The New Old-Fashioned Way
Sadly, we’re in the process of selling our farm, and don’t plan to have any beef available this year (2018). But if you’d like to read about our practices, please continue…
Our cattle are usually cross-bred Angus stock (currently Red and Black, with some Gelbvieh in the mix), breeds that are known for being hardy and adaptable to Oregon’s wildly variable climate, as well as famous for their taste and texture, and with genetics selected for grass finishing that go back decades. They grow superbly on an all-grass diet, and never receive any grains or growth hormones, living out their lives on a diet of pasture grasses, clovers, and high quality, locally grown hay. Occasionally we’ll have other breeds that will sell for a lower price (due to the lower proportion of premium cuts).
Our pest control program consists of rapid rotations of paddocks to prevent parasite buildup, kelp, salt, and trace minerals to enhance health, and some diatomaceous earth in summer to interrupt fly breeding cycles. Antibiotics or added hormones are never used as part of our regular practice. In the rare case that an animal gets sick, we’ll consider antibiotics, but we’d always let you know so you can make an informed decision about your share purchase.
Prices depend on beef breed, time of year, etc. The animals hang for about 2 weeks to tenderize the meat, and in the meantime you’ll be able to contact the butcher with your cut/wrap instructions. Half shares offer more flexibility in terms of cutting, but our quarter shares (also called “split halves”) provide you with a wide assortment of cuts from both the front and back half, with about 1/3 steaks, 1/3 roasts, and 1/3 ground beef.
One note: We often receive calls or emails about whether we currently have any beef available for immediate sale. Because of federal laws and state rules regarding meat sales, we do not sell already butchered meat. It is illegal to do so given the butchers that we use. We (and the butchers) operate under the custom-exempt facility rules which means that the beef cannot be sold after slaughter (and also must go directly to the end user). If you are buying from a farm that has beef for immediate sale, they must use a USDA-inspected facility, rather than a state-licensed facility. For more information about these rules and laws, please see this excellent FAQ published by Oregon State University.
To read up on our history with our bovine friends, visit our blog’s beef archive.