Q: What set you apart from all other farms that sell natural grass fed beef?
A: Nutrition. Almost all organic farms prioritize no use of chemical, which to us, is just a secondary focus, it’s a no-brainer. Our main focus is raising nutrient dense meat starting with the grasses we raise. Grass fed beef tends to be more nutritious than grain fed beef, but there’s different types of grasses all with different types of nutrition. Some grasses are poor in nutrition and other are high in nutrition. There’s also different types of soils all with different levels of nutrition. My husband closely follows the teachings of William Albrecht, the father of soil science who laid an important link between soil health and human health. Albrecht was laughed at during his time, just like my husband was laughed at when he was a crop advisor when he was a young man. But now we are the ones laughing 😉 . Our hay we feed our cows during the winter is the best there is and our pastures are healthy and thriving. Our cows live longer than the average cow and have nice babies that grow fast. Happy, healthy cows are important to us and provides you with a nutrient dense steak on your plate.
Q: What kind of beef do you raise
A: We raise grass fed baby beef. They’re not actually babies anymore, but yearlings. Usually beef is butchered at around 2 years old, but we butcher ours at just over a year old, therefore it is called baby beef. Baby beef is more tender, moist and full of flavor. It is more profitable for the producer to raise an animal to it’s full growth potential, but the taste of grass fed yearling beef is just tremendously better and also fits into our operations better.
Q: What kinds of cuts would we get?
A: That’s the awesome thing about buying locker beef. YOU get to choose what cuts you get and which parts of the beef you would rather just have ground up. Some of the standard steak cuts are the T-bone steaks, porterhouse steaks, sirloin steaks, sirloin tip steaks, round steaks, rib steaks, short rib steaks and the flank steaks. Then there’s also roasts from the chuck and rump areas, such as the round bone roast, chuck roast, rib roast, cross rib roast, and rump roast.
If there are any roasts or steaks you do not want, you simply tell the butcher you prefer that into ground beef. That’s the awesome thing about locker beef, it’s tailored to your preferences. Here is a handy chart that will help you understand what kind of cuts will be able to get.
Q: How do I give cutting instructions to the butcher?
A: When you call the butcher you give them your name, the farm your animal is from (Four E Farms) and whether you bought a 1/4, 1/2 or a whole. If you bought a whole from us but are splitting it with a friend or family member, you need to tell them that too and the other person has to call the butcher then too.
Then you basically tell the butcher if you want steaks, roasts or ground beef from one of the 8 main parts of your carcass and if you want your steaks/roasts bone in or bone out (for example, bone-in will give you the T-bone steak and bone-out will give you the filet steak and strip steak, which make up the T-bone steak but without the bone). The 8 main parts of the beef: The Chuck, the Rib, the Loin, the Brisket, the Short Plate, the Flank, the Shank and the Round.
The best areas are the Loin and the Rib, you’ll want those steaks! The Shank is the toughest area, those make great hamburger. The Chuck and Round make great roasts. We always recommend getting bone in for steaks and roasts because it simply adds to the flavor, you get more of your weight back, there’s less meat that gets turned into ground beef (because when a butcher has to cut out the bone, there’s a bit more meat trimmings). Here’s a great and very helpful blog post written by Katia. http://ranchsteady.blogspot.com/2011/09/buying-side-of-beef-lesson-five.html
If you need any help or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Q: Is your beef grass fed?
A: Yes, our cows are grass fed and grass finished. They are never fed any corn. They eat pasture grasses and herbs 8 month out of the year and hay about 4 months of the year.
Q: Is your beef organic?
A: We are not Certified Organic. We would have to charge more if we are organic because the government taxes organic farmers heavily. But for the definition of organic, our beef can be considered organic.
Q: How much freezer space do I need?
A: The rule of thumb is one cubic foot of freezer space for every 35 – 40 pounds of packaged meat. Our cows are a bit smaller because we butcher at a year instead of the standard 2 yrs old. You should plan for at least 12 cu.ft. freezer space for a whole beef, more if you want to keep all the bones and organs.
Q: Can we buy a sample pack?
No, unfortunately we can only do locker beef, which is where you sell the animal live (you can sell shares though, so a 1/4, 1/2, or a whole) and then when the butcher picks it up it’s basically out of our hands and the buyer picks his/her beef up from the butcher and pays the butcher.
In order to sell already packaged beef we would have to go to USDA processing plant, which would require us to ship the animal to the slaughter facilities and adds a lot of stress to the animal right before they’re butchered. We prefer the butcher to come to our farm and the animals are put down right here on the farm in their familiar surroundings. We believe that’s part of the reason our beef tastes so great, because they never go through a day of stress. That locks us into only being able to offer locker beef though.