“We Must Pledge to Remember” Ronald Reagan

Veterans Day

On this Veterans day we encourage you to join us in remembering all of our veterans. They make the ultimate sacrifice for us to share a commonality. Freedom.

“Sometime back I received in the name of our country the bodies of four marines who had died while on active duty. I said then that there is a special sadness that accompanies the death of a serviceman, for we’re never quite good enough to them-not really; we can’t be, because what they gave us is beyond our powers to repay. And so, when a serviceman dies, it’s a tear in the fabric, a break in the whole, and all we can do is remember.” Ronald Reagan

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Rancher Spotlight: Churchill Cattle Company

cows in pasture2

October Rancher Spotlight: Churchill Cattle Company

Happy Halloween! May your candy baskets have more treats than tricks, especially those of us that have to drive into town to experience trick or treating. Remember to park on the outskirts of the neighborhood to keep the traffic down, and there’s nothing wrong with hiding in the back of the pickup and jumping up to yell “Boo” at other people as they walk by. (CHB nor this writer is responsible for any potential injuries incurred by following this writer’s advice….It’s science; you should take everything I write with a grain of salt!)

This month’s rancher spotlight comes to us from one of our very own, current Certified Hereford Beef President, Dale Venhuizen and his lovely wife Nancy. They hail from the great state of Montana-that’s just a little north of Amarillo and west of Kansas City. They have been raising superior Herefords and beautiful daughters together for well over thirty-four years.

Dale & Nancy Venhuizen at Kansas Meeting 2012

Churchill Cattle Company, located 90 miles north of Yellowstone National Park in Manhattan, MT began in 1980, shortly after Dale and Nancy Venhuizen were married. The “Churchill” of the ranch name was chosen because a bull out of a cow given to Dale by his dad, John, was named DV Lord Churchill. This bull sold in the Western Nugget sale in Reno, NV and the proceeds provided the financial base to the beginning of Dale and Nancy’s married life.

Churchill Cattle Co. has been owned and operated by Dale and Nancy from its birth to the present, with decisions being hatched, discussed, and fine-tuned at the kitchen table. Their four grown daughters have careers of their own and are spread from coast to coast. While having independent lives in big cities, they all remain connected and active in the ranch in assorted capacities. Nancy says, “You can take the girl out of Montana, but you can never take Montana out of the girl.” The ranch always draws them home, either for their sales, Christmas, or any other special occasion.

sale

Being raised on his parents Hereford Ranch and Seed Potato farm, Dale has always been loyal to the Hereford breed and has appreciated the qualities Hereford genetics bring to the beef industry. Dale states, “Hereford cattle excel in their feed efficiency as well as efficiency in general. They are known for their excellence in cross-breeding, disposition, longevity, and as well as their growth traits.”

Certified Hereford Beef is very important to Churchill Cattle Company and to the Hereford Breed. “The development and growth of Certified Hereford Beef has been one of our main goals since the program started. Hereford beef is a very tasty product that is healthy, and provides a wonderful eating experience. Through CHB, we have been able to connect our bull customers with consumers throughout the US and now the world” says Dale.

Dale and cow

From its beginning, Churchill Cattle Company strives to produce the very best Hereford cattle for the commercial breeder, as well as the registered breeder. They have learned through the years that raising Hereford cattle is about raising quality beef animals, with unique and desired genetics. Developing relationships through honest, reliable, positive, and trustworthy dealings is equally as important to Dale and Nancy. Told you they were good people!

Churchill strives to be progressive in breeding decisions and their use of available technology. They have used ultrasound since the inception of the herd, and continue to make use of new and upcoming technology.

Cows in pasture

“The current market for cattle, and Herefords specifically, is electric. The excitement and demand for Hereford cattle is our opportunity to produce and provide a product we are passionate about. Churchill Cattle Company is our home, our work, where our memories have been created, and our dreams are in the process of being fulfilled. We love and are loyal to the Hereford breed and are excited about each opportunity to get to know the great people who appreciate Hereford genetics.” –CHB President Dale Venhuizen. (Spoken like the stewards of the Hereford breed that the Venhuizen’s are!)

Pasture

Churchill Cattle Company information can be found on their website at:

www.churchillcattle.com.

The ranch also has a new blog that can be found at:

www.churchillchat.blogspot.com.

You can also find Dale on Facebook.

Also, check out this recent article where Dale is quoted for his experience, leadership, and dedication to American Hereford Association Breeders everywhere, and for helping Certified Hereford Beef surpass fifty-million pounds sold. http://www.agweb.com/article/certified-hereford-beef-volume-surpasses-50-million-lb-sold-news-release/

Muchas gracias to Dale and Nancy Venhuizen for opening up their operation for our rancher spotlight. We wish them the very best of continued success in all that they do, and blessings for them and their family!

