Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Why all grass fed meat producers aren't the same.

If you're looking for wholesale grassfed beef around Columbia MO - you need to ask the right questions.


I was reminded of this today when a new client from Kansas City came by to pick up a whole beef. He said that he picked my beef because I was straight up with how I fed my beef.

We only give them as much grass as they want. Of course I do give them some little treats, like wild apples and green pears (and occasionally a piece of corn-on-the-cob) to train them to literally eat out of my hand. And some mouthfuls of sweet-feed (has mollases in it) - which rattles in a bucket and is a nice tool to lead a whole herd at once to a faraway, new pasture.

What the other guys (who lived closer to him) didn't tell my KC buyer was that they unequivocally and only fed their cows grass. They left him with the idea that just maybe some implants or extra antibiotics could have crept in - or that they ended up fattened them out on corn to get them up to processing weight.

And I know of a guy who raises "forage-finished" beef - which is where he brings in various material which cows will eat (and they can eat a lot of different stuff safely) that he feeds this out on his pastures. You see, his back-trail is that he inherited a feed lot. So he had to do something with it.

Sure, this way of raising beef is far more natural. And his marketing is a full time job, since he can raise enough for restaurants and schools.

Our farm has about 25 cows at best, with their bull and the few steers we raise to full size to process. At max, I can process about 10 steers, which is 40 quarters. All I need is clients who I can trust to be valuable clients. Like they trust me to raise quality beef as best I can.

It does seem that such clients might be as hard to find as the quality beef I raise. Doesn't mean I give up - it just means that I keep the welcome mat out. At least until I get enough regulars to fill that list.

The sad part is that I can still simply sell at auction, especially at these prices.

But I continue to refine our production to get more weight and figure out more ways to raise them with less stress (like being fed by hand, so they can get scratched where they want it.)

And our mutual search for high-quality beef - and clients who want to buy in wholesale bulk - continues.

May you find all the great, tender grassfed beef you are looking for.

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PS. Coming up is another fall steer for processing, and a cow only fed grass for her entire life - who is going to provide about 500 lbs of sirloin-hamburger (all the parts ground into the mix.) So make sure you are on the list. Join by filling out the form on the right...