Leland and Nan Lloyd have developed their own market for their Romagnola cattle

Leland and Nan Lloyd own a beautiful small ranch in Ozark, Ark.
The driveway to their Lily Bird Ranch is lined with large oak trees and healthy cream colored cattle gathered around hay feeders.
The couple raises Romagnola cattle, which originated in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.
How the couple came to raise the breed of cattle was more than a decade in the making. Leland was a electrical technician for a nuclear power plant and Nan had asked him what his dream was. He realized that he wanted to return to raising cattle, like he had done as a young boy.
Leland and Nan researched for about 10 years before they bought any cattle. They decided on Romagnola. They then bought a young bull and heifer. As time went by, they added more Romagnola cattle to the herd. After about two years they had two freezer beefs ready to go. Leland and Nan decided to keep one for themselves and sell the other.
The sale of the beef actually opened a new door for the couple and thanks to word-of-mouth advertising, their business started to grow and they now have several customers who buy processed beef directly from the couple.
Leland grains, which is a custom mix with no additives, and hays their 77-head herd daily. He also puts sea salt on his pastures, which places salt and mineral in the grasses so there are no pesticides on the grass, allowing their cattle to be raised in a pesticide-free environment at all times. The cattle are also raised antibiotic and hormone free.
The couple also have Red Poll cattle, and have developed their own Lily Bird Roma Red Poll, a cross of the Romagnola and the Red Poll.
Nan, told the story of a friend who seemed to be allergic to beef. No matter what she did or how she cooked it, the friend became ill when she ate beef. Nan told her friend that maybe it was the additives added to the beef that she was allergic to, not the beef itself.
Nan suggested to her friend that she try some of their home-grown beef, but her friend had such a bad reaction to beef that she was very cautious about taking Nan up on her offer. Finally, the friend took Nan up on her offer; she would try some hamburger from the cattle raised and processed by the Lloyds. She fixed tacos and tried just a little of the meat and waited. Nothing happened and she was thrilled that she could eat beef again and didn’t get sick.
“There has to be something about this way of feeding cattle that works,” Nan said.
The way the freezer beef works for the Lloyds is the customer reserves their beef about six months ahead; they can order half or a whole beef.
When it’s time, Leland takes the cattle to his butchers and has them processed and cut to the customers preference. Then it is shrink-wrapped and placed in a freezer. The customer then has the option to either come get the beef or have it delivered.
The price of having all of this done is $3.50 a pound, regardless of the price of cattle on the market. The delivery price, however, is depend on the distance.
One of Leland’s goals is to reach a 1,000-head herd of momma cows.
He loves the ranch life and has figured out a simpler way of raising great cattle, which produces a tender and moist meat.
Nan, on the other hand, is a city girl. She has her own blog on the ranch’s website, calling Lloyd the “Alpha Hubby,” and shares some of her experiences as a farm wife.
Leland’s advice for anyone who would want to try to ranch and raise cattle is to do a little research.
“They would also definitely need a desire to ranch or have a calling for it,” he said.


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