Take care and remember to be thankful and cheerful for all we know, and have as we head into the holidays.

Adios,

LB

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Fall Means the Making of Meat Candy

Meat Candy

Shut the front door……brrrr, its cold! Ok, maybe it’s only 90 degrees- but, it’s a brisk 90! Football is being played, and that means fall is in the air. Our first cold front in South Texas this year brought forth two beautiful days of 74 degrees, followed by the brisk 90 we have settled into. Next thing you know, it’ll be time for Christmas, pulling calves in sleet storms, days of never getting out of your coveralls, and Tony Romo letting us down in some form or fashion.

I love fall! It’s like the cooler weather makes me a better cook. Food takes on a more intense meaning than just my spicy burgers or tender rib-eyes. Activity picks up as we start running out of daylight. There are road trips for football games, weekends working at the deer camp, and late nights on a tractor prepping the winter pastures. So, keeping the energy up becomes a top priority. For me that usually includes a few batches of my special slow cooker beef short ribs. Recently, I came across a new recipe that included ginger-mango-and hickory barbecue sauce- so, of course it caught my attention.

I’m going to walk you through my version of the recipe, but you can check out the link here at: http://www.herefordbeef.org/content/uploads/2013/09/Slow-Cooker-Beef-Short-Ribs-with-Ginger-Mango-Barbecue-Sauce.pdf.

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds beef short ribs, boneless, most cuts are 2x2x4 inch pieces (But never pass up an opportunity to go big, just be sure your resources can handle it!)

1-1/2 cups diced, fresh, or drained jarred mango (I’m the ultimate life hack, so I opted for 2 mango-peach fruit cups and just drained the juice.)

1 medium onion chopped (I seriously wept at this part, no pun intended.)

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (Ok, my grocery store had fresh ginger, but after standing around and starting to look suspicious waiting for a pretty girl to ask her how she liked her ginger, and how to mince it, I felt it best to just buy it off the spice rack.)

1 cup hickory flavored barbecue sauce (You can never go wrong with Sweet Baby Rays!)

*This recipe as based makes 4 to 6 servings.

MeatCandy1

(So easy a caveman can do it!)

The key to this operation is the slow cooker! Connie the Cooker as pictured above has helped me pull off many a successful meal. (Meaning there’s not much she’s ever put out after a few hours that I haven’t been able to serve!) You want to place all your ingredients in the cooker. The order you do that doesn’t really matter, but I prefer to place the meat first then add the ingredients on top. Be sure to make the barbecue sauce last though. This allows the juices to percolate through the meat as its cooking. Makes for a pretty good air freshener, too! Who doesn’t want to come home and open the door to the ultimate man cave, and smell the piquant aroma of meat? (Vegetarians, Vegans, Fruitarian, and any other non-meat eating inhabitants of Earth, please stop reading now.)

 MeatCandy2

(5 minutes to put together, still plenty of time to catch SportsCenter, shower, shave, and think about heading to work.)

If you are not planning on being back till the end of the day then cover and set your cooker to low and you should be good for about 7 ½ to 8 ½ hours. This batch was on low for 11 hours and still came out delicious. If you are short on time you can cook them on high for 3 ½ to 5 ½ hours. Just make sure you turn them off in time. There’s no reason to ruin good meat. Especially, if it’s a succulent tender Certified Hereford Beef cut.

So, whether the mission is to feed yourself, the ultimate tailgate party, your buddies at deer camp, a family of four, or a hot Thursday night date you cannot go wrong with this recipe. It’s simple, delicious, and an excellent source of protein! I’ll let you choose what sides to serve, but I usually go with something green or some sweet potatoes. I won’t share my recipes on those. I can’t let all me secrets go, but rest assured if you do your beef ribs right, nobody will care what the sides are as long as the meat candy’s there.

MeatCandy3

Now get out and enjoy the cooler weather!

Adios,

LB

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A “Taylor-Made” Rancher Spotlight

IMG_7399 (640x479)

September Rancher Spotlight: Taylor-Made Ranch

This month’s Spotlight should have been titled, “Ahead of the Curve.” We visit with Stacy and Tammy Taylor of Taylor-Made Ranch, located near the big little town of Wolfe City in Hunt County, Texas. Bet you didn’t know that Hunt County is made up of over 5 % water. I learned that when I had to MapQuest, Wolfe City. The 1.5 square mile town is just north of Greenville, Texas at the intersections of state highways 34 and 11. Tammy states they used their last name to spin off the phrase “tailor-made”, and since they started the ranch themselves she says the ranch really is “Taylor-Made” for them.

