Brown Ranch: Pasture to Plate

I noticed in all my research on the Internets there is no comprehensive pasture to plate photo essay for consumers to see. Explorebeef.org paints a very pretty picture but it definitely has some holes in the process. I give you Brown Ranch – Pasture to Plate:

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Birth – Usually in June/July.

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They hang out with Mama and the herd until they are processed.

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Calves are processed at around 1 and a half months of age.

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They come home to the winter Ranch around 5 months old.

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They graze all winter and are weaned in the spring at about 10 months old.

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At about twenty two months old, the cattle we kept back from the commercial herd get custom exempt slaughtered here on the Ranch. The commercial cattle are sold when they  are around a year old and weigh 900 pounds. The commercial cattle will become the meat that consumers can buy from Whole Foods, Costco, Raley’s – for example. Those cattle will be processed in a facility very much like Cargill’s.

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Mr. Dewey is amazing to watch.

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A hot carcass.

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It will be taken to his meat locker where it will dry age for 18-21 days.

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After it’s aged the meat cutters will break it down into the cuts most consumers are familiar with.

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This is an art, as far as I’m concerned.

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Steaks, glorious steaks.

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The equipment used to cut and package the meat is amazing.

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Jerky in the dehydrator.

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This is the cow my Parents gave me for my 30th birthday. I made it into jerky and ground beef (and a couple of special Megan steaks).

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It says my name!

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BBQ is my favorite steak cooking method.

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Brown Ranch grass finished beef.

8 Comments

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8 Responses to Brown Ranch: Pasture to Plate

  1. Erin Hess

    Awesome. I had no idea how big they get in such a short period of time!

  2. Todd Eggerling

    Do you have grass stockpiled for your winter grazing and are your grass fed steers/heifers grazed all the way or do you ever feed them ?

    • Hi Todd, great questions. We do save grass for our winter grazing. When we ship out in the fall we leave some dry feed in the valley. We also usually wait until we have a couple of good rains in the fall, before we ship home, that way the cattle get fresh green feed too. I talk about in this post if you want to know more – http://thebeefjar.com/2011/11/07/fall-shipping/.
      We feed grass hay (which we make on our summer ranch), during the winter just to supplement the cattle so they don’t have to work so hard. We sometimes have problems with grass tetanus, and by feeding hay it prevents the cattle from getting sick.
      This system works pretty well for us. Our cattle stay fat and healthy and our land is fertile and is a wonderful wildlife habitat. Let me know if you have any more questions or want to see pictures!

  3. curiousfarmer

    Thanks for this excellent post, Meg!

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  6. charles cross

    What brand do I look for at HEB to buy your grass fed beef as they have many choices and labels.

    Thanks,
    Chuck

    • Megrbrown@gmail.com

      Hi Chuck, I only sell my grass finished beef through myself. If you are interested send me an email. Thanks!

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