The cattle walk right up to the truck as Norm Oeding drives through a pasture at Janzen Family Farms east of Newton.


The cattle walk right up to the truck as Norm Oeding drives through a pasture at Janzen Family Farms east of Newton.
They blink calmly as they watch Oeding, the farm’s manager, perhaps hoping for some attention or a treat.
“They are pretty gentle animals,” Oeding said of the farm’s livestock. “... They’re exceptionally tame. They’re pretty much easy to handle. We’re very patient with them.”
The 640-acre farm at 15076 N.W. 180th St. sells their 100 percent grass-fed beef on their website and at local farmers markets. They also had a booth at Taste of Newton this year.
The farm’s own herd consists of 40 head of red and black pure-bred Angus cattle, and the farm also boards 340 head for other clients.
The farm’s Angus cattle have an alfalfa patch and a brome patch to graze on.
“It’s really a salad bar of their own choosing,” Oeding said with a laugh. “... Our own cattle is strictly a grazing operation. We never feed them any grain."
The farm started off with a grazing herd of 10 about four years ago and has grown since, Oeding said. Thirteen baby calves have been born this year, and they could be seen out exploring the farm’s pastures during a tour Thursday afternoon.
Oeding said this summer’s drought was tough for the farm, and he said they were very grateful for the recent rainfall.

Other products

In addition to selling grass-fed beef, the farm also grinds flour and sells baked goods.
The flour is made using an 8-inch stone mill, which grinds about 50 pounds an hour, Oeding said. He thinks it likely is one of the smallest commercial flour mills in the state.
Some of this flour is sold to customers (it can be purchased at Prairie Harvest in Newton), and some is used for the farm’s own line of baked goods, called the Little Red Hen Bakery.
Oeding said the farm’s customers like the fact they are able to purchase products that were produced in this area.
“The customers like the idea of fresh product that’s produced totally close to home,” he said.
For more information about Janzen Family Farms, contact 799-2670 or visit www.janzenfamilyfarms.com.