The Rocker 7 Difference

Your options for purchasing high quality wholesale alfalfa may be plentiful, so what differentiates Rocker 7 Farms?

Brandon likes to tell people, “There are plenty of guys who can bale good hay in Arizona.” And it’s true. Our soils, climate and conditions lend themselves to making good hay, as long as a farmer is paying attention to all the variables and baling at the right time each night. More and more growers are adding baler scales and moisture meters, which provide a constant stream of information about each bale as it exits the baler.

So where do we have an edge?

Well, that lies in what we call “sorting”.

Which is why Brandon spends a lot of time with each customer discussing their definition of “good hay,” since we have definitely learned over the years this differs with each person. Some customers focus on leaf retention in the bale; others are most concerned with stem size. If you asked each person which quality factor they would prefer to “give a little” on, you would receive a lot of different answers. But a big part of keeping customers happy is knowing what those things are for each person, and doing our best to deliver the hay that particular customer has in mind.

And that’s our edge.

Knowing customers, sorting all our hay appropriately, and sending the right hay to the right customer.

This means that all the hay we grow or decide to inventory from a neighbor is evaluated for each quality characteristic, and stored in a certain section of one of our four barns, to keep everything sorted and ensure each customer gets the right kind of hay. We even have some mornings during baling where Brandon calls a certain customer because he just knows he baled up a load they would like and wants to get it to them.

Why is sorting so important to us?

We only sell as much hay as our customers do. So if we are selling to a retailer (feed store, etc.), we want to make sure they are getting the kind of hay their customers like to buy. And in the more rare cases where we sell directly to an end-user, we realize the investment they are making in their out-of-state purchase, and want to ensure they (and their animals) are happy with the product we send. Our goal is always longevity with our customer base, and we feel like strong communication on expectations in the beginning, combined with our in-depth sorting process sets us all up for success.

The hay business is our family business – we are growing, baling and marketing our own hay, then spend additional time seeking out certain types of hay to keep our full customer base supplied year-round.

 

The newest farmhand

Leyton Dean wants to introduce the newest farmhand at Rocker 7, Bowen Ranzy Leister.

Bowen joined us at 6:19 pm, as the third generation of Leister men to be born on January 7th (he shares a birthday with his dad and grandpa). “Ranzy” was the name of his great-great-grandfather, who originally brought the family to Arizona and got involved in agriculture.

Bowen weighed 7 pounds, was 20 inches long, and stole all our hearts right away, especially his big sister’s. Everyone is doing well, and adjusting to having more chores on the farm!

IMG_0013 IMG_0228

 

Hay pricing and availability

I’m sure you’re wondering why we don’t just have a price list for our current hay selection available online.

Believe it or not, we have a really great reason:  We value human interaction.

While at the simplistic level we do just enjoy actually talking to folks we are going to do business with, it also helps ensure we deliver the forage product you desire.

You see, if there’s anything we’ve learned in our years of selling high quality alfalfa hay, it’s that everyone has their own definition of “high quality”. So, we really like to have a conversation with you to find out exactly what you’re looking for in terms of stem size, leaf retention, color and moisture. All of those factors affect the price point of any given load of hay, so we can work together to determine which quality factors are most important to you, while allowing you to stay within your particular budget.

Once we know the hay type and price point you prefer, we can let you know what we may have available. Why can’t we at least list availability of certain hay types, you ask? Well, it changes – daily. From mid-February through early November, we are baling hay nearly every single night, with different weather conditions each night. Then, each morning, some hay is shipped to local dairies, some is shipped to current customers, some is stored in the barn for winter months, and some is reserved for new hay sales. There is just literally no feasible way to update availability online each night and day.

So, we really hope you don’t mind giving us an old-fashioned phone call for alfalfa hay pricing and availability. We ensure you it’s the best way to meet your forage needs.

A new iron in the fire

Rocker 7 Farm Patch LogoFor years, we have longed to have a portion of our farm designated to open up to the public. This fall, we are finally getting to do that with Rocker 7 Farm Patch.

