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What is Forage Finished Beef?

Forage Finished Beef is the most nutritious form of grass finished beef that you can get.  This is because it is fed a diet of a wide variety of plants that each contribute their own healthy compounds.  They are not fed any grain.

What do you feed your cattle in the winter?

In the winter our animals are fed the same forages as they graze in the summer just in the form of stored feeds (Swath grazing, silage and hay). Swath grazing is where the forages have been cut down 25′ wide and laid in a 4′ row. That row lays on the ground and gets covered in snow for the animals to dig up and graze. Silage is where we have chopped the forages into short pieces about 2″ long and fermented them in a pile. Hay is where the forages are cut down and allowed to dry and then formed into dry bales. We use a combination of all these different feeds to make the best diet for our animals through the winter.  The animals also get a small amount of salt, vitamins, minerals and a yeast probiotic (to aid their gut microbiome and digestion).

How does the nutritional profile of Forage Finished Beef differ from grass finished beef or grain finished beef?

Forage Finished beef has the highest levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, the best omega 3:6 ratio and the highest level of beneficial phytonutrients for fighting disease and improving human health.  Forage finished beef is grass finished beef raised on a diversity of plant species.  This diversity makes it more nutrient dense than grass finished beef raised on minimal diversity of plants and also more nutrient dense than grain finished beef.

What testing are you doing to ensure the nutrient density of you products?

We test our production at 6 different steps in the process to ensure that we are making progress on our nutrient density goals.  We use soil testing, SAP testing, feed testing, cattle genetic testing, cattle liver testing and final product testing.

What are the benefits of increased Omega 3 fatty acids?

Our testing showed a significant increase in the Omega 3 fatty acids DPA, EPA and ALA when we switched to Forage Finishing our beef.  DPA (6.9x higher) is a strong anti-inflammatory and is important for neural health.  EPA (3x higher) helps to reduce inflammation, is beneficial for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and can have an impact on preventing depression and anxiety.  There is evidence to suggest that ALA (3.38x higher) is helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease as well as the risk of Pneumonia.  It isn’t known whether this is directly from ALA or or due to our bodies converting ALA to EPA.  Worldwide, it is estimated that 28 million life-years are lost annually from ill health, disability, or early death due to inadequate omega-3 intake (IHME, 2013 http://ihmeuw.org/27t0)(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4467567/)

What are the benefits of increased Phytonutrients?

Many Phytonutrients are powerful antioxidants reducing the risk of chronic disease.  There are also phytonutrients that contribute to a healthy immune system and have anti-inflammatory or anti-carcinogenic effects. 

How long is your beef aged?

We do not age our beef.  Aging beef produces histamines which many people have sensitivities to and there are vitamins that will break down over the aging period as well.  The reason most people age their beef is to help with the tenderness and make for a better eating experience.  We are able to create an amazing eating experience without aging by using Piedmontese genetics.  This breed of cattle has a unique tenderness gene that produces consistently tender, delicious beef without the need for aging.

How is your beef packaged?

All of our products are vacuum sealed in cryovac for optimum storage.

Can I visit the farm?

We love having visitors come to the farm.  However we have found that in order to balance hosting guests with our regular farm work, we limit visits to a few events that we host throughout the year.  Make sure to sign up for our newsletter to be notified when we have dates organized.