Many people choose to buy farm raised beef because of specific animal welfare expectations. Many choose meats labeled “organic” because they are interested in beef that is raised more humane.
In reality, animal welfare and organic livestock production do not go hand-in-hand. This is worth considering if you are interested in purchasing farm raised beef for the welfare of animals. The term “Certified Organic” is a certified and regulated label. However, although organic certification is responsible for many standards and practices for producers of farm-raised beef, “humanely-raised” is not among the standards. That’s why, here at John Henry’s, we strive to be transparent with you in regards to our animal’s care and treatment. It is important to for you to know your farmer and their farming practices. A label or certification does not guarantee that the animal was raised in a peaceful, happy environment. Choosing to support those who take the animals well being seriously is just as important as the meat itself.
While there are no specific mandates for farm raised beef, the USDA mandates living conditions for organic livestock which include access to an exercise area, shade and indoor shelter, access to pasture, and based on environment, climate, and stage of life. Although we can’t speak for other farmers, we agree and follow these mandates as well. We like to take it a step further doing whatever is necessary to keep our herd healthy and happy. One practice we implement is cow/calf herd ,which means, the mama cows live their lives out on our farm. They are bred by our bull and have 1 calf each year. If the calf is a heifer (girl), she will more than likely stay on our farm to continue to grow our herd. If the calf is a steer (boy), he is raised and finished on our farm until it is time for him to be processed for meat, usually after about 2 years. We choose the cow/calf herd because it is a much more natural environment for the animals. We feel like they are much more at peace and live healthier lives.
There are many benefits to farm raised beef production for humans like fewer antibiotics, pesticides, chemicals, fossil fuel conservation, and water. However, just because something is labeled organic does not mean that is is better when it comes to animal welfare. Again, get to know your farmer and choose those who’s views align with yours.
To learn more about our beef contact us today and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have.