Paul Colucci and Laura Watson started Full Moon Farm in 2000, with an original plan to produce enough meat for their family and high-quality wool to use in Laura’s functional fiber art. Their plan ended up working so well that Paul decided he wanted to add beef cattle to their small operation. Today, Paul and Laura raise over 150 head of Animal Welfare Approved Devon and Angus beef cattle on 300 acres of prime farmland at Full Moon Farm in Ulster County, New York.
Both Paul and Laura have been farming since their childhood and were active in 4-H. Paul’s father raised a few beef cattle and worked as a butcher when Paul was growing up. As a teenager, Paul started working on nearby farms, especially at haying time. Growing up on her family’s farm, Laura gained experience raising beef and sheep at an early age. Her father continues to work primarily with large animals as a veterinarian.
Paul and Laura are dedicated to raising high quality, exceptional-tasting meats using high-welfare management practices, working in harmony with nature. They raise pure bred Devon and Angus beef cattle, as well as Devon-cross and Angus-cross breeds. The welfare of the cattle is paramount at Full Moon Farm, and Paul and Laura closely monitor the health and wellbeing of each animal on a daily basis. The herd rotationally grazes about 100 acres during the season while the remaining land is set aside for hay production as feed for the following winter.
“We believe that good soil health produces healthy food and clean meat, so we maintain our high-quality pastures using only natural amendments—no chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides—and rotational grazing,” Laura explains. “This produces a healthier and more delicious alternative to feedlot beef.” The couple agrees that a 100% grassfed diet is not only good for the animals, but good for people, too. “Ruminants like cattle, goats and sheep should eat fibrous grasses, weeds and shrubs, not starch-filled, low-fiber grain,” says Laura. “An unnatural, grain-based diet favors the growth of E. coli in the cattle’s gutand causes acidosis and other diet-related health problems. Under these stressful conditions, cattle require a variety of chemical additives and constant, low-dose antibiotics, which is leading to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can be passed on to humans.”
The goal at Full Moon Farm is to be good stewards of the land and to make positive contributions to the local community, ensuring that historic farmlands remain for future generations to enjoy. “We’re proud to be part of the growing movement away from an industrial food production system that has divorced the consumer from the source of their food,” says Paul. “We encourage all consumers to embrace small farms and local producers.”
Full Moon Farm on-farm store is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and by appointment. Contact Full Moon Farm on (845) 255-5602. For more information on purchasing Full Moon Farm’s AWA-certified beef products, visit http://www.fullmoonfarmny.com.