Tuesday, February 15, 2011

For Local's Sake

Mark took the last of the locker beef cattle in to town today. They will be processed at a small family-owned plant about 15 minutes from here. It is an old, but clean facility - back in the trees, protected from wind in the winter and shady in the summer. The deed will be done quickly by skilled people we trust.

The customer buys the whole carcass, from short ribs to stew meat to top loin. The meat will be aged for three weeks and cut to our buyer’s specifications. How big do they want the roasts? How thick do they like the steaks?

This method of buying direct from the grower is an age old tradition that is somehow new again. Along with animals compassionately raised, the hottest marketing trend is “local.” Never mind all the other attributes you can choose from - organic, certified angus, natural, hormone-free, grassfed - local and humane tops the list. And why not? Support your community and buy from someone you know and trust. 

These cattle have never been given growth promoting hormones. They were never put in an industrial feedlot. Other than momma’s milk, they have been eating grass or hay grown here on the ranch since birth. Since it’s winter, they had some supplemental grain from the local feed mill to keep them gaining weight. They’ve had dry straw to lay on, room to roam, clean quarters, fresh air and companionship.

 They’ve lived a good life and we give them our heartfelt thanks.  

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