Stacy and Tammy Taylor #TaylorMadeRanch (2)

The ranch was started in May of 2000 when the Taylor’s were looking for land and found their paradise in that little northeast corner of Texas. They fell in love with an original 1880’s barn that was still standing (the Taylor’s add “barely”) on the property. They refurbished the exterior, leaving the exterior wood to age a year before sealing to retain that old-age “patina” style. They left the interior untouched and it adds to the barn’s grandiose appearance, but still remains as an integral part of the ranch operations today.

Road view #TaylorMadeRanch

Around the makings of the barn, the Taylor’s built an extraordinary Hereford cow-calf operation that averages 25-30 mama cows at any given time, plus a few extra’s when they are flush with spring grass. The original ranch was founded on ninety-one acres, but through the years has expanded to one-hundred and fifty acres today.

Stacy and Tammy are the only workers on the ranch. (Who gets the blame when a gate gets left opened?) Ranching small-scale enables them to be very hands on with their animals. The Taylor’s are able to walk among their animals daily, which allows for the animals to know and trust them as their caregivers.

When the Taylor’s started the ranch, they did something that very few of us in our industry do, and that’s find a mentor! Bravo to them for thinking outside the box. Taylor-Made knew they liked the look of Hereford cattle and with the help of their mentor they soon bought their first registered pairs from a local breeder. Plus, Stacy liked the “old-time” look of those beautiful Herefords seen in the old western movies. Taylor-Made is also our first ranch that we’ve featured who blogs about their adventures. You can read about their first Hereford pairs they bought at http://taylormaderanch.com/blog/the-story-of-taylor-made-ranch/.

Heifer 18 and dam - Taylor-Made Ranch TMR (640x480)

Taylor-Made love their Hereford’s mothering instincts and ability to produce nice stocky calves that are desired by their customers. But, their most favorable reason to raise Hereford’s is their calm demeanor, especially being a 2 person outfit! Tammy adds, “We have no place for highly-excitable animals which are bound to hurt themselves or their handlers, and can be damaging to equipment and fences. Hereford’s are typically very calm animals-I like that!”

05-12 vignette barn (640x480) copy

What has the ranch learned in its 14 year history? You can find the answer in Tammy’s blog http://taylormaderanch.com/blog/why-not-do-it-right-the-first-time/ . I think it’s a lesson we all learn at some point in time. The Taylor’s believe, “Good immunizations are a MUST and when we bring an animal onto our ranch, even if the previous owner tells us the dates of administration and the name of the immunization, we’ll still immunize ourselves.” Taylor-Made lost a couple of calves that they had purchased and were assured by the previous owner to be vaccinated, only to find out after an onsite expensive veterinarian necropsy of the dead calves that they were not properly vaccinated. Again, I think its commendable how they learned from their mistake, and are willing to share it so that others may not suffer the same fate.

Taylor-Made Ranch raises registered Herefords for private treaty sale. They strive to perfect their genetics like any good seed-stock producer, and do so by their own registered Hereford bull, “TMR Pride”. In addition, they introduce favorable traits from leading sires by utilizing artificial insemination (AI). The ranch also helps out their neighbors and other local ranches by performing AI services as Stacy is a certified AI technician.

If the Taylor’s could make a point to someone with a non-agricultural background, it would be to, “Go Slow!” Tammy says, “The most important thing to remember-GO SLOW, and learn from your mistakes because mistakes are not bad, they’re an opportunity to learn and grow.” Stacy and Tammy started the ranch as individuals from non-agricultural backgrounds. They used their corporate salaries in those first days starting out to help them through the learning curve. The full time income enabled them to take it slow and ease into their operations as they built fences, obtained equipment and tractors, and bought cattle.

07-14 Foggy Morn With Cows #TaylorMadeRanch

The ranch’s biggest fear is the weather. (Stated like true cattlemen.) Taylor-Made Ranch survived three years of consecutive drought while a lot of other ranches went out of business. The Taylor’s know there is nothing you can do about Mother Nature, but it doesn’t mean you still can’t be prepared. Again, they show their maturity by incorporating rotational grazing to utilize more of their grass, planting winter grasses for cold foraging, and always knowing their proper stocking rate.

However, the trials are worth the tribulations especially during calving season. The Taylor’s get their greatest joy from the births of the new calves and experiencing them taking their very first breaths of life. Tammy says, “Man, there’s nothing like witnessing that!”

11-13 #31-2 #TaylorMadeRanch

Tammy shares their life on the ranch in her blog: www.taylormaderanch.com/blog. We seriously suggest you peruse her take on ranching endeavors, home cooking, gardening, and how they look at life on this Earth.

Like we said, the Taylor’s are truly a 21st century operation with old-school appeal. From thinking outside the box, to sharing their mistakes, and helping others learn best practices they are the epitome of how to lead by example. The Taylor’s in their own way are helping to make an already fantastic breed of cattle to be even better by being “Taylor-Made!”

