Hungry Hereford Farm

Local Grassfed Beef – Pierz, MN Call Brent: 320-630-9471

Hungry Hereford Farm

The Hereford Beef

Hereford Beef

A Distinctive Breed

With their rich red coat and their unmistakable white faces, Hereford beef are a distinctive breed set apart from others. These remarkable cattle have a layed back, placid temperament with simple needs to graze and raise their young. The Hereford is one of the oldest British native breeds of cattle that have been roaming pastures producing high quality grass fed beef for over 300 years. 

Historially Welch

The Welch Marches is an undefined area between the boarders of England and Whales in the United Kingdom where sturdy oxen and Welch boarder cattle were an important part of the countryside. They were natural foragers and able to adapt to the changing climates. As a result the Marches region became know for it’s size, hardiness and quality beef. 

Breeding Since 1738

Historically, Hereford breeding began in 1738 in Canon Pyon, Herefordshire England by a man named Benjamin Tomkins ‘the Elder’ who dedicated his life to this evolving breed. It wasn’t until 1817 that two pairs of these Herefords were exported to the USA by a Kentucky Statesman and only 23 years later the American breeding herd was established. In 1878 the Hereford Cattle Society in the UK was founded under the patronage of Queen Victoria. 

Our Local Beef

Raising Our Beef

A cow (a “cow” is actually a fully grown female animal). We often refer to all cattle as ‘cows’ but it’s not true. It’s like calling all sheep Ewe’s or all deer, Doe’s. Our cows are bred in late summer/early fall and give birth 9 months later in the springtime. The cow stays with calf for nearly 3 months when we pull the calves off the cows (because by now the cow is hopefully pregnant again). At this point we decide which calves we are keeping and which calves we sell to the sales barn. It also depends on how many beef orders we have already. 

Our Herefords didn’t just happen overnight. We started with Black Angus, and Charolais. The Charolais personality was too strong so we began to obtain a few red/white Herefords. Conveniently our friend raises registered Hereford cows and bulls. It was a perfect match.  After a few years of breeding with with his registered Hereford bulls, now we nearly have an entirely pure red/white Hereford herd.  

Separating Calf From Cow

We will always keep the bull calves (male) for beef because they are bigger and heavier which means more meat per animal. We will also keep heifer calves (female) if we did not get enough bull-calves. And sometimes we will keep the heifers if we are adding to the herd or replacing an older cow. Once we have separated calves from cows we invite the Vet over to help us castrate the bull calves. 

Why We Castrate Bull Calves

Castrating bull calves refers to the removal or destruction of the testicles of the animal. This is done humanely and properly with a vet about 3 months after births. Removal of the testicles lowers the levels of testosterone which leads to a higher quality grade of beef and a more consistent tenderness and marbling in the beef. We also castrate so that the animal cannot reproduce which allows us to manage our herd better.  Once the bull calf is castrated it is now referred to as a steer. 

Age of Steers Before Butchering

Once the animal has earned it’s badge as a steer it receives it’s own pen and it’s own grass. He will live alongside his buddies for the remainder of it’s life which is about 21 months. Remember when the calf was born in the spring? It will enjoy one more spring as it turns 1 year old and then that following winter it will be butchered. Twenty-one months lands our butchering in the month of February and is the golden age for butchering beef. Some butcher at 30 months some butcher at 12 months. We butcher in the middle at 21 months. We have found this to be a prime age for the best tasting beef, management of hay quantity and emissions.  

Hereford Beef

Feeding Our Beef

Grassfed Beef

Herefords are excellent grass-fed beef with little need to feed grain. Grass-fed beef in general is said to have fewer calories per pound and more omega 3 fatty acids in the meat. It’s packed with vitamin B and found to be higher in vitamins A and E. Consumers even compare it to skinless chicken. The flavor is full, meatier, gamier and has a satisfying chew. All excellent reasons to choose grass fed beef and Herefords are historically grass-fed.

We not only pride ourselves on the grass they consume throughout the year, but we also offer our Herefords a grain snack. What is a grain snack? A grain snack is a blend of local corn, local oats, and protein pellets given almost daily offering each cow the equivalent of about 2 cups of grain. By supporting local farmers we use the corn and oats right off their fields. But WHY you ask? Our Grain Snack is given for a few different reasons. 

Benefits of Grain Snacks

Flavorful Tender Beef

Grain Snacks are a burst of flavor to your meat. With a diet of 97% grass and 2% grain, you can expect a more flavorful and tender bite with every steak you consume. Giving cattle a small amount of grain increases marbling, creates juicy and richly flavored beef. The meat is less gamey than full grass-fed beef and tastes slightly sweeter. Grain snacks give the meat you consume a higher amount of B12 vitamins which is an essential nutrient for your blood formation, your brain and nervous system. Also increases Niacin which lowers cholesterol and eases arthritis and boosts brain cognition. B6 which aids in energy metabolism. 

Spotting Illness

Grain Snacks allows the farmer to see his cattle daily. We are in tune with them because we call them into the barn for a snack. We are able to take a look and listen to each one on a daily basis.  We check for illness, we can see how gestation is progressing, we see their gait and check their coat. When they have young calves, we are able to check the udders and look for mastitis, watch them feed and see if they are protecting their young. In winter we can spot illness quickly with snotty noses and labored breathing. If anything seems ‘off’ we are quickly able to help them.

Trusting Cattle

Our cows know our voice and come when they are called. Way better than any lamb or child. When we hollar ‘come boss’ they smile and run and skip into the barn. When our cows know the farmer they are more trusting of the farmer. And the farmer is more trusting of his cattle. Since they are less afraid, we are better able to work with them gently when separating bull calves from their mothers in the fall, castrating or if we ever need to load any out. When we know our cows we can pick out the mean, naughty ones and quickly send them away. We only want nice cows on this farm.

Gate To Plate

Farm Gate to Plate Transparency

As farmers we need to be transparent. You want to know where your food comes from and you want honesty in a world where nothing seems to be trustworthy anymore. We can easily write about how organic our cattle are but then we’d be lying. With the small percentage of corn and oats that the steer consumes over it’s 21 month lifetime and the meaty flavor and tenderness it produces because of it, we are willing to feed them a happy snack and not be afraid to tell about it.  

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