April 2008
Dear Friends,

Spring is coming. We are now getting much needed rain. With some sunshine our pastures will soon be lush and green.

This time of year our animals graze a cover crop of ceral rye. Cover crops are planted in corn and soybean fields after harvest to control runoff into the bay. Leaving fields bare allows nutrients to enetr streams that feed the bay causing pollution that kills the crabs and fish. The cover crops will give us green grass to graze in March before the permenat pastures are ready in mid May.

Some of the fields are fenced where the animals graze and some are not. We use horses to take the animals into open fields and to bring them back to a fenced area. The horses are left with the livestock so they are used to each other and unnecessary stress is avoided.

We hope this has been helpful information.

Brian Schiner and your friends at Wagon Wheel Ranch

July 21, 2007
Dear Friends,

Let me begin with saying "thank you" for the overwhelming and unexpected response to our first emailed news letter. One of our main objectives here at Wagon Wheel Ranch is to keep you informed and updated as well as providing you with the healthiest meat possible.

In order to insure that your needs are met and met in a timely fashion it is imperative that we receive your deposit and if applicable, a completed order form in order to reserve any of our grass fed meat.

We are in the process of developing a " variety pack" for those of you who may have a family with many different tastes or eating styles. This will include cuts of our delicious grass fed beef, pork, and lamb.

Let me close with tours of our farm. We have received many requests with families wanting to come out and take a tour. We actually encourage families to bring the kids out and make it an afternoon! What a great way to spend the day making memories and seeing just how our farm is operated. We will be sending out information very soon on when the fall tours will begin. The soil here at our farm we live on does not retain moisture as well as the other farms that we lease. Most of our animals are there grazing because the grass is in much better condition right now. As soon as we get enough rain to bring our grasses our animals will be returning and tours can begin.

We hope this has been helpful information.

Your friends at Wagon Wheel Ranch

July 19, 2007
Greetings from Wagon Wheel Ranch:

Don't you just love summer time ? The stars in the clear sky, the sound of crickets, the flash of lightening bugs ? The hot summer afternoons that just scream for a picnic with the kids? The humid air cooled off by those wonderful summer rains? Rain? What rain, you ask?

This was going to be our year that our production would meet our demand so all of our customers, family, and friends would get the healthy meat they desire. Instead, Mother Nature has put us in a drought situation. As a result, this has greatly effected the growth of our animals here at Wagon Wheel Ranch. Even with the additional 78 acres of grass we have available this summer, the lack of rain is affecting us.

Over the past 3 years we have seemingly sold out of our beef, pork ,lamb, and goat by September, not being able to meet the demand of you and your families. Every year we keep the majority of the female animals born on our farm to increase our production. However, the demand seems to out pace our growth.

In the summer of 2004 we had less than 100 acres planted in grass (what our livestock eats) . Now, in the summer of 2007 we have over 220 acres planted in grass with an additional 63 acres for late fall and early spring grazing. We have planted different types of grasses that mature at various times of the year so our animals can always be out grazing the way nature intended.

From mid September thru December, our demand for lambs and goats is always very high. Even though we have over 140 lambs and approximately 60 goat kids that will be ready this fall, we will need your reservation now in order to meet your needs. If you know you will need a lamb or goat on a certain date, please contact us with your information as soon as you can.

Our pigs are doing great, although they eat grass and weeds that grow in their pasture, they are supplemented with feed so the drought has not affected them. This summer we have had a high demand for our pigs for pig roasts. Since there is much less fat on our pigs than the ones raised in barns (our pigs play in the woods all day instead of being kept in small pens) they are great on the BBQ. We expect to be sold out of pork in the next few weeks, so if you want half or a whole pig this fall get one reserved soon.

Our cattle have felt the effects of the drought the most. When it is hot and the grass is very dry, they do not have the weight gain we expect. This week we inspected each steer and have found that we only have 7 unsold steers that will be ready late fall. The other steers will most likely not be heavy enough for processing until they have been on the lush spring grass for 6 weeks. We sell our steers either by the whole, half, or in what we call a "beef box' which is an assortment of steaks, roasts and ground beef. If you want healthy grass fed beef, get your order in soon.

As always, we take pride in raising our animals the way nature intended. From our family to yours...

Have a great summer and wish for rain!

Your friends at Wagon Wheel Ranch