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The Whole Process of Oak Barn Beef

July 26, 2020

The Whole Process of Oak Barn Beef

We get asked a lot how the whole process of Oak Barn Beef works! How fun it is to dive in and answer that question. If you want to read how our family farm produces premium beef, that is dry aged by a local small town butcher, this blog post is for you! Here's a summary:

  1. Live Cattle
  2. Corn & Grass Hay-Fed Diet
  3. USDA Inspected Butcher
  4. Store the Beef at Our Farm
  5. Sell the Beef on OAKBARNBEEF.COM
  6. Shipping The Beef to Customers
  7. Happy Customers Enjoying Great Beef!

About Our Process:

  • Live Cattle
    • Oak Barn Beef purchases live cattle to transition into our beef program. We typically purchase these cattle at weaning time, but sometimes they are older than this! Oak Barn Beef purchases the cattle from Hannah's family farm or one other family farm in Nebraska that have the same priorities and premium genetics as we do.
    • We DNA Test the cattle to see their carcass traits. By doing this test, we can tell the tenderness gene and marbling gene (& a lot more genes!) to see which cattle are going to produce the BEST BEEF.
  • Corn & Grass Hay-Fed Diet
    • The majority of cattle spend the majority of their lives on grass! Ours included. They graze green pastures or are fed grass hay in the winter for many months. In Nebraska, we have to supplement with grass hay in the winter to make sure they have enough to eat, especially when it snows.
    • When the cattle reach adolescence, we transition them to a corn-fed diet with grass-hay at free choice. Both of these are essential to the well-being of the cattle and the quality of beef.
    • We put a corn mixed ration in a "self feeder" which means the cattle have access to eat whenever they'd like. They usually go up in the morning and at night. They like to eat during cooler temperatures.
      • Fun fact that's unrelated but interesting: Cattle eat more in the winter, to help keep them warm. They eat less in the summer because they aren't utilizing so much energy to keep their bodies warm!
    • The cattle always have free-choice hay. Cattle have a "ruminant stomach," which means they have 4 chambers to their stomachs. They need forage (like hay) to ferment the hay as part of their natural process.
  • USDA Inspected Butcher
    • When the cattle reach market weight, which is approximately 1350 pounds, we seek the help of a USDA inspected butcher. The cattle's market weight ranges based on the size and frame of each individual animal.
    • A USDA Inspected Butcher means that a trained and certified inspector is watching the butchering act to make sure it is humane, safe, and a clean act. This is important to us to make sure our customers get a safe product.
      • Some butchers are State Inspected and not USDA inspected. These are great if you have your own cattle to the butcher or are buying a whole, half, or quarter of beef from a producer - just make sure you pay the butchering (processing) fee to make it a legal transaction.
    • DRY AGING PROCESS: The butcher lets the beef hang for extra days to allow the beef to become more tender and flavorful. This process allows the natural enzymes in the beef to break down the muscle tissue to make it a more premium product.
    • PACKAGING: The butcher cuts the beef into individual cuts and packages it in vacuum-sealed packages. It is then frozen immediately.
  • Store the Beef at Our Farm
    • After the butcher, we bring the beef back to our farm - the same place the animal was raised. We have a walk-in freezer where we store the beef to ensure it is handled safely until it is purchased from a customer.
    • We have a license and inspections done every year by the County Health Department to make sure our facilities meet all guidelines.
  • Sell the Beef on OAKBARNBEEF.COM
    • Customers purchase beef from our family farm at our website. We have bundles available, individual cuts, and a subscription box.
  • Shipping The Beef to Customers
    • Once the beef is purchased by a customer we ship the beef from our family farm directly to their doorsteps! Here's more information on the shipping process - Click Here!
  • Happy Customers Enjoying Great Beef!
    • Our favorite part of the whole process - customers enjoying the product we have been working on for the past 1.5 years!
We promote the safe handling of our products. Here's an insert that goes into our shipping boxes to promote food safety!Safe Handling Beef

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