Saturday, November 14, 2009

Step One for Your Steak

Yesterday we sold calves at the local livestock sale. It may seem like a mundane, everyday event but to a rancher it is a pretty monumental event. The calves in the sale-ring represents not only one year's worth of work but a lifetime's worth of work and planning.

My father has spent his entire life picking the genetics that have went into our cowherd. Jennifer and I have helped advance the genetics in the herd to include sires with better carcass traits (this is so the beef you buy is better every time you buy our meat). Each and every bull we buy is the culmination of a lot of thought and planning about what genetic traits our herd needs.

We then work with our veterinarian to plan a herd health program. Our veterinarian is a long-time friend who has worked with our operation for over 30 years. Many hours of hard work go into the herd health plan we implement. This is to insure the beef you eat is from the healthiest, most stress-free cattle possible.

We also spend many hours on the nutrition of our cows and calves. Computers programs and the latest in research from our local land-grant universities are used to insure that our cattle have their nutritional needs met. This also helps provide you with the best tasting, most nutritious beef possible.

Our ranch has also started to employ new technology to meet the requests of our customers. We tag each calf with a radio frequency identification tag (RFID). We do this so we can verify the age and that our calves were produced on our ranch (the source). I feel this is important because the consumer says they want to know where their beef comes from. I am proud of the beef I produce and I want them to know where it comes from.

This is just a brief account of one step in the process that brings you the beef on your table. There are two or three more producers who put as much time, technology and hard work into growing the beef you enjoy on your table and that you feed to your family.

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