Success Stories Landin Angus Ranch - Gordon and Judy Landin | Minnesota
Landin Angus Ranch
Gordon and Judy Landin
Location: Roseau County near Warroad, MN
Type of Operation: Cow/Calf operation
At the Landin Angus Ranch, in Roseau County, producing high quality grass and beef comes first. After purchasing the ranch in 1992, the Landin's sold the existing beef herd and converted to an Angus/Tarentaise cow/calf operation of approximately 100 beef animals. Gordy and Judy Landin practice the basic philosophy of gaining knowledge and improving every aspect of day-to-day livestock operation; whether hiring a genetics consultant to improve the herd's performance or seeking technical assistance on pasture and resource management.
The landscape at the Landin Ranch was created by glaciers, heavily influenced by the ancient glacial Lake Agassiz. This is reflected in the poorly drained, heavy soils present in the Landin's grazing system. However, with 22 inches/year in average precipitation, raising cool-season, introduced grasses and legumes is a good fit for this north-west Minnesota farm. The wetlands and riparian areas produce low quality forage. These areas are now either completely excluded from livestock use and managed as wildlife habitat, or are grazed on a limited basis to protect the soil, plant, and animal resource. This has led to increased wildlife habitat diversity on marginal areas previously used as pasture.
Gordy and Judy have partnered with the Minnesota Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Roseau Soil and Water Conservation District for technical assistance on improving water quality and quantity, forage productivity and health, soil quality and stability, animal health and productivity, wildlife habitat, and energy conservation for an economically stable, profitable, and environmentally sustainable livestock operation.
The Landin's have been participants in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and several conservation practices have been either planned or applied on their farm acreage: Fencing, use exclusion, pasture planting, prescribed grazing, heavy use protection, watering facility and pipeline installation. To-date, a total of 119 acres of pasture and hay land planting has been applied, with 90 additional acres planned in the future.
A few years ago, Gordon Landin and retired cattle producer Carter Hontvet inspired MN NRCS to update our pipeline standard. Gordy and Carter took it upon themselves to personally travel over 1,000 miles in two days visiting Canadian livestock watering systems. They shared information gathered in Canada with MN NRCS, which was incorporated when NRCS re-wrote the pipeline standard. This 1" inch shallow buried livestock watering system is now the most common type of livestock watering system used in Northwest Minnesota. Gordy has approximately 18,000 feet of pipeline applied on his grazing system with and additional 8,500 feet planned. The Landin's have worked with NRCS on the entire grazing system of 744 acres.
Gordy was one of the first to adapt used mining tires for a watering facility in Northwest Minnesota. His entire livestock watering system, from the pipeline to the watering facilities, was the most unique and forward-thinking in Northwest Minnesota at the time. This livestock watering system has made it possible to accomplish environmental benefits in an economical manner. All of the conservation practices have given Gordy the tools to manage grazing on the heavy, poorly- drained soils. Grazing management is an art as much as it is a science. It takes a dedicated producer to absorb the science behind this profession, apply this science on a working farm, and understand how all the grazing system components affect each other.
The Landin's are also involved with several leadership activities which have helped to improve the perception of the cattle industry and to promote grazing lands conservation.
Gordy and Judy are active members in the Northwest Stockman's Association, and have served as the treasurer the last two years. In 2006, Gordy and Judy won the Roseau County Conservationist of the Year Award, presented by the Roseau County SWCD. The Landin's have sponsored tours on his farm in 2004 through 2006. Gordy no-tilled a grass and legume mixture into a portion of his north grazing system, which was highlighted and discussed on the 2006 Roseau Grazing Tour.
Gordy has been a positive spokesperson for his experiences with NRCS grazing management assistance. When asked if all of these conservation practices and programs are worth the effort, Gordy replies: "This is the way to go if you are looking to improve your grass production." You can't ask for a more direct bottom line answer than this.
Gordy has demonstrated that grazing management and conservation is hard work. By using conservation practices to convert to a management intensive grazing system, Gordy has not sacrificed his goals of managing reproduction and keeping the genetics uncontaminated by adjacent bulls, improving forage quality, health, and vigor, improving water quality and quantity, and improving animal health, reproduction, and performance. By actively managing his grazing system Gordy has improved the overall operation by increasing grass and animal performance.