Welcome to the latest issue of the American Grass Fed Beef Newsletter. In this issue, you will find the following:
* American Grass Fed Beef Acquires Processing Plant
* American Grass Fed Association Conference
* Meet the People at American Grass Fed Beef
* Recipes and Great Beef Ideas
AMERICANGRASSFEDBEEF.COM ACQUIRES A PROCESSING PLANT
Half the challenge of producing outstanding quality grass fed beef is
done on the farm in finishing animals on grass pasture. The other
half is in how that animal is handled and processed at the time of harvest
The Whisnant family is proud to announce the acquisition of our own processing plant.
We are excited about now having the ability to have direct control over
the entire process, from grass all the way to your grill. The
processing plant will be known as Fruitland American Meat. It
is located in the small town of Fruitland, Missouri and employs 45 and
handles approximately 165 animals per week.
Our family has been in the business of producing beef for many
years. As veterinarian and ranchers, we are very comfortable in that
role. Our family takes a great deal of pride in producing what we
consider the healthiest, and finest grass-fed beef on the planet.
order to produce a quality and consistent product, we have addressed
genetics, pasture management, and animal handling. It is only
logical to take it one further step forward to include the processing.
we began to market our special beef directly to our customers, our world
changed. The bar was raised higher. We have gotten to
know many of our customers personally and consider them part of an
extended family. We ship our beef to health conscious families month
after month. Our ongoing desire is to produce a higher quality and safer product
with each herd.
inquires are sent to us monthly asking questions about our beef and how we
raise it. Our customers are intellectual, have done the
research, and are well informed about the health benefits of grass-fed
beef. They know the questions to ask a producer to ascertain if the
product they purchase is indeed 100% grass-fed (the only way it
should be done).
We constantly get asked about
our protocol for growing grass. Other common questions are about how the
product will be shipped to them and in what condition it will
arrive. Equally important questions our customers and potential
customers are asked about how the beef is processed.
all know that much of the scare about the safety of beef has to do with
what happens to that beef as it is processed. It is here that
possible contamination can occur. We have answered hundreds of questions
about how our beef is slaughtered and what safeguards are in place to
protect the safety and integrity of the grass-fed product.
have long believed that the small processing plants that handle animals on
an individual basis and utilize hand trimming by skilled butchers were far safer than the
factory assembly-line processing plants. From the beginning we sought out a
processing plant in which we could have great confidence. We now own
that plant and will personally oversee its operation.
we can assure our customers that we have made every effort to ship the safest
grass fed beef on the planet since we now control every aspect of our
AMERICAN GRASS FED ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE
The American Grass Fed Association (AGA) is a group of producers,
food service industry personnel and consumer interest representatives
whose goal is to promote the grass-fed industry through government
relations, research, concept marketing and public education. It was
founded in 2003 with partial funding from the Rocky Mountain Farmers
Union and a $25,000 USDA grant to promote the association with
producers, professionals, and consumers.
Among the AGA's top priorities is working
with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish a legal definition
for grass-fed and to implement a labeling program that benefits
producers to acquire a premium for products that meets the criteria while
providing a service to consumers wishing to buy grass-fed products. For
more information on the AGA visit:
The American Grass-fed Association held its
first conference March 5-6, 2004 in Auburn, Kansas where there were over
100 members and guests in attendance. The group heard from
nationally-recognized grass-fed experts, elected a new board of directors
and networked over the two-day event.
Tilak Dhiman, associate professor Utah State University - Animal
Nutrition Department, shared his extensive research on conjugated linoleic
acid (CLA) in grass-fed versus traditionally-fed animals. Higher
levels of CLA in the human body are believed to lower body fat, reduce
heart disease and lessen the probability of contracting diabetes.
and meat from animals raised only on forage have the highest levels of
CLA," Dhiman told conference attendees. "Research shows the
level of CLA in grass-fed products is 4-5 times that of regular
Robinson, author of Why Grass-fed is Best and Pasture
Perfect, also spoke to the group about the benefits of grass-fed
products and about a recent taste test she conducted. Of the 10
steaks tested by professional chefs, eight were rated above a premium
grain fed steak. Chefs rated the meat on flavor, tenderness and
"In conclusion, I
would say that grass-fed beef can be extremely tasty, meeting or exceeding
grain fed beef in flavor, tenderness and juiciness," Robinson
said. "These very limited results also seem to indicate the
tastiest beef is aged at least 21 days and comes from cattle that are
around 20 months old."
