Twisting in the wind
To get to a perfectly marbled, well-fed cow that will end up as USDA Choice and Prime steaks behind the butcher counter, the Silveys have to plan ahead for one or two generations. To do this, Mike and Pearl have to know everything about the genetics, health, diet, and habits of their cattle. But they didn’t start off with this knowledge -- or even this goal.
“Pearl had the farm when she was a little girl, and her family fixed it up and made it nice,” says Mike. “She lost her dad early on when she was in high school, but his whole deal was he wanted to retire up there, and so we started buying up more and more land up there... and so it grew and grew to the point where we had to put something on it to justify it, to make it pay for itself.”