There was definitely no shortage of information at the Sustainable Ag Conference. Now that we’re home we have to start applying it.
Kelly and I were fortunate to get to have breakfast this morning with an excellent grazier from Missouri, Greg Judy. We came away with some great information that will help us to produce some of the best beef possible with the most efficient methods possible. Thanks Mr. Judy.
We got an amazing amount of information from Greg Judy and others on this first day of the Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Greenville, SC.
We toured Greenbriar Farms in Easley, SC with Mr. Judy in between two learning sessions and a wonderful lunch.
As if grass-fed beef wasn’t already “outside-the-box” we were exposed to some different grazing methods that could cut costs while maintaining the quality of our beef. So in the future we will be looking at how to implement mob grazing instead of just rotational grazing which can have major impacts on the quality of grass available to the cattle.
What won’t change is the quality of our products. We are committed to providing our customers with the best tasting and lowest cost pastured meats available.
Below is the setting for the keynote speech this evening as we were getting settled in for a great presentation by Mark Shepard. We are definitely looking forward to an even more informative day tomorrow.
Kelly and I are planning to attend the Sustainable Ag Conference put on by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. We’ve been wanting to attend for several years now, and it looks like its finally going to work out.
On Monday we will be attending a seminar led by Greg Judy who is a big name in mob grazing. On Tuesday and Wednesday we will be attending the various workshops and seminars.
I hope to update regularly throughout the Conference here on our blog so keep an eye out for some great information and interesting links.
By the way, we’re leaving the farm in good hands with my dad, Gary, and our wonderful employee, Travis. They do a great job keeping things running when we have to be gone.
The featured video is from the Conference in 2010.
We are pleased to announce that we will now be offering delivery to downtown Rock Hill and Fort Mill, and both home-delivery zones on a twice-per-month schedule. The deliveries will occur on the first and third Thursdays of each month.
That makes our next Delivery Day Nov. 6 with an order deadline of 10pm on Nov. 3. See our calendar for more information, and go to our Online Store to place orders.
This is all done in an effort to offer our customers as much convenience as possible.
If you have already placed an order for one of these delivery options we will be delivering it on Nov. 6 unless you let us know otherwise.
We are also still offering a $10 referral credit for those who refer a new customer to Watson Farms. See this blog post for more information.
As grass-fed beef gains popularity, more grocery stores are offering it in their meat departments. We happened to be at one of these grocery stores the other day.
At the time I was there this particular store offered two fresh grass-fed ground beef options. One was from a large farm in Georgia and came in at $7.99/lb. While they did claim no antibiotics or hormones, I was surprised to see on the label that this farm allowed for natural grain supplementation when forages weren’t available.
The second option was from a natural meat aggregator which contracts with family farms for its supply of 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef. Of course they claim no hormones or antibiotics as well. One pound of this ground beef was $7.49/pound.
This company also supplies this grocery store with Rib Eyes and NY Strip steaks. These were well-marbled and were probably around 8-10 ounces. The price tag on them was $14.99. A bit pricey to me.
While I realize that both of these suppliers offer a far superior product than anything that has had a primary ration of grain, I still feel like consumers can do better for themselves by purchasing their meats from more local sources.
Our beef for example is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished. We take it a step further and graze our finishing animals on even higher quality annual grasses to ensure superior taste and marbling. At times, customers can come and see this process for themselves, which is more difficult to do when your supplier is hundreds of miles away.
But one of the biggest benefits we strive to offer our customers is a reasonable price. We feel that our prices are consistently lower than other producers of significant volume. One reason for this is that we offer our products directly to the consumer.
Head on over to our Online Store and see for yourself. Farm pick-up is available anytime, and we make deliveries every month to six weeks depending on your location.
Many cattle producers use ivermectin in a pour-on form to deworm their cattle. In our opinion, this is not best as is the case with most chemical approaches in agriculture. Here’s why we don’t do it:
This method of treatment requires the animal’s flesh to absorb the chemical. When we as grass-fed beef consumers are particularly interested in the wholesomeness of our meat, the last thing I would want is for that meat to be permeated with a harsh chemical. I’m not sure if this method of treatment has any effect on those who eat the meat, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. (If you follow the link above, you can see that the FDA requires a 48-day withdrawal period before slaughter.) Ivermectin also is not approved for use in lactating dairy animals which might tell us something as well.
It’s much easier to de-worm through drinking water as I’ll explain below.
We use Shaklee Basic H to de-worm our cattle. It is a bio-degradeable, non-toxic soap that has many purposes. We mix about 1.5 cups per 100 gallons of drinking water and use this mix as the cattle’s only source of water for at least two days.
We can treat our entire herd with about 3,000 gallons of water and about 2.8 gallons of Basic H. We don’t have to stress them (and us) by getting them in the corral and putting every one of them through the head-gate which could take a week or more of working cattle non-stop.
This method is also used by Joel Salatin and Polyface Farms, and in my opinion should be used by many other farms both conventional and grass-based.
We had a successful delivery day yesterday. Thanks to everyone who placed orders. If you missed this time you can place an order for November’s delivery which will be on Nov. 20. Below is our delivery truck before we headed out yesterday.