ways.

Healing provided in many ways.

Here's DR KATHY SEIFORT doing energetic and psychic healing on a horse that came to the rescue ranch over 6 months ago with a chronic lameness (stringhalt). After just one 20 minute session with Dr Kathy, she was already showing tremendous improvement with approximately a 50% improvement in her movement and gait.

Some of the Healers

Some of the Healers

Here's Executive Director Char with holistic veterinarians KATHY SEIFORT and LAURELYN KEENER. Dr Keener is a holistic equine dentist.

Pasture

Pasture

Here are some of the overgrazed and over-stocked front pastures at Highttail. I'm planning on developing a plan to improve the nutrient density, the sward, and the soil health of all the pastures. We are starting with soil tests throughout, manure management and composting, reseeding and aeration of the compacted soil. In addition we will fence off about 1/3 of each pasture so we can begin rotational grazing. Like most stables, they are importing and feeding hay year-round.

Mineral Deficiency Signs

Mineral Deficiency Signs

What this says to me is "mineral deficiency" We have now started all the horses on the ranch, all the rescues, as well as those boarders who's owners prefer a holistic plan, with a full array of ACV, minerals, clay and good salt. We are also reviewing all the rations and plan to institute soaking of the oats, and a new fodder system. For some of the weak or sick horses we will also be steaming hay.

The House

The House

In the house: you will find 7 rescued chihuahuas, a Great Dane, several cats and an African Grey Parrot! The chihuahuas were rescued from a puppy mill seizure and the Danes are part of Char's long-time Dane rescue organization at her animal rescue service and facility in Fargo. At this site she has been boarding, grooming, re-homing and rehabilitating unwanted and abused pets for over 20 years.

Tuffy

Tuffy

Here's little Tuffy, born with misformed legs from a birth defect at a puppy mill. She is now permanently homed with Char and Joel and leads the world's best life!

A Second Chance

A Second Chance

And here's another dog very happy to be now a part of his new permanent home. Once a frightened, scraggly mess, he is now living the life of Riley with Char and Joel.

New Home!

New Home!

It's The Best Day in the World for both the new owner, but especially for her new cat! Once an orphan who wandered onto the ranch, he is now all cleaned-up, beautiful and well-nourished. He's going to his new permanent home today!

Life is Good

Life is Good

The sheriff seizured PUPPY MILL dogs were locked in filthy and tiny cages in a dark room 24 hours a day and had no joy. Now they get to run outdoors whenever they want, and they get to lounge on laps, just like real dogs!

Meet the Keepers of Apricot Lane Farms 

Winona Farm

Born on January 1st!

Born on January 1st!

Here's a few snapshots from the Winona Farm yesterday. The bad news was that I had baby kids in January, the good news is that most of them made it and they are fully enjoying summer.

A family shot of some moms

A family shot of some moms

One of the pretty new boys

One of the pretty new boys

Daddy Warbucks  Mephisto

Daddy Warbucks Mephisto

New Sire

New Sire

This one will become the new herd sire as he will be staying at the Winona Farm, he's a blue-eyed son of Mephisto, also born in January. Also staying at Winona will be the little cinnamon-colored doeling Coco, who was bottle raised in the house all winter and who thinks she is a DOG! She sleeps with the dogs, stays only in the front yard, and basically has nothing to do with the other goats.

School

School

The Winona (dairy) goats teaching my goats how easy it is to browse incoming brush!

YUM!

YUM!

Just look at those muscles and fat gut already! These are spectacular goats.

First you must climb

First you must climb

Who knows, maybe there could have been something good to eat up here. Anyway, you just gotta climb the mountain because it's there!

REmodeling at Together Farms

Sheep Hauler

Sheep Hauler

The Breaking Bad mobile and the sheep hauler

Friends

Friends

Chichi runnin' with the big dogs

The REmodel

The REmodel

Andy ripped off the old lean-to porch off the kitchen, and has set a 4' deep foundation all the way around the back part of the house. There will be a huge 3-season porch extending off the kitchen, surrounded by two nice covered porches on either side. You can also see all the new windows they have installed all over the house.

Motherwort Harvest

Motherwort Harvest

Joshua, one of the two residents of a couple who are staying at TF and making gardens. Here he is harvesting motherwort plants for herb drying. We are cleaning out this area to build a new fence.

