For years, Dave and Pam Williams were frequent users of the horse trail system in the State Forest in Brookfield, down in the corner of Madison County. In 2003, when a 300-acre farm came up for sale on the edge of the forest, they bought it.
Dave and Pam began the process of turning the land back to an all-grass feed system for their cattle. The farm was divided into 30 paddocks for rotational grazing. Stream crossings were put in, and trees were planted along waterways. Endless Trails Farm now boasts a handsome, 50-head herd of grass-fed cattle, a guest house, and box stalls for guests’ horses. The farm is truly a jewel, beautiful to see. Not surprisingly, the Endless Trails was honored as the 2011 Madison County Conservation Farm of the Year. Dave says that although he and Pam have been on the farm eight years, “every day we find something new we like about it.”
The Williams’ have been changing their cattle breeding system to produce a smaller-framed meat animal that produces marbled meat on a 100%-grass diet. “We’re now stretching our grazing season from late April into December,” says Dave. “Management of the grass pastures is the key to the whole operation.” Pointing to the rolling hills and sloping pastures of the farm, Dave points out that with their high elevation and thin soil types, “grass is what this land should be growing.”