Sandy Fiorini uses miniature breeds to best utilizer her acreage

When Sandy Fiorini moved to Missouri three years ago, it was like she was moving home. She is surrounded by family here with her dad, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. It does give them a lot of room to trail ride and that makes Sandy and her son Christopher pretty happy. They have several horses on their property near Bolivar, Mo., that they train and ride.
Matthew her 18 year-old son’s interest lies more in other areas. He is currently attending OTC and has plans to become a chef. Christopher, her oldest son who is 19 appears to be taking after his mother with his love for horses. He is following Clinton Anderson training methods on his prize horse “Doc” who is a registered Quarter Horse. He also uses those same techniques on the other young colts that he is training.
But horses aren’t the only dream that they have. They have mini animals and it is Sandy’s dream to also have a petting zoo. She envisions a type of retreat where people can come and spend time on the property and fish in their stocked lake.
The animals that she has now include donkeys, Herefords, Dexters and Highlanders.
Sandy also has a few “regular” size Dexters and Herefords. They are the “old style stock” that are smaller. They currently live at her father’s farm which of course is just down the road. Sandy likes the unusual cattle but also likes the fact that she has gotten great feedback from the Dexter calves that she has sold. One man who recently purchased a calf told her how great the meat was and he was happy to find her and a steer to butcher. She found that very encouraging. Sandy really enjoys the Highlanders especially because of their gentle disposition. She finds them to live up to their reputation as a very docile breed.
Sandy said that you also get a very good meat to carcass ratio on the mini Herefords when you butcher them. She finds them to be easy keepers. They are becoming very popular in areas where people don’t have a lot of pasture to raise cattle. In these days of sustainable living, people are looking more and more to mini breeds as an answer for self-sustainability.
Sandy hopes that by continuing to breed and raise the minis that she will grow her herd. Through the process she would like to find and add more variety to her farm. She is actively looking for a mini Hereford bull at this time.
Sandy works part time at Back Road Relics, a flea market that her sister owns in town. While she enjoys that work and meeting the people, she would much rather be at her farm working with her animals.
Sandy keeps herself busy working at the farm fixing fence, clearing pasture and picking up rocks. But their dream of what they want to build together helps to keep them working toward that vision.


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