Garden

Garden

Joshua and his wife have also cleared and planted a monster garden of root vegetables and crops in the large area formerly a hog yard. As you can see, devastating rain has taken an erosion toll on the garden!

Where the new fence will go

Where the new fence will go

We are surrounding a previously ungrazed weed area behind the house, which is in serious need of grazing. The sheep will love it, plus there will be opportunity to graze cattle or run hogs once the sheep have cleaned it up.

A Creek Runs Through It

A Creek Runs Through It

This is what it looks like. Most of it is pretty low, with a spring and seasonal creek running through it. It's been "waste land" for decades now it will have some purpose.

Hooray for Bobcats!

Hooray for Bobcats!

Life is so much better with post-hole driller on the Bobcat and a Gator to haul equipment and posts!

Good help is also essential!

Good help is also essential!

Opening It Up

Opening It Up

Here's Andy making an opening to the new area as it connects to the current sheep pasture

Hauling wire

Hauling wire

Looks like an African Safari!

Looks like an African Safari!

Coming Together

Coming Together

It's fun to see the fence actually coming together

Almost done!

Almost done!

New posts, new gates, new fencing materials. The sheep will go in early next week! (Chichi is pretended to be a small sheep here)

Hippies, Gypsies & Children of the Woods

Here's a one day old baby who is going to wake up today in his new terrain. This couple also live on the land. Most of these kids have a (kinda) "day job" harvesting wild seed for the Winona Seed House. They also do a bit of work for the farmer who actually owns these lands. In spite of everything, these are some of the happiest, most hopeful and optimistic people I've ever met! They really do want to make the world a better place.

Here's Kyle, the main guy I work with trying to get the solar-powered electric fence to work. At this point we have already had three escapees, one of which he caught and two still out there being "coyote bait".... Uggg

One of the livable shacks on the property. As you can see, this is some of the roughest imaginable land to try to tame just about anywhere. Seconds before this shot one of the escaped baby goats was up on the very peak of this roof crying for his mama.....

Hey, a perfectly good bus to live in. No one in it now, but someone had been living in it.

Here's another living quarters on the land

Home sweet home for the couple in the first picture

This is Kyle's shack

Tim, the other goat partner, and Kyle trying to get the electric fence patched together. We are sweating profusely from chasing escaped goats....

Even the goats are kind of blown-away by the wildness. If they could talk they would be saying "Wha...?)

The horse trailer we brought them, in (this was as close as we could get), the path where we carried them, and the (relatively worthless) fence we lifted them over and which they promptly zipped back out of! More story to follow......Keep your fingers crossed! These are great kids, I'm just not sure they had any idea what they were getting into! if anyone is interested in getting involved, or helping them in anyway, this is an amazing story to be a part of! Let me know!

Meet some of my new friends. I sold a batch of my goats to some young people who are "back to the landers" and who are hoping to use the goats to clear brushy (that's an understatement!) woods where they are living south and west of Winona. I went with them yesterday to deliver a batch of goats. I might have slept better last night had I not known where the goats were going, but it was a pretty unforgettable trip nonetheless.... Here's a bit of the story....

 

Old Hippy Warning: These photos might trigger powerful flashbacks....

 

Frosty the Dog

Frosty is a dog I'm "mentoring" from far away, he's in Sweden with his Swedish owner. This is a great story where we are fighting the local rules, using all raw diet, no vaccines and no vet poisons. It's tough in such a regulated country! Anyway, as you can see, Frosty is lookin' good! We have very few German Shepherd in the US with genetics this good, and those that are were probably bred in Europe. He's only 18 months old and will soon be ready for his new career in actual real-world Search and Rescue.  Here's her update:

 

Sending you some pictures of Frosty and a small movie. I am teaching him to search for missing people and also to track and signalize with a "down". He is being such a good boy. 

 

The breeder wants to do a Mental test of him and his siblings and they need to be vaccinated to do it… I rally wanna do the test but i don't want to take the damn vaccine. Parvo is the one i need. But Within Parvo there is 3 or 4 different vaccines.. Stinks. I haven't done it yet and i really don't want to.. not sure what to do..

 

The SPEARS RANCH in Red Rock Canyon, Wyoming

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South Poll Cattle Farm

Ralph's newspaper