Where's the beef
I know - corny title - but I just thought I would give you a little state of affairs on the ranch. In getting a grass-fed cattle beef business off the ground there are many things that come into play. First the fact that we do this the cow-calf way. We breed the cows, they have the babies, they nurse the babies - we wean the calves, we raise the calves....
The steer above is a year old and is only half way there to becoming a grass fed beef. To ensure proper marbling the steers need to be at their adult size before we take them to the processor. That means 18-24 months old. So I started looking at our Cattle-Max program to see who we have and how old they are and when we would be ready to start selling beef. Up until now we would just sell them to the buyers at the sale barn and wave goodbye when they were about a year old. But now we have them spread out so that we should be able to sell about 6 every few months starting next year.
So the dilemma begins. Due to Covid-19 the processors are booked up - I called last April and set up 3 for next March - I thought I would call in June and set up some for next June but they were booking for August and were considering not taking any more orders. In our area we only have 1 USDA inspected processor within a 200 mile radius that I know of. We have some small processors but legally we cant sell beef processed there. So I called today and begged them to take 3 in the beginning of September and 3 the end of September. So we have a start and a plan anyway. I guess I can spend the time designing Farm Kid t-shirts or something. Or selling houses - That's always a good way to spend my days between caring for cows.
So The plan is to start selling Grass-fed beef in March 2021 if anyone is wondering. Once we sell out we will have more in September, more in November, more in January and so on and so on and so on.
In the meantime we will keep growing feed, improving our soil, doing this without herbicide, pesticides and fungicide. Its a challenge and our fields don't look too pretty if you drive by... but Id rather have some weeds than be eating glyphosate, and Id rather my cows didn't either.