Sunday, March 13, 2011

Why our Missouri prime beef is striped...

We did (and continue to do) substantial research on cattle breeds. Black Angus is predominate in the commodity-driven prime beef Missouri production. While this breed was originally a British/Scottish breed, it's "Americanization" has produced a large-frame cattle with various traits that mostly have to do with fattening quickly on a corn-based diet after they are weaned. This commodity approach with its feedlot base is unfortunately responsible for most of the bad press that beef has gotten in the last quarter-century.

We have been working for the last several years to move to grass-finished beef. So we looked around for the different breeds which did best on just grass. In the middle of this, we found that a medium-framed animal was more efficient in turning forage (grasses, clover, etc.) into muscle. As well, smaller-sized animals fit into people's freezers and budgets better.

The Galloway is a Scottish breed, raised to survive on just about anything it can find during those long, harsh Scottish winters. Very similar to the Highland, except they are polled (no horns). The more commonly found version of this is belted, meaning it has a white belt in it's middle. This is from their being crossed with the "Dutch Belted" breed some generations back. They are known as "Belties".

(For more information about Missouri striped prime beef, see below PDF...)