beef & poultry improved with nrcs partnership
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Beef & Poultry Improved with NRCS partnership
A History with Cattle
Jack Brewer grew up on his family farm in Chattooga County, GA. After college he re-turned home to run an excavation business but his heart was in farming. In 2013, Jack and his wife Stephanie added four poultry houses to their beef operation and took the plunge into full time farming.
While Jack had grown up on the cattle farm that his dad and uncle bought in the 1970s, the farm had never supported the family financially. Diversifying the farm into poultry and beef made the farm more financially stable and allowed the Brewers to farm full-time. Stephanie said, “We are blessed to be farming. It was not on our radar as a possibility when we first got started.”
The Brewers work hard to be good stew-ards of the land. They both feel strongly that the land should be productive in order to support their family but also that caring for the land is equally as important. They hope their children will be able to continue working the farm and caring for the land when they have families of their own. Jack said, ”We want to leave a lega-cy for our kids. If they want to farm – we want that to be an option.”
The Brewer family farms as a team. Every member of the family is actively involved. Jack and Stephanie work hard to ensure their opera-tion is sustainable and their children are learn-ing about what it takes to run a successful busi-ness. From an early age the Brewer children took responsibility for managing and their own animals.
Their son, Brooks, takes joy in bidding on
“We want to leave a legacy
for our kids, if they want to
farm – we want that to be an
option.” — Jack Brewer
Stephanie and Jack Brewer near their Chattooga County, Georgia farm sign.
calves at the sale and has built up his own commercial heard of 20 stockers. Their daugh-ter Josie is more interested in raising regis-tered cows. The Mom and Dad encourage their children and support them, but also allow the children to learn on their own. The care, costs and upkeep of their respective animals really are the children’s responsibility.
Jack and Stephanie became involved with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 2014 after talking with Pam Traylor, soil conservation technician in the Rome Field Office. Traylor was able to assist the Brewers by developing a conservation plan for both their poultry operation as well as their grazing operation. The Brewers applied for the Envi-ronmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in order to implement the conservation plan-ning and they were funded later that year.
The conservation practices installed on the Brewer operation helped to address nu-merous resource concerns. The structures and management practices were successfully com-pleted in 2014 and 2015. The Brewers have looked to continue improving their operation and better use their resources by applying for subsequent incentive programs.
A program that offers
and technical assis-
tance to implement
that optimize environ-
mental benefits on
Partnership Supports a Hard Working Operation
Practices installed include:
Comprehensive Nutrient Manage-ment Plan (CNMP): A CNMP was de-veloped by NRCS and implemented by the Brewers in order to properly utilize nutrients and address resource con-cerns on the poultry farm.
Waste Storage and Animal Mortality Facility: An 8,000 square foot facility was built to improve the Brewer’s ability to manage poultry litter associated with their broiler operation. The area sur-rounding the newly constructed facility was stabilized with critical area stabili-zation seeding and mulch to prevent soil erosion.
Amendment for Treatment of Agri-cultural Waste: Litter amendment was added to the poultry houses to reduce ammonia, improve animal health and protect air quality.
Forage and Biomass Planting: By over seeding 78 acres of pasture land with legumes, they increased the amount and diversity of available for-age and helped to promote animal health, soil health and water quality.
Herbaceous Weed Control: To re-duce weed pressure and improve the quantity and quality of forage available for the Brewer’s beef cattle operation
200 acres of pasture and hay land were treated.
Fence: To create a better rotational grazing program and to exclude live-stock from environmentally sensitive areas 5,880 feet of fencing was in-stalled.
Water Facility, Pipeline and Heavy Use Area Protection: In order to sup-ply clean water to livestock, reduce livestock pressure on adjacent streams and improve water quality on two of the Brewer’s tracts of land, 1,090 feet of pipeline and two water troughs were installed. The areas surrounding the newly installed water facilities were sta-bilized with heavy use area protection to prevent soil erosion, improve animal health and water quality.
All of the practices installed on the Brewer’s farm addressed specific resource concerns. As a result of ad-dressing these concerns the Brewers have seen improvement in their poultry operation and grazing management system. Incentive payments associated with the installed practices were provid-ed through EQIP. The Brewers current-ly seek to continue improving their cat-tle operation through partnering with the NRCS to further develop conservation planning and implement additional con-servation practice with the financial as-sistance of EQIP.
Some of Brooks’ stock on the Brewer farm.
A calf on the Brewer farm.
A heavy use area on the Brewer farm.
Some of the Brewer cattle in a pasture.
Poultry litter stacked to dry and compost.
• County: Chattooga
• Soil and Water Conservation District: Coosa River
• Congressional District: 14 USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender GA • July • 2018