Premium Beef by Todd Churchill
In the 1980s a fast food chain ran an ad that featured three elderly ladies looking at a hamburger with a huge bun but with a very small beef patty. One of the ladies was the late Clara Peller (1902-1987) who uttered the phrase “Where’s the Beef?” in a gruff almost gravelly voice. The scene went viral before “going viral” had been conceived of and the phrase “Where’s the Beef?” became a national catchphrase.
Today, people might use an amended version of the phrase by saying “What happened to the Beef?” when they sit down to enjoy a steak or hamburger straight off the grill that simply doesn’t taste as good as the beef they remember from their youth. The answer is that most beef today comes from cattle that are fed grain instead of grass, injected with antibiotics, hormones, exposed to pesticides and raised in stressful industrial like cattle farms.
This is Where the Beef Is!
Fortunately, that grass-fed beef with the taste you remember is available through Churchill Reserve ranch, located in the beautiful Sogn Valley near Cannon Falls, Minnesota. The ranch owners are Dee and Todd Churchill who have taken raising grass-fed cattle to an art form.
Todd Churchill does much more than put his cattle into a field of grass and let them graze away until they are ready for the market. Here are just a few things that are done at Churchill Reserve ranch that result in great tasting beef:
- Pasture rotation – The cattle are allowed to graze in a designated area which allows other areas of the pasture to “rest” until the plants are ready for grazing. This protects the soil and allows it to maintain moisture and other nutrients vital for plant growth.
- A low-stress environment for the cattle – Lack of food and water will obviously stress any animal including humans, but cattle stress is caused by overcrowding, pests and insects, temperature extremes and human exposure. Low-stress handling has eliminated the need for antibiotics at Churchill Reserve because as Todd himself says, “I don’t use antibiotics because I don’t have sick cattle….”
- Obtaining the right “finish” – people in the cattle business refer to “finish” as the fat in the beef that makes it taste great. Todd has solved the problem of grass-fed beef not having enough finish compared to grain fed beef by monitoring the combinations of grasses, clovers and soil chemistry that will produce beef with an ideal finish.
- Making the most of the cattle’s sacrifice – It can be said that the purpose of cattle is to be sacrificed to provide food and other byproducts for human use. Churchill Reserve takes great care in how the meat is cut, aged and packaged to create the delicious high-quality steaks and cured smokehouse products.
Easy to Order
Folks in the Twin Cities are the lucky ones who can make the trip to Cannon Falls and pick up the Churchill Reserve beef in bulk quantities to be stored in a freezer, This includes the 24 lb. packages of ground beef packaged loose or in patty form and the 100 lb case of prime packaged meats hand selected for quality and to be easy on your wallet. Just order online using the simple form and then pick up your order at Ferndale Market near the Sogn Valley Farm.
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