For Independence Day, what’s more traditional than firing up the grill before watching a fireworks display? Now two local grocers offer Missouri State beef for your barbecue.
Horrmann Meat Farmers Market on West Battlefield Road and Hy-Vee Grocery Stores are now supporters of the William H. Darr School of Agriculture’s farm-to-table grass-based beef products, offering locally-grown beef products raised at Missouri State’s Journagan Ranch. Some of the cuts of meat include ground beef, ribeye steaks, sirloin tips and stew meat. These cuts of meat are great for savory steak dinners, tasty burgers and even hearty beef stews.
“The United States Department of Agriculture began this concept (farm to table) to really show the consumer where their food is coming from,” said Dr. Anson Elliott, head of the Darr School of Agriculture.
As consumers began demanding healthier, more organic, locally grown and sustainable food options, the Darr School of Agriculture began adapting its program to satisfy this new hunger.
From the acquisition of the Journagan Ranch (a 3,300 acre working cattle ranch located 10 miles from Mountain Grove and its herd of Hereford cattle) and the Shealy farm (a 250-acre Fair Grove farm, which includes farmland, livestock, a conference center and other structures), students in the agriculture program have numerous opportunities to get hands-on experience with every step of the beef production process.
Why is grass-based best for beef?
This primarily grass-based diet offers both health and economic benefits, Elliott noted.
- More fatty acids are present when the animal is eating more grass and less grain, which is a noticeable difference when selecting meats.
- The grains add the flavor to the beef that customers are accustomed to purchasing, but adding them into the diet later in the cattle’s life cycle works to prevent a loss of the health benefits gained from having a grass-based diet.
- Maximizing the use of high quality forages and reducing the purchasing of more expensive grains allows for greater profitability for the producer.