can be extremely pleased with the leadership, enthusiasm and ingenuity of
AGA members," said Marlene Groves, who was re-elected AGA President
by those attending the conference. "I am confident we have all
the resources necessary to grow our organization and establish AGA as the
nation's grass-fed voice."
the conference, members had the opportunity to discuss in-depth details of
proposed USDA national grass-fed standards. The current proposal put
forth by the USDA was for a 80/20 rule to define grass-fed. This
proposal came about under the influence of some powerful producers who are
currently raising beef on grass and finishing on grain (just like any
feedlot), yet advertising as grass-fed beef. Members unanimously
adopted the definition of "grass-fed" as meat from ruminants and
milk that are 100 percent grass-fed. The board and standards
committee will also work on standards for poultry and swine in the near
In addition to Groves, others
elected to the 2004 AGA Board of Directors included:
Tom Gamble, St.
Helena, CA, Vice-President
Carrie Balkcom, Denver, CO, Secretary
Dale Lasater, Matheson, CO, Treasurer
Dr. Patricia Whisnant,
Doniphan, MO, Director at Large
Nathan Nelson, Dodd City, TX, Beef Director
Wayne Copp, Auburn, KS, Bison Director
Alan Yegerlehnder, Clay
City, IN, Dairy Director
Julie Becker, Mitchell, NE, Goat Director
Meagan Phillips, Mesa, CO, Poultry Director
Virginia Goeke, Viroqua,
WI, Sheep Director.
things, board members will research non-grain supplements, such as alfalfa
cubes, that are acceptable for grass-fed producers, explore relationships
and joint membership opportunities with other agricultural and
professional groups, and finish their AGA consumer focused grass-fed facts
The conference was
partially sponsored by Mother Earth News and Kansas Farm Bureau.
more information contact the folks at http://www.americangrassfedbeef.com
MEET THE FOLKS AT AMERICANGRASSFEDBEEF.COM
When you call or email American Grass Fed Beef, you will more than likely be
helped by our customer service representative, Lynette Blackwell.
Lynette has worked at our ranch and in the beef office for 2
Lynette lives with her husband Jim, who is the Athletic Director at the
local high school and also coaches Varsity girls basketball. She has
two children. A 14 year old daughter, Jaysa and an 11 year old son,
She is quite knowledgeable concerning grass fed beef. If she
doesn't know the answer to your question, she is prompt to ask us.
She handles processing the orders each week. She sees that we
promptly ship our orders,
sends customers the tracking numbers and manages our Buyers Club.
She contacts our customers with a follow up inquiry to make doubly sure that
everything concerning the order met with the customer's satisfaction.
RECIPES AND GREAT BEEF IDEAS
Spring Beef Roll
2 lbs. lean grass fed ground beef
1/2 C chopped
2 T olive oil or
2 - 10 oz. packages frozen chopped spinach drained and squeezed
1/4 t black
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In a large skillet, sauté the mushrooms and green onions in olive oil
or butter until tender. Stir in spinach, salt and pepper; heat
through. Remove from heat; cool in large bowl.
On a large piece of
heavy duty foil, pat the ground beef into a 16-in.x10-in. rectangle.
Spread spinach mixture to within 1 inch of edges. Roll up starting
with a short side; seal seams and ends.
Place seam side down in a
13-in.x9-in.x2-in. baking dish coated with non-sticking cooking
spray. Cover and bake for 50 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minute
longer or until meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F. Let stand
for 5 minutes before cutting. Yield 8 servings.
Topped Meat Loaf
1/2 C chili
2 eggs lightly
1/2 t Worcestershire Sauce
1 medium onion,
3/4 C shredded cheddar
2/3 C dry bread
2 lbs. grass fed ground
2 strips of beef bacon strips, halved
Preheat oven on 350
a bowl, combine first 8 ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture well,
shape into a log in an un-greased 13-in.x9-in.x2-in. baking dish.
Top with beef bacon, bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 70-80 minutes
or until meat is no longer pink and meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.
Drain if needed, let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Yield 8
Patricia Whisnant, DVM
Grass Farmer and Veterinarian
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