Our Animals

 

Manitoba Grass Fed Beef

Remember Sunday dinner at your grandparents farm?

In those days the beef was dark and rich with layers of fat running through that melted in your mouth with the gravy and potatoes. Now three generations later, we are recreating that same beef you had in days gone by.

Townsend Galloways are managed by our beef manager Billie (Annastasia) with input from the farm manager Reuben. The herd is managed with very low inputs on prairie land in Southern Manitoba. In many respects the methods employed are opposite to those used when rearing cattle intensively for today’s market Our cattle live outside for all of the year and forage all year round but do have access to shelter with straw bedding during severe weather. The herd is fed a natural diet of grass in summer and hay in winter and nothing else. No additives, no growth promoters, no in-feed anti-biotics and, uniquely, no concentrated cereal rations which are routinely fed as part of the diet of most intensive or semi-intensive systems today.

Meat Quality
In former times beef produced from our native breeds of cattle gained an international reputation for its excellence. Hardy breeds such as the Galloway were matured slowly on a forage diet (mainly grass) and it was often not until they were four/ five years of age before they were processed. The meat was then aged for three to four weeks. Traditionally, beef was dark in colour, incorporating thin marbling layers of fat which imparted excellent cooking and eating qualities including flavour, texture, succulence and tenderness.

Environment
No worm control chemicals have ever been used as they can be damaging to the environment. Instead the animal’s natural immune defense system is relied upon to produce immunity.┬áNitrogen fertiliser usage on the farm over the years has been minimal because Belties can survive satisfactorily on low quality forage. This has encouraged the spread of clover and produced pastures with a rich and diverse flora which is ideal for Galloways and considered by some to enhance the flavour of the meat.┬áBelted Galloways respond well to these low intensity production methods and with their long shaggy winter coats are generally hardier, longer lived and more efficient at converting low quality forage into top quality meat than their modern counterparts. As such they conform well to today’s requirement for sustainability and efficient use of resources.

The Townsend Difference
Today’s mass market prefers taller, leaner, bigger and more uniform continental breeds of cattle which are often fed indoors for at least part of their lives on concentrated cereal rations, with or without various additives.

As a result of selective breeding and the way supermarket cattle are fed they mature and fatten quickly. This quick feed process comes at a cost however, many would argue that beef quality has suffered in the process and that the consumer is being led more and more towards paler coloured meats which are leaner, drier, have little marbling and less flavour.

Most supermarket beef is high in polyunsaturated omega 6 fats. Omega 6 fat is the fat which can cause obesity, heart disease and cancers. That may be fine for much of today’s market with its emphasis on convenience foods but for connoisseurs of traditional steaks and roasts it can leave much to be desired.

Just as there are different quality wines so there is different quality beef and by maturing Townsend Galloways slowly on a grass only diet for three to three and a half years the aim is to produce beef which is natural, mature and of prime eating quality. Galloway steaks and prime roasts are aged up to 30 days. Our beef is high in Omega 3 fats and has been raised in a sustainable manner and with respect for the animals. This care and attention to detail turns Townsend Galloways into the beef which is impossible to find anywhere else.

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