Breed Of Cattle
What breed(s) do you use, and is it full-bred or mixed?
We chose cattle and producers based on the quality of cattle that they produce. Nearly every animal brought through our program has some level of Angus cross in their system. This stems from the fact that nearly every producer here in the Northwest runs some level of Angus cross bred cow with a true Angus bull or True bred Angus cows with a composite (cross bred Bull). It is common that cattle without this high level of Angus breeding will not perform in the finishing process and will not grade high enough to make it into our program. It is common in these cross bred situations that 5 out of 100 calves are not black. To be an Angus only program would force producers to find another market for these cattle. This is a burden we choose not to place on our partners. We also feel that the Angus title as a selling point is a much over used and abused term. Actually, many other breeders of cattle like Simmental and Limousine have adapted Black hides so their calves qualify for Angus just like an actual Angus. Thatís a little strange isnít it?
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All about Natural
Is your program "never ever"? I read about how you don't use added hormones or antibiotics, but I didn't notice the "never-ever" verbiage I have seen on other brands.
We do not allow hormones or antibiotics of any kind, including ionophores. As programs evolved the term Never-Ever was first created by the Meyers program. Only due to our stubborn nature have we dragged our feet in adopting the term as our own. The industry has adopted it as a standard and maybe it is time for us to agree to use the term as well.
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Diet of Cattle
What percentage of corn is used on the finishing lot with the barley and alfalfa hay? I think corn is the best part for the cattle.
We use a rather high percentage of corn or corn by product in our finishing process. There is corn, corn silage, and corn cobs and things left over from a sweet corn plant near-by. We feed corn for itís sweet flavoring. Cattle feed for excess of 120 days. It sounds like a long time but it is not what you may think. Cattle are moved gradually from a diet high in hay and roughage over the 4 months. Slowly corn is added to the ration. Only in the last month are cattle fed a ration consisting a 70% corn base. By removing the process of added hormones it takes an extra month or more to get cattle to their optimum weight, this creates a product with less water purge and better tenderness. However it is a considerable cost to the producer in lower feed performance.
Is corn an unnatural diet for cattle? Is it only fed to cattle because itís cheap?
No. Cattle can get the nutrients they need from eating a wide range of plants, including a variety of grains and grasses. Most beef raised in the United States comes from grain-finished cattle, which spend most of their lives on pasture eating grass before going to a feedlot for four to six months. While at a feedlot, cattle are fed a combination of grain and hay formulated by a professional nutritionist to ensure a well-balanced and nutritious diet.
Grain feeding isnít new, itís just more sophisticated. In the United States, cattle have been fed grain for at least 200 year. Cattle are fed grains like corn because they are nutritious, energy-rich and can be stored for use throughout the year. Since grass doesnít grow year-round in most of the United States, feeding grains like corn to cattle help farmers and ranchers raise a consistent, year-round supply of great-tasting beef.
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You mention that certain practices adhere to the American Humane Association's welfare standards for cattle. Are you certified Humanely Raised and Handled? If not, what prevents that certification?
We are Ranchers, we know industry wide that handling animal with care and compassion makes for an easier and more successful ranching operation. Animal handling has been a well preached religion industry wide for many years. The reality of this business is that without the assistance of antibiotics you canít raise cattle under any kind of stressful conditions. Stress is the enemy in producing antibiotic free cattle. You canít stress them on the ranch and you canít stress them in the feed yard.
As for third party, itís expensive. My friends at Chipotle summed it up best. I asked them about third party certification, their answer was ďwe are not in the business to keep people in business.Ē That made a lot of sense to me.
The biggest issue is the basics of this industry. We take the raw product, a steer, and break it down into two dozen different items that we bid and ask on nearly every sale. The market is so competitive that we hope that the sale price can cover the costs we have invested. Every additional cost is just one more hurdle for us to conquer in selling the beef. The entire agricultural industry has been forced to attack unwanted costs. This is how we survive.
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Absolutely. As the nation focuses its attention on reducing calories to reduce its waistline, itís important that people get more nutrients from fewer calories. Calorie-for-calorie, beef is one of the most naturally nutrient-rich foods. A 3-ounce serving of lean beef contributes less than 10 of calories to a 2,000-calorie diet, yet it supplies more than 10% percent of the Daily Value for ten essential nutrients. Eating a protein-rich meal or snack like beef also makes you feel full longer, and satisfies cravings faster.
Are Americans eating too much beef/meat?
No. The Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid recommend adults eat 5 Ĺ ounces (or 156 grams) of lean protein each day, and most Americans already are consuming red meat well within these guidelines. On average, adults are consuming 2.3 ounces (65 grams) of red meat each day.*
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Locker Style Beef
Do you sell a 1/2 cow or locker style beef?
At this time we do not offer locker style beef. Our processing proceedures do not allow the flexibility of this task. After doing some research there are some producers within Oregon that do provide this service. Painted Hills Natural Beef does not endorse these businesses, we are simply giving you a place to start if you are interested in persuing this task further.
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* For more information, go to www.ExploreBeef.org
Funded by the Beef Checkoff