By Vera Moroney
To meet Steve Schubart at the Grasscattle Company is to see our future and celebrate out past. A man with a mission and huge energy, an unstoppable combination.
Steve ranches 150 acres on Hinesburg Road. The ranch is the former Bean farm, a family with a very deep history in Charlotte. Steve is a graduate of Vermont Tech with a B.S. in diversified agriculture and a degree in dairy herd management. However, those degrees do not define him: what does his passion for the land and the cattle.
He is a strong supporter of the cattle roaming the land and “reinvesting” their poop into the soil to increase fertility and organic matter. This creates farm viability, sequesters carbon, and reduces runoff, which benefits all of us. Steve also practices bale grazing, in which bales of hay are placed in the fields for the cattle to munch on; this practice increases soil fertility by providing organic matter and composting and access to hay for the cattle.
In a recent visit the cattle were frolicking in the fields, with others sunbathing and lounging near the barn. Happy.
Steve was very clear that what has helped him is the support of other farmers and neighbors, who provided advice and moral support. A good neighborhood for sure. Challenges have included the unexpected birth of calves and the reality that he cannot do it all himself and needs to hire help…anyone interesting in being a ranch hand?
One of his goals is to fix up the barn so the cattle can have a more secure place to hang out in the cold months.
You can buy his beef by the quarter or half, cut and frozen through his website, and he hopes to open an onsite location as well.
We are such a fortunate community to have Steve and other young farmers and ranchers. Let’s support them.