THE BEGINNING OF BRASSTOWN BEEF
Brasstown Beef was born from positive feedback. In 1998 we made the decision to take our family farm, Ridgefield Farm, from a commercial cattle operation of mixed breeds, to a seed stock cattle operation carefully breeding and selecting bulls of the highest quality for sale and use in other commercial cattle operations. After a great deal of research and scrutiny, it was clear that Braunvieh and Angus cattle offered the broadest range of positive traits of all the beef breeds. We implemented the strictest of standards in our breeding program to ensure that only the best of the best were added to our breeding herds or sold to other farms and ranches. The animals that did not meet our stringent requirements were eaten by our family and friends. When positive responses and requests for more meat came pouring in, it was obvious that the difference in our carefully selected, pasture raised cattle created the amazing flavor of our all natural, no antibiotic, no added hormone beef, when compared to beef generally available in the marketplace. We believe that Extraordinary Care = Extraordinary Beef.
We made the decision to start Brasstown Beef so that we could provide the highest quality beef to people who truly care about knowing where their meat comes from, how it has been raised, and appreciate consistently excellent tasting beef. All beef produced for Brasstown Beef has been grown out on our farm, and through our family farm’s unique “Ridgefield Farm Bull Deal,” almost all of the meat for Brasstown Beef comes from calves that are a direct result of the mating of a Ridgefield Bull to the excellent herds of cows that our bull buyers have. After weaning the calves are the brought back to Ridgefield Farm where they reside in pastures with lots of room to roam with grass and/or hay.
WHY WE CHOSE BRAUNVIEH
We discovered the wonderful characteristics of the Braunvieh breed about 12 years ago. Braunvieh cattle have superior carcass qualities consisting of large well marbled ribeyes, reduced back fat and very fine grained muscle meat that is tender. Braunvieh females are known for their outstanding milk production and maternal traits. Ridgefield Farm has a large of herd of Braunvieh females and an extensive, proven herd bull battery, where we concentrate on selecting for bulls that produce moderate birth weight calves that are feed efficient, have outstanding performance with excellent carcass qualities and the heifers mature into cows with high levels of maternal ability.
WHY WE CHOSE ANGUS
Angus cattle have outstanding growth characteristics and produce meat that is tender and well marbled. We employ a continuous improvement program of selecting the optimum Angus genetics to improve both our cow herd and herd bull battery to ensure that we are a leading edge supplier of breeding stock that are feed efficient, have sound structure and produce females with excellent mothering skills and longevity, producing calves with rapid and efficient growth.
OUR BRAUNANGUS – “THE GOLDEN CROSS”
We believe that superior genetics result in superior beef. The BraunAngus combination perfectly produces very fine grained, well marbled meat that is wonderfully flavored with limited waste fat. Diet and water quality are also key. Our sweet granite well water is unique to our area and we believe that it and our home grown, free choice fed corn silage (the whole plant, leaves, stalk and one ear of corn) further enhances the flavor profile of Brasstown Beef.
THE BIG QUESTION GRASS FED OR GRAIN FED?
Our cattle are free choice grass fed, meaning they are always out on open pasture, but also have access to other natural grasses and grains. We believe that our unique approach and carefully controlled process yields the most flavorful all-natural beef that you will ever taste.
We Breed for Feed Efficiency in addition to Growth & Carcass Traits
We invest hours of consideration in making the decisions involving arriving at the optimum mating of our exceptional bulls and cows. When we purposefully breed for highly efficient genetics that require less feed per pound of gain, this results in producing animals that have a smaller carbon footprint and produce less methane which in turn reduces the global warming impact of the beef that we produce. Since 2008, every bull used to sire the calves for Brasstown Beef has been tested for Residual Feed Intake (RFI) or feed efficiency, utilizing the cutting edge Grow Safe System.
Certified “Pasture Centered” by GAP
We have historically treated and raised our animals in a caring and humane way. It was exciting for us to discover that our animal husbandry practices, in use on the farm for decades, satisfied the requirements to earn a “Pasture Centered” Step 4 Rating from Global Animal Partnership. The only way to earn the highest Step 5 rating is to have a meat processing plant on site.
Ridgefield Farm Recognized for Excellence
The leading edge selection criteria to produce the finest beef at the least possible cost was recognized by the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association by awarding Ridgefield Farm as the Seed Stock Producer of the Year for 2010-2011. Ridgefield Farm was also chosen Breeder of the Year in 2009 by the Braunvieh Association of America. The farm’s leading edge practices and use of technology has been recognized in national articles published in “Farm Progress” in October of 2011 and in “The Progressive Farmer” in May of 2012. RF has ongoing collaborative beef cattle research projects with both the University of Georgia and North Carolina State University.