N.J. Beef Industry Council tour on April 21

NEW BRUNSWICK — Cattle producers from across New Jersey are invited to attend the New Jersey Beef Industry Council Tour on April 21.
Participants will get an opportunity to visit the Masonic Village Farm located in Elizabethtown, Pa., that last fall was selected by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association as the 2011 Environmental Stewardship.
The panoramic 1,400-acre Purebred Shorthorn farm features rotational grazing designs, spring fed watering systems, intensive pasturing methodologies, a unique winter feeding and manure management system and a recently completed multiple agency funded $750,000 stream corridor management project.
Farm manager Frank Stolfus and herdsman Steve McMahan will provide the tour with behind-the-scenes details on the farm’s operation and management goals.
The operation raises 180 Purebred Shorthorn cow/calf pairs per year on a year round forage and grass based system. The farm keeps 650 acres in cultivation of corn and seasonal grasses with 100 acres dedicated to permanent pastures.
The farm uses its own bulls that have won many championships at the Pennsylvania Farm Show and the Keystone International along with other selected Shorthorn bulls using artificial insemination and limited embryo transplants.
The farm also currently feeds out 200 of its own steers annually and are in the process of doubling the number of cattle on feed.
All finished steers on sold on a grid design with more than a 85-percent grading choice or better.
During the lunch break at the Masonic Visitor’s Center tour participants will have time to view the Masonic artifacts and will be able to visit the two-acre formal gardens.
On the return trip the tour will also make a stop a Nissley brothers Feedlots in Mt. Joy, Pa., where seventh generation farmers Darwin and Bernard Nissley feed out more than 2,000 Black Angus steers annually.
The steers are sold to local packing plants where the farm maintains a 90-percent-or-better choice grade on a grid system.
The 450-acre farm is used to raise corn for silage and high moisture corn and a small amount of small grains and soybeans.
The farm also uses local food grade by-product feeds in their rations.
The tour will also feature Beef Quality Assurance re-certification on the bus and a special BQA training session at the Masonic Village Farm when the tour stops at the farm’s show barn and calving facility.
Pre-registration is required along with the payment for the tour and lunch of $45 per person by April 13.
The tour pick-up passengers at the Hunterdon Extension office on Route 12 Flemington at 6:30 a.m., and the Target parking lot off of Interstate 78 and Old Route 22, in Phillipsburg at 7:30 a.m, returning at 7 p.m., respectively.
For more information, contact Bob Mickel, Hunterdon County Agricultural and Regional Livestock Agent at 908-788-1338, or e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
The tour is being hosted by the New Jersey Beef Industry Council, New Jersey Angus Association.
Stephen Komar, Sussex County ag agent, is assisting with the tour.