SIGMT Winter 2023

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is has allowed the McCaffertys to focus on improving their beef market and develop other products. ey sell their beef to the Central Avenue Meats in Great Falls, Mont., and local restaurants. "We are now shipping our beef nationally," says Gondeiro. "We have been working toward this for the last seven years, creating a consistent, quality beef product we could sell nationally. We just started selling beef tallow products, as well." Additionally, the McCaffertys and Woodworth improved upon the fodder system design and have begun marketing it to other producers, customizing it to their operational needs through their business, Integrated Fodder. SIGNATURE MONTANA | 75 S MT Shannon Ruckman has enjoyed writing about Montana agriculture and rural life for 16 years. She has an agricultural communications degree from Kansas State University. She and her family live in rural central Montana and are active in 4-H and FFA. McCafferty Ranch recently began selling products made from their beef tallow, such as handmade soaps. JANE RISPENS PHOTOGRAPHY 406.439.1330 | The high protein barley fodder is mixed with straw to add fiber, which balances the feed, and absorb some of the water. The cattle are fed barley sprouts for 120 days before harvest. "It's a hard sell right now because it is so different," says Gondeiro. "If ranchers are buying hay these days, it will pay for itself, but it is also a complete change from how you'd normally feed." e new automated hydroponic fodder system has allowed the McCafferty Ranch to expand without purchasing more land. "We can feed more beef on the same land, using water, grain, and heat," says McCafferty. "I have always been passionate about producing quality beef and finding a way to pass the ranch on to the kids. With this system, the ranch is now producing enough profit for two families."

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