We’re hosting a full fall festival complete with a pumpkin patch, corn maze, sunflower field, hayrides, and lots of entertainment and games to keep the whole family happy. During the week, we’ll also have engaging educational opportunities for school groups that include a curriculum-based lesson delivered by a certified Arizona educator.

We are thrilled to finally offer all of this to the far west valley, in a convenient, yet still rural location. We hope to see you this fall, and be sure to follow along with us on Facebook in the meantime.

The new farmhand

Early this year, Rocker 7 Farms welcomed Leyton Dean Leister to the family farming operation.

While we have never been busier around here, life has also never been better.

Leyton Dean Leister

Born February 2, 2013
2:16 am
7 lbs, 14 oz, 21 inches
Proud parents: Brandon and Katie Leister

A Rocker 7 Ranches exhibitor…

Back in October, we traveled to the Graham County Fair in Safford, AZ to watch Hayden Haas exhibit his Rocker 7 Ranches steer, which he had named “Brandon.”

Hayden Haas with "Brandon"

Brandon Leister, Rocker 7 Ranches, with Hayden Haas, exhibiting "Brandon" at the 2010 Graham County Fair.

“Brandon” placed second in his weight class.

Hayden also received Reserve Champion honors in the market steer show that day with a second steer he exhibited.

Congratulations, Hayden. We applaud the time, hard work and dedication you placed in your cattle projects and look forward to working with you in the future.

Get in touch with us today for information on Rocker 7 Ranches show steers like “Brandon”.

2010 Calving Season in Full Force

As of this morning, Rocker 7 Ranches has 13 calves on the ground, eight of them bulls.

Our AI sires this year included Smokin Joe, Tycoon, Grizzly and Wave on Wave (a Heat Wave clone). We’re excited about our new show ring prospects and look forward to finding good homes for these calves next summer.

This batch will be ready for Spring 2012 shows, but we’ll have a few late calvers for Fall 2012.

If you’re in the market for show steers in 2012, feel free to arrange a time to stop by in a few months to see how our calf crop is shaping up!

“Certified Noxious Weed Free” alfalfa now available

Were you looking for “Certified Noxious Weed Free” alfalfa?

We have good news:  look no further.

Rocker 7 Farms now proudly offers hay under this certification. Whether you just want to ensure quality in the hay you feed, or you work for an organization which requires it, we can now meet that need. We are able to sell directly to government agencies such as the National Park Service and US Forest Service, which we have done in the past, and are happy to meet the needs of individuals as well.

The “certified noxious weed free” designation means the field has been inspected, deemed free of any noxious weeds and approved for certification.

Just to be clear, we are actively engaged in weed control in all our fields, and take pride in having very minimal (if at all) weed issues in every load we sell.

If you order “non-certified” hay from us, it does not mean it contains these weeds. We’re just only certifying a few fields in order to have price and quality options available to you at every level – so you truly get to determine which hay is right for you!

Be sure to specify in your inquiry if you’re interested in hay meeting the noxious weed-free certification. We also encourage you to get in touch with us and get your order in place for certified hay to be sure we can have some headed your way when you need it.

Off to a good start…

The 2010 hay harvest is in full swing around here, so we thought we would give you a little glimpse of what’s been going on at Rocker 7 Farms to get our first few cuttings for the season under our belt.

We have all our fields in a rotation, which means once we start cutting, we don’t stop for about a week (as long as the weather cooperates).

First, we take the swather out to the field to cut some fresh, green alfalfa.

Cutting hay at Rocker 7 Farms

A couple days later, we bring out the rakes to “fluff” the hay and rake it all into “wind rows” to prepare for baling.

Hay rakes

Brandon's brother, Justin, on his rakes

Wind rows

The wind rows left behind by the rakes

The very next morning, we bale it all up.

Hay bales

And lastly, we use the roadsider to pick up all the bales and put into stacks. We usually move the stacks into the barn with the retriever truck, to be stored until they’re loaded onto a truck. We typically have eight or nine cuttings on each field throughout the season. It’s enough to keep us busy, that’s for sure!

Hay stack

Stay tuned through the summer for more Rocker 7 updates…