Published Aug 24, 2018

Field day will explore grass-fed beef production and marketing – Sept. 8, near Exira

By Tamsyn Jones


For Release: August 24, 2018


Dave and Meg Schmidt | (319) 530-9999 | |

Tamsyn Jones | Outreach & Publications Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 |

EXIRA, Iowa — Converting row crop acres back to perennial pasture may seem like a move back to an earlier time, but for Dave and Meg Schmidt of Exira, it represents the future of their grass-fed livestock farm.

Dave and Meg started Troublesome Creek Cattle Co. in 2012 when they got married. In 2014, they purchased 80 acres of the Century Farm where Meg grew up, and where her parents still raise row crops.

This year, the Schmidts will finish converting the row crop ground they purchased to perennial pasture. The farm operation consists of a herd of about 30 red and black Angus cows, plus a small flock of Katahdin hair sheep and a few hogs.

Dave and Meg will share their experience with grass-fed beef production at a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day they are hosting on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., near Exira (2858 Quail Ave., about 6 miles east of Exira).

The event – “Grass-Fed Beef: From Production to Marketing” – is free to attend and will include lunch. RSVPs are appreciated for the meal to Debra Boekholder, or (515) 232-5661, by Wednesday, Sept. 5. The field day is sponsored by Prudenterra.

Guests will learn about the Schmidts’ strategies for raising grass-fed beef, including summer and winter grazing management and grass-finishing at different times of the year. Dave and Meg will share results from an on-farm research trial analyzing meat samples for fatty acids, including omega-3 content, and discuss their approach to direct-marketing grass-fed beef – as well as their future marketing streams.

The Schmidts retain their best calves for breeding or grass-finishing, and direct-market 100 percent grass-fed and finished beef and lamb to customers in Des Moines, Omaha and surrounding areas.

Dave and Meg have also served as mentors for Practical Farmers’ Savings Incentive Program. Their mentee, Matthew Wiese, of Heirloom Farm near Earlham, will join them to share his experience in the program.

Directions from I-80: Take the Anita / Corning exit (Exit 70), head north on County Road F58 / Littlefield Drive and go 7 miles to 300th Street. Turn right, go about 1 mile and turn left on Quail Avenue. The farm will be on the right in 1 mile.

From IA Hwy 44 (from the north): Take Co Rd N36 south 6.4 miles to Co Rd F58 / Littlefield Drive. Go east 1.7 miles to 290th Street, turn left and go 1 mile to Quail Avenue. Turn north and go 0.5 mile; the farm will be on the right.

Practical Farmers’ 2018 field days are supported by several sustaining and major sponsors, including: Albert Lea Seed; Applegate Natural & Organic Meats; Blue River Organic Seed; Cascadian Farms; Center for Rural Affairs; Farm Credit Services of America; Gandy Cover Crop Seeders; Grain Millers, Inc.; Green Cover Seed; Green Thumb Commodities; Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance; Iowa Beef Center; Iowa State University Department of Agronomy; Iowa Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE); ISU Extension and Outreach; La Crosse Forage and Turf Seed; MOSA Organic Certification; Natural Resources Defense Council; Organic Valley / Organic Prairie;PepsiCo; Pipeline Foods; Premier 1 Supplies; Sunrise Foods International; The DeLong Company; The Fertrell Company; The Scoular Company; Unilever; University of Iowa College of Public Health (I-CASH); USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service; Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture; and Welter Seed & Honey Co.


Practical Farmers of Iowa works to equip farmers to build resilient farms and communities. Our values include: welcoming everyone; farmers leading the exchange of experience and knowledge; curiosity, creativity, collaboration and community; resilient farms now and for future generations; and stewardship of land and resources. To learn more, visit