(Posted Fri. Sep 21st, 2012)

The National Corn Growers Association continues the second season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.


This week, Field Notes caught up with Don Rutledge, a farmer and rancher who grows corn and raises cattle, in addition to a variety of other things, outside of Yuma, Colo. Rutledge reports that, with harvest running a full two weeks ahead of schedule, he has seen good corn yields thus far. With moisture levels decreasing to the ideal for harvesting, he projects that his area will complete corn acres by mid-October this year.


Rutledge goes on to offer insight into how rising hay prices, coupled with a growing corn stalk selling industry, are impacting Colorado’s cattle ranchers. Then, he walks listeners through how he raises cattle throughout the year, allowing them to graze at pasture on grass or in his own harvest fields at different times of year. His narrative provides a unique look at how often conventional cattle actually consume the same diet as counterparts marketed as grass-fed.


To listen to the audio interview, click here.


Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field Notes follows the growers who have opened their farms, families and communities up this year and meet the true faces of modern American agriculture.