What is Winter Green Farm Beef?
WGF’s goal is to have all of our beef consumed by those who can appreciate the difference in how our animals are raised. The cattle are pastured on a diverse mix of fresh organically grown grasses, legumes, and herbs all spring, summer and fall. The cows and calves are comfortably protected in the winter in light, airy barns and fed quality hay and balage. They are treated with care and respect at all times. Our beef is produced for local people who can come meet us and the animals and see how we achieve our lean and delicious product.
Since 2004 our beef herd has been certified organically grown. The animals have been fed only organically grown feed and have not been given any growth hormones or antibiotics. The certified organic label assures you of clean and healthy meat which was raised humanely. Every year, because of necessary medical treatments, we also have a few non-organic animals. For more information see our current annual beef letter.
Our beef is 100% grass fed. Feeding cattle solely grass and no grain is not only much better for the health of the earth, but it also creates much healthier meat for us to eat. See Jo Robinson’s web site www.eatwild.com for more information on the advantages of grass fed meat. Price and Availability:
Animals are primarily available in October and November. Please call/email the farm office if you would like to reserve a share or be added to our mailing list.
For price, logistics, and news see our current annual beef letter. This letter is refreshed and sent out every August. Prices may change at that time.
All prices are for live animals and based on hanging weight per pound, and include freezing, cutting, and wrapping (to your specifications). You will receive a mix of ground beef, roasts and steaks along with optional organ meat and soup bones totaling 25-35% less than the hanging weight due to trimming and de-boning. Hamburger quarters should provide 50-60% of the hanging weight as meat. A quarter beef fills 3-4 regular grocery bags.
Our past price comparison shows that a family buying a quarter of our organic grass fed beef will save $120-$180 when compared to non-organic “natural” beef from a natural food store and even $60-$90 over conventional feedlot beef from a supermarket.
To contact us, call us at 541-935-1920 or email: email@example.com. What is the difference between WGF Beef and conventionally raised beef?
Winter Green Farm
Grain-fed beef is fattier, with the fat in the meat as marbling and consisting of more saturated fat.
WGF pasture-raised beef is leaner, has much less saturated fat, and the fat that does exist is deposited primarily on the outside of the meat muscles. Grass-fed animals have approximately 10 times more healthy Omega 3 fatty acid and 5 times more conjugated linoleic acid (an anti-carcinogen) than those fed grain.
Cattle (herbivores) were given a multi-compartmentalized stomach which is very efficient at utilizing relatively low-value forages, but very inefficient at utilizing grain. It takes seven pounds of grain to create one pound of beef. Approximately 70% of the grain grown in the US is fed to multi-stomached animals, and this grain production is responsible for a vast amount of the United States’ agricultural energy, chemical and fertilizer use as well as its soil erosion.
WGF cows are grown on a diverse mix of organically grown grasses and legumes. No grain is fed.
Feedlot fattening concentrates many animals together in a very stressful environment for the last few months of their lives. This concentration often creates a manure pollution problem as well as severe health problems for the animals, which is most often dealt with by routine broad-spectrum antibiotic use.
WGF animals don’t need nor do they receive any hormone implants, routine feed antibiotics, or animal by-product feeds.
Feedlots have led to a very centralized beef feeding industry. It takes almost 15 calories of energy to put one calorie of food on your table. Of those 15 calories, four are for transportation. The average T-bone steak sold in American supermarkets has traveled nearly 2,000 miles.
WGF Beef is grown here at our farm for local markets.
In our area, cattle are usually left out in the weather all winter. Intermittently throughout our winter the soil becomes waterlogged and thus susceptible to compacting and to animal hooves tearing up the sod. The heavy rains leach out most of the nutrient value of any manure dropped outside, as well as washing much of it into our waterways.
WGF animals are comfortably housed during the rainy months in roomy, straw-bedded barns. They and their manure are protected from the weather and the fields are protected from the impact of their hooves.
Traditionally, cattle have been turned out into relatively large pastures or even ranges and moved infrequently. This allows the cows to overgraze certain areas while under-utilizing other sections. Unprotected riparian areas have often been favorite gathering spots for livestock, causing severe damage and water pollution in these sensitive locations.
WGF cattle are kept on small pastures and moved every few days to fresh, clean forage. All year round, riparian areas are fenced off from the animals.
Calving time for most northern cattle herds is January through March, usually a time for some of the worst weather of the year. This is a critical period for the cows, whose nutritional needs accelerate after calving, as well as for the calves who are very vulnerable as newborns. Winter calving necessitates heavy feeding of the mother cows, is a nasty wet and cold time to give birth or be born, and can cause major health problems for the calves.
WGF cows are moving towards a late spring/early summer calving time, when the pasture is growing well and it is the natural time for fawns and elk calves to be born.
Why We Raise Cows
Cows have long been the unifying force behind our farm’s fertility program. The cow manure and straw bedding collected in the barns during the winter is an alive, nitrogen-rich component which is added to other farm-produced ingredients to make the bulk of our compost. Compost is spread throughout the farm to feed and balance the soil with organic matter and microorganisms (every gram of compost contains more than 1 billion microorganisms) so that healthy soil processes can then feed the crops we grow. Through the compost, our cows are the backbone of our farm’s fertility.
Organic farms rely on some form of animal manure for their fertility needs, but most of them use manure from large operations where it is hard to know exactly how the animals have been treated, fed or medicated. We have chosen to take full responsibility for the animals our farm depends on. We treat them well because they deserve it and they are vitally important to our farm. Cooking Our Meat
Cooking slowly at low temperatures is the best way, as high heat will toughen the protein. All meat really should be cooked slowly at low temperatures, but the high fat content of conventional meat is able to mask some of the problems of quick, high-heat cooking.