Member of Distinction: Southeast Area — Tribute Farm

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Representing DFA's Southeast Area, The Gaul family, owners of Tribute Farm located in Benton, Mo., has been named a 2015 Member of Distinction.

Peter, Jo, Frankie, Josh and Theo Gaul follow a simple, guiding principle when it comes to their cattle: treat every cow as if it’s the only one you’ve got. To this end, the family spends countless hours in the pursuit of a comfortable and healthful environment for the herd and consistent standards in raising calves on a 1,148-acre, 900-cow hybrid grazing operation.

Animal care is so important to the operation that it’s almost a philosophical tenet on the farm — one that Jo Gaul, who had a career as a nurse, is clinical about addressing.

“I guess my philosophy is to give the animal a healthy start, understand what the transitions are and create processes in those transitions to ensure that every transition is a positive one,” she said. “All of that is considered in every stage of the cow’s life.”

Natives of New Zealand, the Gauls moved to this country in 2007, where a daughter, Anita, was living with her American husband. In starting Tribute Farm, the family spent four months clearing the land, then another eight months developing an irrigation system and constructing the buildings. When designing the layout of the farm, special attention was paid to ease of movement for the herd and sustainability of resources.

“We need to be good stewards of the land and be seen doing that,” Peter said. “So we are monitoring the impact of this farm on the environment.”