You can also find Taylor-Made Ranch at the following links:

Until the next time our paths cross, may your waters be clear and cool and your grasses belly high!

Adios,

LB

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LB’s Infamous Home Made Roast Beef Recipe

LB’s Infamous Home Made Roast Beef Recipe

Finding your-self short on dimes and time? Trying to feed a small army on a budget? Or, are you in that category that likes to cook all their meals for the week on Sunday? For me, it’s about the quest for the ultimate sandwich! What pray tell thee is the perfect sandwich?

The epitome of a perfect sandwich starts with the meat. I like to think of myself as a connoisseur of great taste at least as far as beef is concerned. Why do you think I write this blog for CHB? It’s the best beef there is! Anyway, I digress. But, my obsession with the quest for the quintessential roast beef sandwich started several years ago, as I found myself working more, traveling more, and less and less interested in fast-food. I found myself as a sandwich hobbyist electing to create monstrous sandwich works of art that Tim, the tool man Taylor, would beat his chest and make cave man noises over. My search has culminated with the recipe I am about to share, and it is one I hope you’ll cherish as much as I do.

I use an eye of round roast cut for my roast beef. If you need help finding Certified Hereford Beef near you, then use this link: http://www.herefordbeef.org/where-to-buy/ to locate your nearest CHB supplier. If you can’t find an eye of roast, you can use a bottom round or top round to substitute.

For a classic deli style roast beef you will need the following ingredients:

Olive Oil

Onion Powder

Garlic Powder

Coarse Pepper

Kosher Salt

First, coat the roast with the olive oil all over, this will give a base for the other ingredients to stick to. Next, cover the roast with the onion and garlic powder. Then, the salt, and save the pepper for last. Make sure you get a good covering on the ends as well. Once you have completed, then it should look something like the picture below. Roast Beef

To bake the roast, place it on a foiled cover cooking sheet. It also needs to sit on something that will allow to meat to breathe on the bottom and the juices of cooking to drain. This is where my Aggie engineering shows off. I just use my grilling vegetable tray and flip it upside down to elevate the roast.

Now, to cook the roast you will want to pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees. If you are striving for that medium rare look for your roast beef, then you will want to cook the meat for about fifty minutes. For the first twenty minutes, cook at 500 degrees, then reduce to 300 degrees for thirty minutes. To make your roast beef more well-done then when you reduce it to 300, leave it in the oven a little longer.

Remember, you can check your beef status by using a meat thermometer and the following guidelines.

120 F = rare
126 F = medium-rare  
134 F = medium
150 F = medium-well
160 F = well done

Here is what mine usually looks like after cooking for the fifty minutes. This one might of temped a bit higher than usual, because I got caught up watching football. Seriously, I’m stoked there’s something worth watching on tv again! RoastBeef

After the roast is out, I usually let it sit to cool for about twenty minutes. Then, it’s time to slice with a sharp knife. Remember to slice it thinly, and to slice across the grain of the meat. See the picture below. It’s so easy a caveman like me can do it! Plus, not to brag, but it’s pretty phenomenal. I usually slice mine and place into separate bags to put away for sandwiches during the week. I’ve found it’s a great way to reduce eating out and to monitor portion control. RoastBeef

Once you’ve mastered the classic deli style like the one above, then branch out and have some fun by making the recipe your own. My tastes can vary a little on the spicy so I sometimes change it up and use Fiesta Brand’s Fajita or Taco Seasoning to give a little extra kick. Or, just a few dabs of their Cayenne Seasoning can completely change the experience.

 

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do and remember-Certified Hereford Beef makes it the best!

Adios,

LB

 

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Rancher Spotlight – Ellefson Ranch

Buddy  patrolling his herd.

Buddy patrolling his herd.

Rancher Spotlight: Ellefson Hereford Ranch

 

This month’s Rancher Spotlight comes from CHB Vice-President of Retail, Brad Ellefson. Ellefson Hereford Ranch, started as Hemen & Ellefson Polled Herefords in 1977 by Brad’s uncle, Merrill Hemen. The ranch operated under Hemen & Ellefson until Merrill’s death in 2008. Since then, it is has been known as Ellefson Hereford Ranch.

The ranch is located thirty miles northwest of Aberdeen, South Dakota. Today, it is still a family enterprise operated by Brad, his wife Jan, and their sons Justin and Matthew. Primarily, they are a cow-calf operation of sixty commercial Hereford cows. When the ranch operated in 1977, it was a registered Polled Hereford herd of one-hundred and fifty head with extensive artificial insemination and an embryo transplant program that operated until the late 1990’s. In addition, the ranch ran another one-hundred and fifty head of commercial cows. Today, Ellefson Herefords continues to artificial inseminate around eighty-five percent of their current herd.

