We raise steers each spring for us and others to eat in the fall. During the summer, the steers range acres of grassland, but if the summer is hot, and the grass dries up, we feed them hay (never grain). I love to go to the pasture and check on them every day. Because they have room to roam, they make trails from their favorite “morning spot” to their favorite “grazing spots” to the fresh spring water, and then to their “shady spot” during the hotter days. I almost always know where to find them depending on what time of day it is.
We never use growth hormones, commercial feed, grain, or unnecessary antibiotics on the animals. All of the animals on the ranch are treated very different from industrial farms, which don’t focus on the animals’ well-being, but on big profits from cheap beef.
These bigger farms even lie to people with misleading labels. They claim their beef is “pastured” and “natural,” but these words are not evaluated by the FDA and don’t require these big farms to do anything. Anyone can put these words on a product and mislead humans into buying meat that comes from cows raised in feedlots. Meat with these labels is not any different than unlabeled meat. Certifications like “organic” are closely regulated by the government, but many people do not realize that even “organic” producers may use toxic organic-approved pesticides like copper sulfate, and that third-party certifications are only as reliable as the group that issues them. At Kincaid Ranch, my Mom and Dad really care about the animals, and we let them roam the pastures 24 hours a day, with magnificent views and fresh, green grass.
Our cows are so happy here, that I get a little sad in the fall, because I know they must not want to go. I’ve made friends with them, and I like that they know me and only chase me in play, not to be mean. But I also love my beef bones, so I try to help Mom and Dad with the whole process of raising the beef for all of us to share. I’ve learned a bit about how they are processed after they are sold. Now that you realize our beef is very special – not just a label – but it comes from true, free-ranging, grass-fed, happy cows, you can think about how wonderful that makes these cows taste! Next time, I’ll tell you what you need to do if you would like to experience this taste and share it with the humans you love.