Sheep, cattle, pigs and more on the Rumfelt farms
CONWAY, MO. – David and Laura Rumfelt of Conway, Mo., manage two farms in Laclede and Wright counties where they raise mainly beef cattle, sheep and pigs.
David, a fourth-generation farmer, started his farming career slowly in the 1980s with a few bottle calves in Hartville and Grovespring, Mo. David is also the fourth-generation Rumfelt to own the 300-acre Hartville property, a place rich with history, and remnants and signs of Native American life along the Gasconade river.
Before David and Laura acquired the Hartville property in 2021, his father and stepmother, David Rumfelt, Sr. and Susan Rumfelt, owned the property; preceded by his grandparents, Dorman and LaVern Rumfelt, and before that, David’s great-grandparents, Alfred and Mary Alice Rumfelt, farmed and homesteaded the property in the late 1800s.
The Conway farm, formerly owned by Laura’s parents, Chester and Rhonda Wood, was purchased by David and Laura in recent years as well.
David, Laura, and their youngest of four daughters, Olivia, live on the Conway farm where David also runs his Trucks and Tractors Repair shop. On the Conway farm, they raise beef cattle with 70 cow/calf pairs. On the Hartville farm, there are 65 momma cows. The cattle breeds at both farms are a mix of Gelbvieh and Charolais. The majority of new bulls are retained for farm use. Typically, when market allows, most of the beef cattle are sold directly to consumers, then the animal is delivered to a processor where customers can pick up the processed beef. The cattle graze the pastures for a large part of their diet, but they are also supplemented with hay, corn, and minerals. The results are a healthy beef with well-marbled meat.
At the Conway property, there are currently 36 Katahdin sheep, a breed of haired sheep. These are a low-maintenance, hardy sheep that provide a quality lean meat, which are aspects David likes about the breed. The sheep are fed a diet of hay, a small amount of feed and forage sorghum. Some of the lambs are sold once weaned, and some are retained. They sell sheep ready for harvest, when market allows.
Yorkshire and Hampshire cross hogs are raised at the Conway property as well. With a couple of sows and boars, there are a couple of litters of piglets running around as well. New piglets are rarely, if ever sold, and generally are retained to raise for pork. The hogs are sold directly to consumers when their optimal weight is reached for processing.
The breeding program for all the livestock on the property are complete natural cover. The animals are all properly vaccinated and wormed to ensure animal health and quality as well.
There’s also the homestead side of things at home.
David and Laura are raising 100 meat chickens for their own use and for a few close family and friends. There are also 140 laying Cinnamon Queen hens which provide eggs for their own use and to sell to neighbors. In addition, geese and turkey free-range on the property for their own use; they’re hoping to provide goslings and poults for sale next spring.
Olivia, 13, grew up on the farm and loves the birds best. Picking up a chick in her hands is a lot easier for her than climbing in the sheep pen or the cattle field, but she adores all the animals on the farm and as always been a “farm girl,” her family admits. “I just like being able to walk outside and hear the birds chirping and no cars driving by,” Olivia said.
David’s goal for the farm is to just keep going and keep growing.
“I’d like to eventually produce more of my own feed, and get into growing more grasses like Sudangrass,” he said.
Laura added, “The goal is to exclusively farm within five years, and possibly open a farm-to-table store soon, selling our own homegrown products.”
To help run the store, David has the perfect girl in mind — Olivia.
With so many different irons in the fire, it’s likely the Rumfelts will be fulfilling that goal sooner than later, something David and Laura agree upon.