Sunshine Creek Farm owner prioritizes land, his animals

Farmer raises cattle, bees on land between Pullman, Moscow



Wadsworth plans to keep his farm small to promote efficiency and the health of the grasslands.

JENAE LAXSON, Evergreen roots editor

Farmer Michael Wadsworth and his family have lived on Sunshine Creek Farm for the past 10 years and raised grass-fed cattle for personal use until 2019. 

When Wadsworth first got started, he wanted to use as few chemicals and antibiotics as possible. Because of the way the cattle are raised, the use of those drugs is not necessary, he said. 

“We have never had a sick cow or had to call in a vet in eight years,” he said. 

To accomplish this, Wadsworth raises his cattle using rotational grazing. From what he has observed, rotational grazing greatly reduces the need for antibiotics and medication, Wadsworth said. 

The farmers also cuts their own hay and typically does not need to buy additional hay, he said. 

“Our first cutting starts in July. We’ll cut 10 to 15 acres of hay and store all of that on our own,” Wadsworth said. 

They also run the cattle directly on the freshly cut fields, he said. This utilizes the proper rotation of the fields and they can take advantage of the grass’s natural growth. 

Wadsworth said he wants to keep things as natural as possible and raising cattle on their natural diet is a key component to that. 

Wadsworth said he thinks the meat tastes better when the cows are fed their natural diet.

He said he does not intend for the farm to get any larger than it is because he does not want to exploit his land and deplete it of its resources.

“For me, if I was trying to grow and I brought in 50 cattle and expanded my presence … I could maybe do that for one or two years, but then all of my pastures would be destroyed,” he said. 

Wadsworth said they also keep three to five beehives that produce 15 to 20 gallons of honey a year. 

“We live between Pullman and Moscow … [the honey] is really a Palouse conglomeration of flowers,” he said. 

The bees fly five miles in any direction, so they are covering a fair amount of ground. They are also close to Straten’s Flower Farm. He said he has been throwing clover seed out as well. 

Wadsworth’s wife and kids are also involved and help out a great deal. He said his kids love to go out and sleep with the piglets. 

One year, Wadsworth decided to stop weeding the dandelions, and after a few years, they had to clear a path from the house to the barn because his wife and kids were constantly stepping on bees. 

Wadsworth said he can also make his farm more efficient by keeping it small. 

“I can walk out to the cows and I can scratch their heads,” he said. “It is how I kind of bring peace to my soul.”