Brad credits his Uncle Merrill for his affinity for Herefords. Brad says, “ my Uncle Merrill was a firm believer in Herefords. He began raising them in the late 1950’s. Due to the area we live in, the efficiency of the breed was very important for survival.” Brad came out to the ranch every summer starting in 1972 learning everything he could about ranching from his uncle. “He gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream to become a rancher of Hereford cattle,” states Brad.

Ellefson Herefords believes the Hereford’s best traits are their efficiency to convert roughage to pounds. They also like their docility which makes it easier on the equipment and all the Ellefson ranch hands that work the cattle. The Ellefson’s also credit the Certified Hereford Beef program for their great success, customer base, and high quality beef.

The ranch ( like a lot of our other spotlight ranches) believes the most important lesson from the past is taking care of the land. Brad says, “If you take care of the land, the land will give back to you in good times and bad times for many generations to come.” Looking forward to the future, the Ellefson’s are looking forward to the next generation taking over.

The Ellefson’s say that their biggest enjoyment from the ranch is watching wildlife take its course. However, the Ellefson’s biggest fear is seeing too much valuable native grasslands being turned into farmland. However, Jan adds, “coming back to South Dakota and raising her family on the ranch was the most wholesome environment for her children.”

In addition to the cattle, Ellefson Hereford Ranch also offers pheasant hunts. “We enjoy having friends and family coming out each year for an annual pheasant hunt”, says Brad. They enjoy seeing the youth hunt their fields in addition to meeting hunters from out of state who hunt their fields. Jan Ellefson also promotes Big John’s Ol West BBQ and Dippin Sauce. The sauce has been known to be a favorite of certain Certified Hereford Beef people. Which reminds me, that I’m due for another “sample.”

Since it’s Labor Day weekend, it’s only fitting that we wrap up our spotlight with a great quote from Brad, “Ranching hasn’t always been an easy job, but when you believe in something, it all works out in the end.” Sounds like words of wisdom!

We at CHB hope everyone enjoys a little time off this Labor Day. Be safe and have fun!

 

Adios,

LB

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“Irresponsible” Chipotle

Chipotle

 

                                         To Be or Not To Be—Responsibly Raised

I have to say….I could care less what type of beef you consume. After all, for most of us this is still America (see the YouTube video of the trucker and the Border Patrol agent), and we love our freedom of choice. Nowadays, that even goes for our beef, of which the consumer can find an abundance of choices. Really, it’s ok if you want your steak from a naturally raised, hormone and antibiotic free, grass fed bovine-it’s America and it is your choice. I draw the line though when it comes to slandering our hard working responsible American ranchers and farmers like Chipotle Mexican Grill founder, chairman, and co-CEO, Steve Ells has done.

If you haven’t heard the news, then I urge you to pay attention and keep reading. If you have heard, then go ahead and stay tuned. (I mean, I did continue writing.) Chipotle, recently announced that it was to start sourcing cattle from Australia for their “Responsibly Raised” completely grass fed cattle. Chipotle’s version of “Responsibly Raised” according to Ells is “cattle raised without added hormones, antibiotics or growth promotants by ranchers committed to humane animal husbandry.”

You can read his article here at, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-ells/conventional-vs-grassfed-_b_5405894.html.

My first ruff of the hair came from that term “responsibly raised”, and it’s been burning at me ever since I read Mr. Ells’ article. Now, I don’t know Mr. Ells particular educational background, but the Internet searches show he went to Boulder High School in Colorado, and then attended the University of Colorado, and at some point the Culinary Institute of America. So, I’m not sure where the fault is to be placed, but apparently someone missed out on learning what the definition of “responsible” means. Merriam-Webster cites responsible as: “having the job or duty of dealing with or taking care of something or someone, able to be trusted to do what is right or to do the things that are expected or required, involving important duties, decisions, etc., that you are trusted to do.”

I have never met a rancher or farmer that wasn’t responsible fundamentally (no, we’re not all angels and there is always room for improvement), but responsibility is an innate part of doing the job. It falls to the rancher to make sure the cattle are tended to, that quality food sources and clean water are available, land is taken care of, and that there is something for the future to use. Just peruse a few back posts of our Rancher Spotlight and you can see that theme in every CHB producer we visit with. Taking care of the livestock, the land, and preserving for the future- sounds like “having the job or duty of dealing with or taking care of something or someone” to me!

