John's parents, David and Doris Hayes, purchased the farm in 1962 after they had to leave their long-time home and farm that used to sit where the Lake Monroe Reservoir causeway is now. David and Doris had three daughters — Marsha, Mickey, and Mary Jo — and one son, John. John took over the farming operation in 1986, but David and Doris continued to help with daily activities until they were both in their late 80's.
The original herd included Hereford cows with Hereford Bulls. In the mid-1980’s Angus bulls were introduced to the herd, which began the transition to Angus cattle. For the past 20 years, heifers born on the farm are kept to replace older cattle and new bulls are purchased as needed; our cows give birth here on the farm, raise their offspring on the farm, and live their lives roaming and grazing on the farm. Today the herd is made up of Angus cows with Gelbvieh and Balancer Bulls to produce high-quality beef.
Gelbvieh Cattle Breed
Here's some facts about the lesser-known breed of Gelbvieh cattle:
Meet the Hayes Family
John and Stacy, married in 2003, have three sons — Mason, Dylan, and Wilson. John's daughter Chelsea married Travis in 2016 and they also live in Bloomington. We believe our farm is a great place to raise a family, teaching our children a good work ethic and providing them the opportunity to carry on our tradition of farming. All of the children have learned what it is like to see newborn calves take their first steps of life. In some instances newborn calves need assistance and those "bottle calves" require a lot of time and care; the children have learned to take responsibility for those calves by feeding them twice a day and providing the extra care they need. Our family has learned patience by caring for animals, a valuable skill for all aspects of life. There's no other place we'd rather call home.
One the nicest benefits of farming is being in nature. The scenery is beautiful year-round. We get to watch the sun rise and set over the land every day. The air is much cleaner (though yes, occasionally smelly) and better for our health. A love for animals is a key factor for many who become farmers, and that's been true for us.
We have paid membership dues to the American Grassfed Association and are awaiting membership confirmation; then we plan on certification with an inspector after the paperwork is received to become an AGA-Certified Producer.
Please contact us if you'd like to visit the farm!