Welcome to Hillside Pastures
Hillside Pastures is a small grass-based farm in the Driftless Region of southwest Wisconsin that was started in 2009 by Daniel and Linda Marquardt. The primary focus of the farm is the production of high-quality Red Devon seedstock---bulls and heifers that are sold to other farmers who are trying to meet the increasing demand for grassfed beef.
Developing purebred cattle for this high-end market requires continual improvement in the genetic quality of the cows and bulls that are the worker bees of the farm. And since the herd has been closed (no outside cows added to the herd since 2015), the introduction of new genetics comes primarily through artificial insemination, using the best Red Devon bulls we can find. (In 2018 we will be using semen recently imported from Australia.)
Another method for improving the herd is to constantly evaluate the cows with a critical eye toward less than ideal udders, feet, fertility, frame size, etc. Cows that rank at the bottom are replaced with our most promising heifers---a process that leads inevitably to a few animals going in the freezer every year. (Interpretation: we sell terrific summer sausage and ground beef!)
Upper Midwest Devon Exchange
In May of 2015 Hillside Pastures hosted a Red Devon educational workshop and sale, an historic occasion that was supported by Devon breeders from all over the United States. The sale was a financial success for the consignors, but more importantly, all but one of the 55 lots of Devon sold that day remained in the Upper Midwest, suggesting that the demand for Devon is strong in our region of the country.
The event was so successful, in fact, that several breeders in SW Wisconsin and NE Iowa joined Hillside Pastures to create the Upper Midwest Devon Exchange. The main idea of the exchange is to provide a venue for investors in Red Devon cattle to show and sell their Devon while facilitating the needs of grassfed producers in the Upper Midwest to find terrific grass cattle that are adapted to the environment and the forages of our region.
We are proud to announce that we will again have the honor of hosting a Devon workshop and sale at Hillside Pastures on May 12th, 2018, this one the 4th Annual Upper Midwest Devon Exchange.
Finally, we are also pleased to say that the UMDE now has its’ own website! Check it out for more information about the other founding members and the upcoming event. And while visiting the site, don’t forget to look at the sale catalog to see what Devon will be available for purchase through a silent auction that is currently open and will end on May 12th, the day of the next UMDE workshop.