Wulf and Sons Limousin Farms is well known in the cattle breeding arena. The Morris producers have sold their award-winning cattle to buyers in 25 states and six foreign countries.
This month they're being recognized, not for their breeds, but for their animal care practices and environmental stewardship as the winners of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Good Farm Neighbor Award.
The cattle farm has been active since 1955 when Leonard Wulf purchased the Stevens County farm.
Today, Leonard's four sons, Jerry, Jim, Dennis and Davis Wulf and their families oversee the operation of 800 registered cows, a 4,000 head feedlot, 4,000 acres of crops and 1,500 acres of pasture.
A trained nutritionist analyzes all feedstuffs for protein, energy, vitamin and mineral requirements for their herd. Two-thirds of the Wulfs' cattle are fed naturally, using no hormones or antibiotics.
The Wulfs have worked extensively to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality and maintain wildlife habitat. This includes reducing tillage practices and planting trees as wind blocks for the cattle as well as wildlife.
Jim Wulf says the open feedlot was remodeled in 2007 and has zero runoff. He says grass filter strips and an extensive rotational grazing system are other environmental management tools they've used successfully.
Jim Wulf says it's important for all livestock producers to take the necessary steps to be environmentally responsible.
"With fewer people working in production agriculture, we need make sure the public is aware of how we do things and that we're complying with the regulations," he said. "We have students from South Dakota State University assisting us with soil testing right now and we always encourage research on our farm to help us improve."
Winners of the MDA's Good Farm Neighbor Award are selected by a committee representing the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and the MDA.
Nominations can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Good Farm Neighbor Award, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 625 North Robert Street, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55155.
A nomination form can be downloaded at www.mda.state.mn.us/news/publications/aboutmda/goodneighboraward.pdf.