I had lunch yesterday with our butcher. We were discussing expanding our marketing through his retail location. What a great lunch, I asked him questions that he never thought of and he asked me questions that I never thought of. So often when you are in the middle of something you have trouble seeing what is outside. This was apparent yesterday. We talked about such things as where is our market going, what do the people want and where do we want to take this?
We agreed on most points, except what do people want. With our market focusing on a healthy alternative to commercially raised corn fed beef his market has been customers who are more concerned about the lowest price possible. This is regardless of how it was raised. Where we spend all of our time researching how to grow the best tasting beef possible without feeding our cattle unhealthy grains, growth hormones, steroids or anti-biotics his customers for the most part aren't interested in our just don't know about the dangers of grain fed beef. We go as far as to replace corn syrup in our value added meat products with brown sugar to be as natural and organic as possible. When it comes to "cheap" beef, we just cannot compete with chemical laden corn fed beef. Where it takes them 14 months to raise a 1300 lb steer, the best we can do at this time is 1000 lbs after 24 months. Just as your are seeing in the youth today, corn and corn by-products put on the fat FAST!
With high unemployment and people having to watch every nickle one can understand where he is coming from. We look at the long term health risks of eating a diet of grain fed beef that is high in Omega 6 fatty acids.
We will continue our quest to provide not only the best quality healthy beef alternative, but the education of our customers current and future.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
New snow last night made feeding this morning pretty difficult. As part of our sustainable farming practice we try to let the cattle "fertilize" for us. By feeding them out in the pasture the wasted hay and manure are left out in the pasture. This saves us the trouble of having to spread it ourselves. With the new snow and some blowing and drifting the snow has a pretty good crust on it. It was hard enough this morning to carry my 180 lbs. All was going well until I backed in the fence with the loader, not a smart move. With one busted wire and one severely stretched I began my 300 yard search through the dark at 5 am. Fortunately after walking ALL the way to the end the wire wasn't broke, the plastic quick connect had thankfully come on done. All it took was a good tug and it was back up in the air and working again. I hope those cows appreciate they work they can cause! With the new grass their "fertilizer" produces, let's hope they appreciate it this summer!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Got a call the other day from a friend who was looking to buy some bulk corn. I had to explain to them that we do not buy any corn. "What, you don't buy corn for your livestock?" "No, we don't anymore, all of our beef is 100% grass fed. We do have some gravity bulk bins on the place, but we really don't have much use for them anymore. They were looking to purchase some corn in bulk to save on costs to feed their deer. I told them that they are welcome to use it, for we really don't have much use for it anymore. Since we are now a 100% grass fed we don't have much use for a gravity box to store corn in. Yes, our cows would get much fatter faster by feeding them corn, but "fat fast" is not our goal. Our goal is to provide sustainable food products for local families and by feeding corn, we are not adhering true to our beliefs. So please be patient, this is why it takes us 24 months to raise a steer and not 14, but it is so worth the wait!