What’s special about Lohof Beef?
- High-protein grasses and ideal range land – The grasslands of Montana have been famous for raising beef since the days of big cattle drives from Texas in the 1870’s. The climate is ideal for producing high-protein grass, and cattle grow well without unnatural supplementation. The “terroir” of the land can be tasted in the beef.
- Lots of open space – Lohof cattle are never confined in anyway. They are born in open pastures. They very quickly learn from their mothers how to graze and search for the best feed and water. This movement across thousands of acres of land prevents unhealthy overcrowding of cattle and ensures the well-being of the range for generations to come.
How is Lohof beef raised?
Our calves are born on their own in open pastures as the spring grass is appearing. The mother cows clean their calves, and the calves get busy nursing and learning to graze. Any cow which does not deliver and raise a live, healthy calf each year without assistance from us is sold. In this way we select for strong cows and calves adapted to our ranch. At a couple months of age, the calves are branded and castrated. They spend their summer rotating through grass pastures and always have free access to organic salt, organic mineral, and water.
In the fall, when the calves are approximately 6 months old, they are weaned from their mothers. Within days the calves are grazing independently, and we move them to fresh pasture. Through the winter the calves are fed grass hay that we baled on our meadows over the summer and sometimes high-protein forage such as alfalfa cubes. As soon as the spring grass appears, they are on their own again until winter hay is necessary. This cycle continues until the third summer, during which the “calves” are then over 1000 pound 2 year olds and fat enough to be slaughtered. After slaughter, the meat is dry-aged in refrigeration. This Dry-Aging process allows excess water to evaporate and the flavor of the meat to condense. Finally, the meat is custom cut, cryovac packaged, frozen, and delivered.
The animals never leave the ranch. They are 100% Made in Montana, and we know exactly what they have eaten from day one. Thus we can guarantee to you that these animals have never been given any hormones, antibiotics, or animal by-products.
They become what we are happy to call LOHOF Grass-Finished BEEF: All Natural.
Is Grassfed beef healthier?
You bet! Not only do cattle on open rangeland eating 100% forage tend to be healthier, but their meat is healthier. Grass-fed and finished beef has lower total fat and saturated fat levels and higher levels of omega 3 fatty acid, conjugated linoleic acid, ALA, vitamin E, B-vitamins, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and Beta-carotene than grain-fed beef. These “good fats”, minerals, and vitamins contribute to healthy cardiovascular function. For more information about grassfed meats, visit www.eatwild.com.
What is the difference between organic, natural, grassfed, and grass-finished beef?
Organic – certified by the USDA not to contain any chemicals, such as pesticides or herbicides. This means that all of the cattle feed (grain or grass) must be certified organic as well. Organic does not indicate what types of feed the animals have eaten.
Natural – minimally processed and free of additives such as preservatives, artificial flavors or colors. Producers may also use the term to mean produced without hormones or antibiotics. Natural beef may have been raised in a feedlot and have been fed various grains and products. The USDA does not strictly define natural beef.
Grassfed – has been raised on grass and hay without cereal grains. Almost all cattle begin their lives on grass. Conventionally, they are then “finished” in a feedlot for 120-200 days on grain. However, much like the term “natural”, the USDA does not regulate the use of “grassfed” labeling, and thus the animal may have been grass-fed and then corn-finished, etc.
Grass-finished – has spent its entire life on grass without added grain. The USDA does not regulate the use of “grass-finished” labeling. Lohof Beef is grass-finished!
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Is Lohof Beef Organic?
We are not certified organic. Our cattle meet the requirements to be certified organic. Because we market our beef directly, we trust our customers to trust our word and our commitment to quality meat! We also occasionally buy hay from our neighbors. Were we to be certified organic, we would have to buy organic hay from distant sources, increasing our cost and fuel usage. If we medicate a sick animal, which rarely occurs, we do not sell that animal to our customers.
Is grazing good for the land?
Yes! Grass is meant to be grazed. Grazing cattle mimic wild animals by consuming the plants and spreading manure over the pasture for nutrient cycling. By rotating pastures, we are able to increase plant diversity, reduce noxious weeds, and foster native plant growth. Our pastures are never spayed with chemicals. We use sheep and goats for weed control and sell them too as grassfed lamb and goat. Additionally, we use horses to livestock and to pack mineral, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. We work closely with the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the US Forest Service, Animal Welfare Approved, and American Grazing Lands Services. We also attend various rangeland and grassfed conferences to improve continually our ranch management.
Why doesn’t everyone raise grassfed and finished natural beef?
Simply put, it takes time and “time is money”. Our cattle are almost 30 months old before they are ready to slaughter. Cattle fed very high-protein products such as corn may be fat enough to slaughter as young as 12 or 13 months of age. In order for the calves to grow that quickly, they are typically injected with growth hormones and kept on antibiotics to keep them healthy. Additionally, these cattle usually live in huge, confined feedlots where everything from the livestock to the feed is trucked many miles. This may make economic sense for some, but we believe the wait for grassfed and finished natural beef is worth it for us. The cattle are healthier, the environmental impact is reduced, and we feel good about what we are doing.