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Grounded by the Farm

Mar 18, 2020

Links mentioned during this episode:

Previous episode talking steaks, burgers, types of cattle and animal use/waste

Video of Marybeth with the cows talking about feed

Marybeth’s website is easy recipes you can make at home & great resources on meat especially

Experts on sustainability and the impact of animal agriculture include

Contact Lyles Station and read more here   

That time I worked cows 

Recipes from the Farm on Facebook


Additional Show Notes:

First time to do an interview via phone, so now I have a whole new set of lessons to learn about audio. Sorry occasionally the echo is rough here.

Stress in cattle can sometimes impact the meat. There are four things farmers do to minimize stress:

  1. Provide enough of the right type of food — pasturing makes this pretty easy some times of year but you also have to consider the winter, etc and how much you need to supplement with hay, etc.
  2. Insure a supply of clean water — Keeping it going year round can be a challenge with freezing, etc. but it is critical
  3. Give them shelter — Windbreaks, maybe a three sided shed, all have the ability to help cattle with the cold and wind. In the summer, access to shade on hot days is critical. Amazing their herd instinct keeps most of them together even when it is so hot.
  4. Pay attention to predators — The Feutz family has their cattle in small pastures closer to the house which helps as do dogs.

We discuss the health and care for beef cattle, how the decision differs from pets. How something simple for humans like a broken leg can create intense issues for a cow and how the herd mentality and need to keep moving really makes recuperation near impossible. As well as how flies which can seem pesky to us can present real health challenges if left uncontrolled in cattle.

Talk a bit about veal production and how that works, how Marybeth’s opinion has changed as she’s talk to veal producers and come to understand how they treat animals. The meat is different for a couple of reasons 1) veal calves are raised on milk so the meat stays a light pink color and 2) the calves have smaller areas to walk around in and consequently don’t get as intense muscular build so even short ribs are more tender.

Explains filet mignon placement and why it is tender vs short ribs.

Talk about cow farts, cow burps and the environment going into why cow farts aren’t a concern at all, but burps are methane releases from the fermentation process that naturally happens in the rumen. The information online Marybeth sees frequently is incredibly misleading because animal agriculture has such a small impact on climate and carbon, especially when compared to the various pieces of the energy and transportation.

Experts on sustainability and the impact of animal agriculture include

On manure management. They have started a program for containment & use of manure on their farm, the family’s garden and are donating some to an educational farm nearby called Lyles Station Lyles Station was one of the first African American farming communities in the state and still runs a lot of programs to help children understand history, our food and more. You can read more here   

We talk a bit about getting attached to cows and knowing when it is their time which is different in a cow-calf herd like the Feutz’s versus steers raised for beef. In a cow-calf operation farmers have cows for 15 maybe even 20 years sometimes whereas raising steers is usual a year or a year and a half. They are especially attached to Michelle who was born on inauguration day in 2009 along with a bull calf they named Barack. Michelle is a great mom and looks after other cows calves almost like day care. Marybeth knows it will be hard to lose Michelle, but also understands they are here for a purpose and need to serve the purposes they can.

Cows can drink 50 gallons of water a day and will eat you out of house and home faster than a teenager! 

We talk cowboy boots, knee high rubber boots and Danskos too.

Working cows with Val

Red beans and rice recipe mentioned

Marybeth’s website is a lot of ideas on easy stuff you can make at home

Short rib recipes slow cooked, sweet onion teriyaki, slow cooker Italian and garlic herb short ribs

Ground beef buyer’s guide and 79 recipes you can make with ground beef 

Recipes from the farm Facebook Group