Responsible, “able to be trusted to do what is right or to do the things that are expected or required” Sure sounds like they were talking about ranchers and farmers when the dictionary wrote that part, too. To do what’s right? I couldn’t tell you the last time I heard a story about a rancher or farmer short changing just to make more money, but I could sure point the finger to some CEO’s. (Maybe if more CEO’s were raised on a ranch or farm we’d need a lot less oversight of their companies.) Speaking of, sure today’s rancher and farmers operate under an LLC, but it’s their livelihood on the line. There is no corporate boardroom with deep pocketed marketing campaigns to raise their sales. The most that the average rancher gets is an opportunity to make their stock as uniformly appealing as possible, (believe me, that’s not done over night) or to search out niche markets where they might have an opportunity. And, you can’t trim fat from a budget that never had any to begin with. As far as decisions, it is the ranchers call to make, and ultimately their decision they have to own up to if things do not work out. I bet we could count on one hand the number of CEO’s that would take that road if troubles were knocking at their door.

Finally, “involving important duties, decisions, etc. that you are trusted to do.” Do you think the definition writers meant something besides providing a consistent, safe, and nutritious product when they wrote that part as well? Our level of food safety is unparalleled-this isn’t a knock on other countries, but just a part of being the leaders of the world. We have to do it right. Do we bat .400 out of the box every time? No, accidents do happen. But, you can bet Dollars to Pesos that we hit .399! Again, this falls back to our ranchers being trusted to do this day in and day out. This is something of which the American rancher exceeds at because it’s in their blood, and it’s what they do. We all know we didn’t get into raising the worlds food supply because it was a quick way to get rich. We did it for other reasons. Some of you have heard me quote it, and I’ll say it again- a favorite line of mine from a John Wayne film- “I work for everybody that steps into a butcher shop and orders up a t-bone steak.” For our family ranch it’s about doing our part to help feed a world that is nearing 10 billion soon! That’s a lot of people that will need inexpensive, nutritious, great tasting protein like Certified Hereford Beef to keep them going.

 

Mr. Ells, this is where I challenge you to be “responsible.” I’m happy your business is growing and that means jobs for Americans, and you are servicing a demand. Although, we could argue it’s a niche market, and your typical consumer may not be the average citizen, that is not the point today. My economics degree background understands sourcing Australian beef, but I bet if we truly looked domestically there could be proper sourcing for your niche supply, all be it might mean less margins for you and your stockholders. However, let’s be responsible in identifying servicing your customers and making money to cover all the new expanded growth you are paying for, but not at the expense of short changing the American rancher by changing the definition of “responsible!”

 Adios, 

LB

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July Rancher Spotlight: Falling Timber Farm

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JULY RANCHER SPOTLIGHT: FALLING TIMBER FARM

Missouri sees lots of travelers during the summer. Some are heading to enjoy the Mark Twain National Forest, others to see the Presidential Library of “Give’em Hell” Harry S. Truman (worth the admission), or maybe it’s the arches in St. Louis that beckon you to view. But, whatever it is that entices you to the great state of Missouri, make sure you take the time to visit Falling Timber Farms in Warren County. There nestled in the rolling hills just north of the Missouri River is the pride of Glenn and Yvonne Ridder. Falling Timber Farms is named after the creek that runs through it, and was settled by Glenn’s ancestors from Germany in the 1850’s. Today the farm has been in the family for over 100 years and for over thirty years the Ridder’s have pioneered and made lasting contributions to the Polled Hereford Breed.

Glenn and Yvonne farmed with Glenn’s parents until Glenn’s father passed away in 1970. At that time, the farm raised beef cattle, hogs, and row crops. In 1975, the Ridder’s began replacing their commercial Hereford cows with groups of performance tested Polled Hereford heifers and bulls. With Yvonne’s background of being raised on registered Hampshire Sheep and registered Shorthorn cattle operation, the transition to registered Herefords was an easy move for them.

Falling Timber Farms is still family owned and operated today. Currently, they have over 200 head of registered Hereford cows, and the primary operation is cow-calf. However, they are also diversified by raising some registered Angus cattle- also a commercial herd that utilizes embryo transfer, in addition to raising corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa hay crops. Falling Timber Farms has a small feedlot where they feed out about 90 head of cattle a year. Glenn handles the day to day operations, and Yvonne manages the books and all the registration activity. In addition, John (Glenn and Yvonne’s son) with his wife Heidi Ridder and their two children manage the genetics, artificial insemination, sales, marketing and communications. Jeremy Couch oversees farming operations and coordinates all the planting, harvesting, purchasing, and selling. Becky ( Glenn and Yvonne’s daughter) and her husband Jason Mott along with their two sons also keep registered Herefords in the family by operating Osage Valley Farm in Columbia, Missouri. In addition, Falling Timber Farms sells VitaFerm cattle and mineral feed products, and John Ridder is the sales representative for Genex.

Glenn says that the commercial Herefords his parents raised milked well, were easy to handle, and weaned good size calves. Glenn also says, “Herefords have so many quality traits to offer, it is hard to choose just one. Their efficiency and docility can’t be overlooked, but the one that is priceless is their ability to bond with children. They are capable of teaching the kids so much and giving them a sense of pride and confidence of being able to accomplish so many things, whether it’s daily chores or taking a lap around the show ring.” We at CHB agree Glenn, the experiences families and children get from raising and working livestock are what makes the back-bone of a well defined individual. Thanks for making that point!

