BY JUSTIN BARTHOLOMAY, North Dakota YPC
In rural North Dakota, one can stumble upon the Lake View Stock Farm. Located in Sheldon, home to nearly 130 people, the Bartholomay family raises naturally grown Simmental/Angus cattle, as well as a small flock of commercial bred sheep. Justin Bartholomay, the youngest manager of the operation works closely with his father, uncle, and grandpa to make good management decisions to help the operation run more smoothly and efficiently. Justin, an undergrad student at North Dakota State University, is in his senior year of college majoring in Animal Science.
As the summer months are winding down, and fall is in the air, so too is the grass beginning to grow slower and run out. For the Lake View Stock Farm, a four generation family owned and operated business, the cattle have about a month and a half left of grazing. After that time, they will be brought to graze acres of harvested corn and wheat fields as well as lush, green areas of turnips, radishes, and hay millet. Once the chilly, winter winds begin blowing snow, the pairs will be brought back to the home quarter where they will winter throughout the cold season being fed a ration of corn silage and alfalfa and grass hay.
The Lake View Stock Farm began in 1942 after Justin’s great-grandpa, Ervin Bartholomay, purchased the farm and thus beginning the Bartholomay’s legacy of farming and ranching. The ranch first consisted of a mixed breed dairy operation along with a Shorthorn beef cattle herd as well as pigs. Over time, Ervin began to transform the farm into a Holstein dairy herd and a Hereford beef herd. When the farm was later passed on to Ray Bartholomay, Justin’s grandpa, he converted the beef operation into a Black Angus herd, and continued to milk Holsteins until his kids were active in school sports. He then sold his dairy cows to have more time to attend games. Years later when the farm was passed on to Dan Bartholomay, Justin’s dad, he began incorporating Black Simmental genetics into the herd and today their cattle consist mainly of high percentage Simmental cows.
The Bartholomay’s have always been farmers at heart as well. From the farm’s establishment to current daily life, they have raised everything from oats, barley, flax, wheat, soybeans, sunflowers, and corn. As well, they also raise their own feed for the cattle; corn silage, field corn, alfalfa, and hay millet. John Deere equipment is all that is allowed on the operation, and a collection of close to 40 old-time tractors has been a result of the Bartholomay’s green and yellow pride.
Technology is becoming a new thing, and Justin is slowly trying to incorporate new things within the farm and ranch. He recently became a certified A.I. technician, and bred some of their best cows in May, with the hopes of getting good replacement heifers. Justin also hopes that over time they will revamp their corral system including a new squeeze chute and a weigh scale to record birth and weaning weights. Justin next either plans to attend grad school for animal breeding or go back to the family farm to begin his own legacy. In his past time Justin enjoys taking pictures of anything related to agriculture to help promote the industry. You can find his latest shots on his instagram account @godmadeafarmer.