Although Bill and Deb Robinson were both city-raised, Bills exposure to livestock as young child planted seeds for their dream to own a small farm and raise animals. In 2004, their decision to purchase some land finally gave them the opportunity to raise cattle on pasture as they had always envisioned. When a friend suggested they should look into AWA certification for their cattle herd, Bill and Deb quickly recognized that AWA standards aligned with their own objectives for the farm. “Our goal is to provide a good environment and have our cows well fed, well treated, healthy and calm,” says Bill. “Our potential clients recognize that we do what we say we do by having AWA certification.”
The Robinson’s cow-calf cattle herd of primarily Angus cattle originated from a gentleman who had the same family herd for over 50 years. “They were exactly the stock we wanted,” Bill says. “Well kept, tame and gentle.” Each year, Bill and Deb bring in top-rated bulls from a reputable breeder to maintain the excellent genetics of the herd. Having developed a foundation of good disposition and strong genetics, the Robinsons try to keep human interaction with the herd to a minimum. In addition to their 40 acre farm, they manage 50 acres of hay ground on the edge of the Cedar Rapids city limits. Although there is always hay available, the cattle are free to wander for grazing and can seek water, shelter, or a little shade as they see fit. These methods allow Bill and Deb to achieve their goal of providing a healthy, natural lifestyle for their herd.
The Robinsons are also in the process of reclaiming the old rock quarry that is on the farm. As a land improvement project, they have transformed the quarry operation into a unique agricultural property.
With the help of their grandsons, James and Miles (who are the J&M in JMB Cattle Co.), along with son Andy Robinson, Bill and Deb hope to continue to manage a happy herd from birth to plate for their family—and all other families who may appreciate it—for years to come.
JMB Cattle Co.’s Animal Welfare Approved beef is available directly from the farm. For more information, contact Bill and Deb at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 319-360-0987.