April, 2015

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Cow Fund Public Meeting, April 26th

Friday, April 17th, 2015

The BHCF will be holding a public meeting to discuss the future of the Breakneck Hill Cow Fund on Sunday, April 26th at 4pm at 61 Breakneck Hill Road. The purpose of this meeting is to talk about the challenges that the BHCF faces, basic facts such as expenses and income generated, exchange realistic ideas and plans to generate funding and recruit a consistent volunteer base. Please refer to the information below to formulate your sustainable and realistic ideas to help us continue to have a herd of cows on the Breakneck Hill Conservation Land.

*It takes 3 years to get a cow to market weight on 100% grass. That is approximately $1100 in hay costs alone.

*Each adult cow eats approximately $700/year in hay based on 22 acres available for grazing

*Once wetland restrictions go into effect (2016) our pasture will be reduced to 14 acres and hay costs will go up to approximately $1,000/year

*The Breakneck Hill Cow Fund pays a fixed $2,000/year in insurance costs

*Additional costs (gas, fencing, time, truck use, missed work & misc….) presently average $4,000/year. Paul & Chris have both donated this amount for the past 10 years!!!! $40,000 of their own money

*It has been identified that in order to continue, we need to hire a part-time employee from April 1-November 30th for 10 hours/week equaling $4,000/year who would be responsible for maintaining fencing, feeding, rotating cows, watering cows, manure control, invasive removal……..)

*Average income from fund-raising (not selling meat) $2,000/year

*Average net income per year from meat sales from 4 cows/year approx. $6,000

*To sustain herd we need to purchase a bull at cost $2000/year. We are unable to rent a bull due to our license agreement. Resale value approximately $1000 (after feed costs)

*Paul & Chris personally feed the cows 450 times per year, each time takes approximately ½ hour. 225 hours each/year feeding! This is based on present acreage of 22 acres. With reduced acreage of 14 this will probably increase to about 540 times per year-270 hours/year spent feeding.

*Volunteer Feeding Needs-average 500 hours/year (estimated without factoring in PT employee)

In Summary on 14 acres (without meat sales)

What do we need to sustain 10 cows?

$10K hay

$2k insurance

$4k PT employee

$3K land use for Paul’s property ($2/cow /day/5months)

$1k gas, vet bills,

Total: $20,000

What do we need to sustain 5 Cows?

$5k hay

$2k insurance

$4k PT employee

$1,500 Paul

$1k misc

Total: $13,500


Cow Fund to Organize Community Forum

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Dear Southborough Community,

The outpouring of support to keep the cows in Southborough has been overwhelming. We have received many phone calls, emails, and there have been many posts on MySouthborough expressing sadness that we are considering closing our operations. We have received verbal support and encouragement from Town leaders asking us to figure out a way to keep the cows on the Breakneck Hill Conservation Land. The Breakneck Hill Cow Fund (BHCF) board of directors met last night and decided that holding a public forum to generate realistic ideas to increase fund raising efforts, recruit and retain volunteers, and formulate plans to feed and graze the cows in Southborough is important. We need to give the Community a chance to help us.


While we hope that this public meeting allows for the opportunity to generate ideas that result in a plan that we can realistically implement, we have many hurdles to overcome. We need the public to attend the meeting and come with solutions, a desire to volunteer, and creativity. We will post on our website a list of our challenges and facts about our organization with the intent that it will guide you to ideas that we can make work.

The meeting will be held on Sunday, April 26. Time and place TBD.

Again thank you for your support!


The Breakneck Hill Cow Fund

Laurie, Paul, Chris & Steve

Cow Fund will Have Last Season on Conservation Land

Friday, April 3rd, 2015


Its not all bad. Beef sides and cuts will be available for the next 6 months. We will also be donating cows to a food pantry in Roxbury we have developed a relationship with.

I will also be keeping a couple cows on my property with the pigs and chicken. All are welcome to come by to see them. I will also still continue to have programs on my property.

Finally, we want to thank our supporter and all the people we have met over the past 14 years.

Please feel free to contact me for beef, pork, eggs or to come by and say hi.

Paul Bourdon

Operations Manager, Breakneck Hill Cow Fund