Perry and Tammy Fitch, Pickwick
“They are the cutest calves in the world...”
April 2008. Late afternoon. Perry Fitch is so fond of his cow herd it's hard to imagine that he ever manages to actually eat beef.
"They are the cutest calves in the world," brags Perry, who raises an unusual beef breed called "BueLingo," developed a generation ago by a North Dakota farmer named Bueling. The breed, based on an old Dutch line of cattle, has a distinctive white band, or "belt" around its middle. Perry's smile is at least as bright as the white bands on those calves, who romp alongside Trout Creek, just upstream from the historic Pickwick Mill.
Although Fitch clearly loves raising these beef cows, the beef steers are for sale, and always in high demand. So much so, that Perry and his wife Tammy sometimes do without their own farm-raised beef.
Many Winona County farmers have a full-time job in town, as does Perry. That makes it a challenge to get chores done, but raising beef cows on pasture is simpler than dairying, the way Perry's father, Franklin, Sr., farmed. Farm operations change more often than you might think, even though a farm stays in the family for generations.
Perry and Tammy suggest that "you know what you're eating" by buying beef from a farmer you know and trust.