 

 

Falling Timber Farm has a deep past steeped in producing the highest quality beef possible by raising the best cattle and continuing to cull hard. The intent of continuing the family operation and passing it down to the next generation is proven by their dedication to taking good care of the land and their cattle, and producing a safe, wholesome, nutritious product for consumer families to enjoy. They, like a lot of family farms, fear that commercial development, housing, and growing population will make it very difficult to farm their area in the future. However, Glenn says, “Our biggest enjoyment of working on the farm is to wake up each day and thank God for what he has provided us to take care of while we are here.” Amen to that Mr. Ridder!

 

If you’d like to see about purchasing some of their great cattle you can attend their annual bull sale where they offer 40-50 head of bulls. The sale is held at the farm on the third Saturday of March every year. The farm also consigns females to the Missouri Opportunity Sale that is held the first Saturday of December in Sedalia, and bulls to the Northeast Missouri Performance Tested Bull Sale in Palmyra, Missouri.

In addition you can reach out to them at www.fallingtimberfarm.com, or www.facebook.fallingtimberfarm .

 

Enjoy the summer and take care from all of us at CHB,

LB

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4th of July

How To Be A Hot Dog Champ!

 

238 years old! That sounds like a cause for a celebration to me if I ever heard of one. Not that I’ve ever needed much of an excuse to have a good time, but the 4th of July for me is right up there with Christmas, Easter, Veterans Day, and my Mom’s peanut butter cake. There are just things that need to be celebrated. The birthday of our great country is one of them. How are you celebrating this 4th of July? Maybe you are heading out to the lake to meet some friends and family (note to self……check the tow strap on the boat, and pack the duct tape), or just staying home to enjoy all the creature confines of home like a great grill, flat screen tv, and a freshly mowed back yard. Wherever you find yourself, just make sure to enjoy some great CHB steaks and all beef hotdogs before breaking out the birthday cake and ice cream. Speaking of all beef hotdogs- has anyone been catching the late night re-runs of the hot dog eating contests? July 4th is when over 2000 hot dog eating contests are held across the country. If you are thinking about putting on your own hot dog eating contest this 4th of July, then I think we better discuss some ground rules.

First off, before you try to run off and emulate Joey “Jaws” Chestnutt or Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, you should realize that they practice a few months before the contest begins. It has to do with something about stretching out your stomach to help avoid dangers like acid reflux, stomach rupture, inflammation or tearing of the esophagus, or possible choking…..in other words- kids do not try this at home. Or, at least kids do not practice without some supervision and a little moderation. Remember the human stomach can hold a little more than a quart, or for our English brethren (now friends) across the pond that is approximately a liter.

Ok, so you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “I got this.” Sure maybe you are that freak of nature that puts down 37 of Maxine’s famous chicken fried steaks with gravy, fries, and a “liter” of cold frosty beverage before taking your pretty heifer out for a night on the town every Saturday night. In that case, let’s move on to discussing what technique works for you.

Now with technique, you can go traditional or modern. Traditional technique involves the eating of the hot dog and bun all at once. Over the years though as new challengers to the sport of hot dog eating rose, then the modern theory of eating the hot dog separate from the bun evolved. Now days the modern philosophy eats the hot dog and then dips the bun in a liquid like water or sprite before engulfing it. Preferably myself, I’d go traditional- but they better have ketchup! Whichever technique you choose for yourself just remember that the “Black Widow” says the key is in the coordination. Meaning you have to be fast, but smooth. No one wants to be that person that kills the most hot dogs but gets disqualified for spilling all their buns.

Make sure you know the time limit. Like Rocky had Coach Mickey in his corner, find a friend that can have the fortitude to get you motivated for that one last bite. Most contests are 12 minutes. The record is 69 by “Jaws” Chestnutt. I don’t recommend trying for the record without practicing first.

Another sure way to lose is to vomit! If you’re going to eat it to win, you better keep it down. Suppress the gag reflex unless you want to relive the moment every time your friends get together and play that infamous YouTube clip. Trust me; nobody wants to be that guy. If you have any more questions, you can check out the website for the (IFOCE) International Federation of Competitive Eating.

As for me after researching it and thinking it over….I think I’ll just stick with the great tasting CHB beef and hanging out with the family. But, if you make it one day to Coney Island and happen to win the coveted hot dog eating contest, then give a shout out to LB. I’m sure I’ll see it during some sleepless night.

