April 3, 2013

2012 Cooperator of the Year: Allen Viox Family Farm

Submitted article and photo

STE. GENEVIEVE -- The Viox Farm has been in the family since 1902.

Megan Viox (Mattís wife) and their three children Brooke, Luke and Macy, Andy Viox, Allen Viox, Bob Eckenfels, Matt Viox, Betty Vogt, Kate Kammler and Marcella Hotop.

The original farm was purchased by Allen Vioxís grandfather Andrew. It was handed down to four brothers and Allenís father Clarence was one of the four brothers. When Clarence moved to Festus to raise his family his brother Oscar took over the family farm. When Allen was old enough to drive he purchased a vehicle to help his uncle Oscar on the family farm as it is today. After Oscar passed on Allen continued caring for the farm with his family.

The Viox Farm is located in the rolling hills of Ste. Genevieve County. The farm has seen many changes over the last century and is currently operated by the third and fourth generations.

Matt, Allenís son, oversees the day to day operations and lives in the farmhouse with his wife Megan and their children. Megan takes care of the business end and helps with the outside work when possible. Andy, Allenís eldest son helps during the busy times as needed.

In 2009 Allen Viox applied for a Management Intensive Grazing System on his farm through the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) on 208 acres of the family farm. Allen is very impressed by the results of his Grazing System, even with the drought in 2012 he did not have to feed his livestock any hay as the pastures were in very good health. The Viox Family believes in raising their animals naturally and humanely. All of the cattle they handle are born and raised on the farm without ever leaving. They specialize in grass fed beef, pastured pork, chickens, and turkeys if there is a demand.

To the left is a picture of the hogs the Viox Farm raises in their Management Intensive Grazing System. The hogs have twenty four hour access to pasture and like the cattle are free of herbicides and pesticides. Along with the cattle and the hogs the Viox Family raise pastured chickens in their chicken egg mobile. The chickens are moved continuously through the pastures as all of the other livestock to help with the fertility of the land. Below is a picture of the chicken tractor that is used near the family farm house.

In the summer of 2010 the Viox Farms along with the Eckenfels Farms hosted a pasture tour for a group of farmers from Kentucky. The University Extension in Kentucky wanted farmers from their state to see a Management Intensive Grazing System in place. About fifty landowners along with the Extension personnel toured the two farms and were very impressed with our cost share system and learned about applying through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program offered through NRCS.

In 2009 Viox Farms applied for a DFR-5 Woodland Exclusion fence through the Soil and Water Conservation District. They installed nearly 6000 feet of electric use exclusion fencing to keep the livestock from entering around eighty acres of the woodland. A DWP-01 Sediment Retention Control Structure is planned to control erosion in one of the pasture fields.

Congratulations to the Viox family farm we hope they continue to be good stewards of their land