Much as a winemaker carefully selects the varietal, growing region, harvest date, and blending and aging techniques, every ranch or finishing yard operator has a different way of selecting, raising and managing their herds. Whether by choosing specific breeds or crossbreeds, or even specific cows and bulls, diets, grazing or feeding systems, ranchers tailor their beef to a specific end.
We’ve selected four ranch or ranch groups and their particular beef styles to feature in our first Discovery Series product release.
We encourage you to get to know them a bit better. Dave Workman, Ranch Manager, N-Bar Ranch
(Dave’s too shy for the camera but here are some photos of N-Bar Ranch)
Dave Workman manages the beef program at the century old N-Bar Ranch located in central Montana. Since the 1950s, N-Bar Ranch has produced some of North America’s best-known Angus cattle. Originally from Scotland, today’s Angus is perhaps America’s best-known breed. N-Bar’s Black Angus are finished at Flat Iron Feeders in Holdrege, Nebraska, on a special diet of grains, grasses, and molasses designed to delight the palate. This beef has been dry-aged a minimum of 14 days and was prepared by the team at C&C Processing in Diller, Nebraska.
N-Bar Ranch also produces beef for Montana Legend.
Elliott & Ferris Families, Elliott & Ferris Family Ranches
We met the Elliott & Ferris families at the 2007 National Western Stock Show in Denver and have had the great pleasure of visiting their ranch and finishing yard, since. They mainly raise the Charolais breed, which originated in the Burgundy region of France and is celebrated by many leading chefs in Europe. The Elliott & Ferris families continue the tradition in Colorado’s Front Range region in the shadows of the Flatirons. The cattle are rotationally grazed and then finished at Keith Bath Farms in Ft. Morgan, Colorado, on a protocol of grains and grasses to help marble this naturally lean, tender beef. This delicious beef has been dry-aged a minimum of 14 days and prepared by the team at C&C Processing in Diller, Nebraska.
The Elliott & Ferris families also produce beef for Colorado’s Best Beef Company.
Bob Beechinor, 3 Brand Cattle Company
(Bob’s too shy for the camera but here’s the Imperial Valley region and a photo of his cattle.)
The Friesian breed hails from Friesland, a province in the northern section of the Netherlands, and was renamed the Holstein-Friesian in America in the late 1800s. Bob Beechinor and his team in Bakersfield, California, have perfected the art of raising Holstein-Friesian cattle on a special vegetarian diet of grains, hay, vitamins, and minerals, with corn as the main ingredient. Often noted for its consistent, fine texture, this lovely, tender beef has been wet-aged a minimum of 14 days and was prepared by the team at C&C Processing in Diller, Nebraska.
3 Brand Cattle Company also produces beef for Bro Pack, Inc.
Select Kobe Beef American Ranchers, Directed by R. L. Freeborn
R.L. Freeborn, a fourth generation rancher from Redmond, Oregon, is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable people in North America Wagyu beef. Wagyu cattle fed in the Kobe region of Japan are world-renowned for flavor and tenderness. Exclusive to Japan for centuries, the breed was first introduced to the US in 1976. R.L. Freeborn and now his son, Ty, have worked with Washington State University and Japanese breeders and feeders to optimize the breed for the North American palate. They now tap ranches in 31 states to follow the KBA protocols. Described by many as melt-in-your-mouth tender, this beef has been wet-aged a minimum of 21 days and ranges from 4-7 on the 12-point Japanese grade scale, considered to be optimal for steaks. According to KBA, USDA Prime beef typically grades a 4 on the Japanese scale.
Please feel free to visit the Kobe Beef America site for more information.