Happy Birthday America,

LB

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Turner Ranch

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June Rancher Spotlight- Turner Ranch, LLC

If you find yourself twenty miles east of Valentine, Nebraska, then you’ve found yourself at the heart of Lawrence and Sue Turner’s, Turner Ranch, LLC. The ranch also sits 5 miles from the South Dakota border. Lawrence and Sue started renting the place in 1960 and then were able to purchase the home place in 1965. They have been in business at this location for 54 years, and to this day is the only place they have ever ranched!

Through the years they grew the ranch by adding on land that belonged to Lawrence’s paternal and maternal grandparents. Lawrence’s maternal grandparents were original homesteaders of the land. They lived in a sod house and burned cow chips for fuel. (And to think that today some people complain about having to drive past a feed lot- people were definitely tougher back then.) Lawrence says, “We have come a long way since those days. But, it means a lot to me to know that my family has worked and cared for this land for at least 100 years.”

Turner Ranch, LLC is family owned and operated. In addition to Lawrence and his wife Sue, their son Larry and his wife Melissa help with the operation. Larry and Melissa live on what was Lawrence’s parents place at the ranch. The ranch has been in operation for 54 years and their primary operation is a 250 head herd of commercial Hereford cows, where they sell bred heifers and feeder cattle.

Turner Ranch, LLC has Lawrence’s father to thank for today’s endeavors. Lawrence’s father raised Herefords so Lawrence and Sue’s operation is a family tradition. Lawrence bought his first registered Hereford at age 5 from Mr. Harold Harms of Valentine, Nebraska. That’s when Lawrence started showing Herefords in 4-H. That family tradition was also passed on to the Turner’s children who showed Herefords from the family’s registered herd in 4-H, Future Farmer’s of America, and the American Junior Hereford Association across the country.

The ranch switched to more of a commercial operation in the 1980’s, but they continue to use Herefords because, “they are able to withstand the cold winter weather we have in northern Nebraska, they have a more agreeable disposition, and they have the ability to convert roughage to prime beef in the most economical manner”, says Lawrence Turner. In addition, Mr. Turner adds that being from Nebraska they have always been partial to red and white. (Is that like being from Texas and believing that Herefords down here have a more “maroonish” tint to them than red?) Aside from the color, Turner Ranch says the best trait of Hereford cattle are their ability to convert roughage to prime beef. This is important because we have to raise cattle that meet the demands of consumers and still provide a profit for the ranch- today and for the future!

When you ask Mr. Turner what advice he can give and what he has learned from the ranch’s past, he says, “From my years experience, my basic advice is to be a good neighbor and work to get along with your neighbors to the best of your ability. Try to leave the land like the Good Lord made it. That is, be a good steward of the land. Finally, be flexible and adapt your operation based on the markets.” If Mr. Turner could make a point to someone without an agricultural background it would be that, “America’s ranchers and farmers really care about the land and their animals. We are the best stewards of the land and livestock. It is not just a business.” (Which brings up a good point, isn’t it about time we get some ranchers and farmers on the governing committee of the EPA? It seems they might be due for a different perspective!)

That is a fear of the Turner Ranch per Mr. Turner, “My biggest fear is that the environmentalist and animal-rights activists will be able to influence changes in production practices that will make it difficult for us to care for our cattle in an economical manner.” (This writer agrees with you, Sir.) I don’t think you have to look very hard now days to see that there are some government agencies that are operating outside their powers and scope. I hope that the increased trend in government scrutiny continues and allows for broader thinking and interpretation to be considered.

“Owning and operating our ranch has allowed me many opportunities to meet people and discuss the business. For example, in 2007, we had the great experience of promoting beef at the New York State Fair”, says Mr. Turner when asked what his biggest enjoyment from the ranch has been. (I bet there’s a lot of smiles associated with all those show miles.)

If you are looking to get your hands on one of the Turner Ranch’s great replacement heifers or feeder cattle, then you have a couple of opportunities coming up. The first is a special Bred Heifer Internet sale on September 25, 2014 and more information can be found at www.valentinelivestock.net or www.cattleusa.com. At this particular sale, they will have more than 500 bred heifers to sell with more than 200 being Herefords. All cattle were bred to Churchill Sensation, and cleaned up with low birth weight black Angus bulls. They will also be making available this fall through the Valentine Livestock Auction, 250 Hereford steers and 100 Hereford heifers that will weigh approximately 850-900 pounds. Also, the Turner Ranch artificially inseminates a small group of specially selected cows to premium Hereford bulls to sire show steers.

Feel free to reach out to the Turner’s at LSTURNERRANCH@icloud.com for any more information, or to make plans to visit their operation. We appreciate the ranch taking the time to share their story with us for our Rancher Spotlight. All of us at Certified Hereford Beef wish them the very best for the future.

 

Remember if you have a ranch or would like to nominate a ranch to be considered for the Rancher Spotlight, then email us at whiteface1881@gmail.com.

Adios,

LB

 

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