Laurie Maus is a scientist by training and a farmer by choice. After a career in environmental health science research, regulation and policy she was able to take early retirement to Hawk Hill Farm with her husband to focus on raising heritage breeds of horses, sheep and chickens. However this was not Laurie’s first foray into livestock production. As a teen she worked on a family dairy farm and bred and showed Holstein and Ayrshire cattle. Laurie now has close to 50 years of livestock production experience. In the last few years she has been teaching other producers about livestock parasite management running several workshops a year.
The Rewards and Challenges of Raising Heritage Livestock
Terms like sustainable and regenerative agriculture, pasture-raised, grass-fed and local all are entering the language of new agricultural enterprises. Consumers are more demanding about the quality of their food both nutritionally and its flavor. What is old is now new again as there is renewed interest in heritage livestock and how it fits into these agricultural and consumer concepts. However great the rewards of raising heritage livestock, there are challenges in sourcing quality breeding stock and gaining acceptance by the larger agricultural community.