Hawkeye Buffalo and Cattle Ranch

Hawkeye Buffalo and Cattle Ranch
Fredericksburg, IA

Apprenticeship Mentor Farm

Agroforestry Systems:
Silvopasture

Farm Information

At Hawkeye Buffalo & Cattle Ranch, beef cattle and bison graze in 250 acres of pasture and timber of Northeast Iowa. The McFarland family has been farming here for generations. Dan McFarland diversified his family’s land in 1994, reintroducing the esteemed bison to the landscape. The bison graze on grass in an oak savanna pasture, and experienced hunters respectfully harvest their healthy meat each winter. The ranch focuses on regenerative practices with no chemical inputs, grounded in a deep connection to the land and animals.

In addition to bison, Dan and his daughter Martha raise Polled Hereford cattle and sell a variety of grass-fed meats to the community in butcher boxes. Hawkeye Buffalo & Cattle Ranch invites the community on tours year-round to learn more about and appreciate the bison. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship recognized the ranch as part of its Heritage Farms Program, which honors operations stewarded by the same family for more than 150 years.

Farm Information
Acres15
Established: 2020
LocatedOregon, IL
Farmland Owner: Sandy and Scott Williams
Partners: USDA, NCR SARE, Canopy Farm Management, Bob and Jason Rodgers

Apprenticeship Opportunities

The majority of intern work at the ranch revolves around building and maintaining high tensile and electric fences, clearing and improving the understory of the woods to develop grasslands where multiflora rose has taken over, and general farm maintenance.   There will also be cattle checks, waterline checks, and herd moves.   Each week will also include opportunities for closely supervised lessons on heavy equipment including skid steer, tractors, hay mowers, manure spreaders, and chainsaw use.  You’ll also have opportunities to learn about bison and cattle behaviors and management, and making hay. Timing includes early spring through early summer starting no later than May, for 20 hours a week.

Apprenticeship Program

Availability: Open

Qualifications

Benefits

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Your gift could provide experience and technical education for aspiring farmers through on-farm training with a mentor farmer and community building opportunities for farmers, apprentices, and those interested in incorporating trees on farmland.