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Our Farm's Story

B&B Farms is a family farm in Alpena Michigan owned and operated by Ben Nowakowski and Brook Alloway. At B&B Farms we practice rotational grazing. Our cattle are moved daily which supports animal health and helps build soils.  We use no-till farming practices, non-GMO pasture and hay. Beef products sold are from our animals, raised on our farm from birth to finish, pasture raised, grass-fed and grass-finished, free of antibiotics and hormones. 

We assure delicious and nutritious meat from happy cows, with regenerative farming practices that are good for the environment. What you choose to eat for dinner can nourish the body, mind and soul. 

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Certified organic isn't practical for us. What we mean by "chemical-free, regenerative & sustainable"

Organic Practices we follow:

No herbicide, pesticides or chemical fertilizers on the land we farm.
No antibiotics, growth hormones, medications or chemical treatments on the herd.

What we do instead of using chemicals:

Allow the cows to spread their manure and urine across the fields by moving them daily and allowing them to travel every acre of the pastures. This not only spreads fertility but allows the grass to rest and recuperate before being grazed again.
Where fertility is low it's sometimes a ph problem and we are currently experimenting with elemental sulfur to lower our basic soils and unlock all the fertility already there (we farm on shallow soils over limestone bedrock).
Our pasture is a diverse mixture of grasses, forbs and legumes (nitrogen fixing plants). In targeted pastures that require additional fertility we apply composted chicken manure and/or biosolids in small quantities. 
Hay on the same pastures we graze to receive all the natural fertility benefits of rotational grazing.
Intentionally overgraze areas to be planted to annuals and then seed directly into the soil without herbicide application or tilling.  Tilling is as disruptive and harmful to soils as herbicides. If we just can't win we will disk the soil - which is less aggressive than tilling. 
Keep our herd healthy by keeping them outdoors and providing forests, trees and terrain for windbreaks and access to a barn in the worst conditions. 
Calf in May when the weather is decent on fresh pasture so the babes are kept out of mud.
When parasites become an issue we increase free choice minerals including specific compounds found in garlic to naturally deter pests. 
There are millions of other things we do around the farm to keep our land and our cows healthy. As I type, Ben is out planting crabapple trees in our pasture to create a new windbreak and improve wildlife habitat.

No herbicide use keeps chemicals out of our environment and out of your beef.  Grass finishing creates a healthier red-meat by increasing omega-3, decreasing omega-6, etc. Rotational grazing builds organic matter in our soils.  Some of our farming practices allow our family time together off the farm.  That's what we mean by chemical free, regenerative and sustainable.  Farming isn't always perfect and it isn't always pretty. But for those of us that choose the omnivore lifestyle our farm tries hard to provide you with the best option for beef. . . one that is healthy for the land, the animal, the consumer and the farmer.  If you made it this far and you're still curious come to our Farm Tour Saturday September 24thand learn all about us.  Keep your ears open as time approaches for more info!

Our Families Story
Ben was born and raised in Alpena Michigan.  His Grandparents had a small herd of dairy and meat cattle.  As a young boy and teenager Ben was often tasked with helping on the farm, clearing fields of rocks before planting or lifting square bales during harvest.  He was often overheard muttering to himself how he would never grow up to be a farmer, and yet here we are a few decades later. . .  Ben has been farming for over a decade now on his own land.  He continues to improve and incorporate sustainable and regenerative farming practices as B & B Farms moves farther and farther away from conventional farming. Though he and his grandparents do not share much in their styles of farming practices, they share a lot in their love for land and lifestyle.  Ben and Brook were married in 2017.  Our son Gus was born in 2018 and daughter Rosie in 2019.  Even though Gus and Rosie are small, and Brook's hands are usually full of babies, we all help out where we can.