Meet the Salyer Family

Owners of Salyer Family Farms & Meadow Green Feeders LLC.

About the Business

DAVID: We are a cow/calf and feeder operation in Higginsville, Missouri. I was raised about 2 miles west of the current farm location. I went to the University of Missouri and was going to teach ag and be a livestock specialist for the university, but I had the opportunity to start farming after I finished and took it up. I started farming on my own in 1975 when I rented a farm in Boonville, Missouri, for about 12 years. Soon after, my father was semi-retired, and I decided to move back home closer to family. We bought a farm nearby in 1995 and started renting our current location from a neighbor of ours. In 2001, we purchased the property from our neighbors, and we have been here since. My son, Justin, has his own farm nearby as well. In total, we have about 1,250 acres (owned and rented) for cattle and crops.

Why Show Me Beef?

DAVID: We were intrigued because it's all local. Consumers get a fresher local source of protein and can see where their cattle come from and the conditions in which they're raised.

JUSTIN: It keeps jobs and money in the state instead of losing dollars to surrounding states.


DAVID: When it comes to sustainability in our operation, we're implementing best practices to keep the land healthy and profitable for years to come. We collect manure and runoff from our barns and apply them back to the fields as a natural fertilizer. Those fields include corn but also cover crops. Cover crops help control runoff and erosion, put nutrients back into the soil, and carbon sequestration.

JUSTIN: On my farm, we've installed fencing and over 10,000 feet of water line for rotational grazing paddocks to manage the land better. Everything the cattle eat is grown on our ground, except for extra protein and mineral supplements. We sell some of our corn to the local ethanol plant and purchase the distillers' grain by-product back from them to put in the cattle's feed ration. We're just trying to be good stewards of the land and make things better than we started with.

DAVID: In terms of animal welfare, we built an open-air hoop barn in 2008 that helps us monitor animals' health. With our setup, we can monitor animal health better than the average feedlot. The barn is bedded with corn stalks from our farm, which also controls manure runoff. The cattle never have a day in the mud and are sheltered from the elements.

JUSTIN: On our farm, we also never use hormone implants or stimulants and seldom use antibiotics. If an animal is sick, we take it out of the group and treat it to keep it healthy. Many people think farmers are pumping animals full of antibiotics, but it's not the case. We only use antibiotics on an as-needed basis, not en masse.

Salyer FFF

Terms you may not know:

Cow/Calf Operation - Cows are bred and calves are born and raised every year on cow-calf farms and ranches, spending time grazing on grass pastures within sight of their mothers.
Backgrounding - Backgrounding is a beef production system that involves maximal use of pasture and forages from the time calves are weaned until they are placed in a feedlot.
Feedyard - Cattle spend their final 4-6 months at a feedyard being fed a scientifically-balanced diet and receiving daily care.