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Cattle call: Cows to graze fields of Sylvester Manor

A herd of beef cattle will soon be grazing on 60 acres at Sylvester Manor Educational Farm.

A herd of beef cattle will soon be grazing on 60 acres at Sylvester Manor Educational Farm.

Word is out and spreading throughout the community ­— this spring, Sylvester Manor Educational Farm will welcome a herd of cattle to graze on its land.

According to the Manor’s executive director Jo-Ann Robotti, Amagansett-based Acabonac Farms has leased 60 of the Manor’s back acres in order to raise grass-finished beef and soon, the cows will be seen roaming the fields.

Feeder cattle are purchased from carefully selected partner cow/calf producers in the Northeast — from Virginia to Vermont — and the herd will be approximately 30 head of beef cattle with English genetics (e.g., Angus, Hereford, Devon) which were selected to graze on the Manor’s grass. They will not be fed any grain.

The arrival of the cows is weather dependent, but Ms. Robotti expects them to make their Island appearance sometime in early to mid May.

Ms. Robotti notes that this project is keeping with the mission of Sylvester Manor to bring agriculture back to Shelter Island and to use the land in a manner for which it is best suited. “Livestock grazing is in line with the recommendations from agricultural experts as to how we should utilize this acreage,” she explained. “It does not impact our ongoing operations and provides a valuable educational opportunity for our farm crew and the community as a whole.”

Those who plan to visit the cows once they’ve arrived should be aware that electrified fencing has been installed in anticipation of their arrival and the fence is currently “on.” So casual strolls are discouraged.

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