The Northwest Wisconsin Graziers Network and UW-Extension have scheduled a Beginner Beef Pasture Walk at KALEBs Farm west of Shell Lake in Washburn County on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m.-noon.
KALEBs Farm is owned by Kent and Bernadette Wabrowetz.
This pasture walk is a unique opportunity to see a step-by-step approach to building a hobby-farm beef operation using grazing planning, mentoring, custom-raised cattle, and minimal investment.
The farm contains 80 acres of gently rolling grassy fields and woods. The Wabrowetzs' custom graze a half-dozen stocker Angus steers and heifers for Lynn Johnson of Turtle Lake. The current 12 acres of grazing will be expanded to 24 acres next year.
The advantages of custom grazing stockers are to start small, not having to own the animals, not having them in the winter, not having to buy feed, and getting agricultural tax breaks.
The Wabrowetzs plan to own beef animals in the future. They have used soil testing, lime and potash to build up the soil. They have added fencing and water lines, and a make-shift cattle-handling facility.
In the past, the Wabrowtzs ran a bulk food store and sold Labrador dogs, Christmas wreaths and fishing worms.
Kent worked 28 years for NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) as a civil engineering technician. He served in the Army and National Guard, and did a tour in Iraq in 2004. Bernadette currently works as a dental assistant. Both have Associate Degrees in Conservation Technology and worked in conservation positions in Montana before moving back to Wisconsin.
The address is N3598 County O, up the road from Homestead Crafts. To reach the farm, go west four miles from Shell Lake on County B, then turn right or north on County O for a half mile. Or from Hwy 70 about six miles west of Spooner, go south on County O for 4.5 miles. Watch for the signs.
For more information, contact Kent Wabrowetz at 715-520-3253, UW-Extension Ag Agents Otto Wiegand or Kevin Schoessow at Spooner at 715-635-3506, or Randy Gilbertson at 715-520-2112 at NW Graziers.