Jun 28, 2021
Top Grass Cattle Co.
Common questions and answers
Grass Fed- never given grain
Free Range- never confined to a feedlot
Local- raised in Canada (Western Canada)
No added hormones or antibiotics
1. Where is your Ranch?
Top Grass Cattle Co. began at our ranch near Drumheller, Ab. We have grown beyond our own herd and now work with other ranchers in Canada that raise cattle in accordance to our protocol that is audited on an annual basis. Our animals roam during the spring, summer and fall on native prairie and tame grasses. The landscape is one of deep coulees, rolling hills, creeks, big blue skies and grass as far as you can see. In the winter, our animals are fed on pastures so they are able to express their true nature while eating a diet of various stored forages harvested from the summer.
2. What is the difference between Grain fed and Grass fed?
Eating grass/forages keeps our cattle’s digestive tract healthy. There have been several studies indicating that once grain is introduced into their system, it changes the health of their digestive track and ultimately changes the composition of the meat. This is one of the reasons, grain fed cattle require antibiotics in their diet. As a result our beef is lower in saturated fats, higher in omega 3 fatty acids and over all is more nutritionally dense meat. See website at “ topgrass.ca/grass-fed/ “ for more information
3. How can you have grass fed animals in Canada’s snowy climate?
We harvest the same top quality grasses/forages the animals eat in the summer at their nutritional peak and store for our animals in the winter providing top quality feed all year round. These forages are stored in the form of hay bales, haulage, silage, or pelleted. We use a variety of forages that include kale, forage turnip, forage sorghum, clovers, brassicas, vetch, various cereals and legume crops in the vegetative state.
4. Why is Grass Fed Beef more expensive?
Because our cattle are not fed grain to fatten them up fast in a feedlot, they live to be almost 30-100 % longer than conventional grain fed animals. Our animals are processed at between 20 – 32 months of age compared to 13- to 24 months for most other beef. Extra feed and care for the animals are required making it more costly to produce.
The result however is a very healthy, clean, delicious beef to enjoy.
Our feeding and animal care protocol is much more involved then commodity beef along with the cost of third party auditing. We have to prove our animals do not have any antibiotics, added hormones or were fed grain. These audits and time consuming and costly
We also process our animals at a much smaller plant (less than 150 head per day vs. 4000 head per day at the larger plants). These economies of scale make our processing costs substantially higher than commodity beef. They do however take extra time and care per animal to do a great, safe job
5. Do you cook Grass Fed the same as Grain Fed beef?
Grass fed beef requires about 30% less cooking time then conventional grain fed beef. Grass fed beef is leaner and richer in healthier fats, which melt quicker at lower temperatures. Lower temperatures or less cooking time is recommended. Check out our website for more cooking tips and great recipes.
6. What is the difference between Organic and Top Grass Cattle Co. Beef?
Organic cattle can still be raised in confined feedlots and are also fed grain. Our beef are raised on Free Range Pastures and forages that have not been sprayed with harmful pesticides or herbicides. They are third party verified to ensure that your animals have lived on free-range pastures and never received antibiotics, added hormones or fed grain.
7. Are your beef processed in a large plant?
No, our beef are processed at a small federally inspected facility in Alberta to ensure proper safety standards are met. The animals are humanely handled and each animal can be traced back to where it was raised.
8. What breed of cattle do you use?
We predominately use Black Angus genetics as there are many great animals to select from in this breed. Having said that, not all animals are the same and not all animals within a breed are the same. We do however focus on those breeds that have a higher probability of producing a high quality beef raised in a grass fed program. We find British Breeds such as Black Angus, Red Angus, Hereford, Speckle Park, Galloway etc. work best. We use ultra sound and gene mapping to help us select the genetics that will give us the best quality meat possible.
9. Are you affiliated with any other organizations?
We work closely with Operation Grasslands, Ducks Unlimited, Cows and Fish and other groups with the intention to preserve and protect various species of wildlife and the land they inhabit. These organizations provide various resources and knowledge in helping us understand those species at risk and what we can do to facilitate in promoting and protecting their well being. We are also members of REAP. (Respect Earth and all People) and Localize.
Top Grass Cattle Co. Objective
Our objective is to provide beef raised locally by means of treating our animals with the utmost care and respect, while rejuvenating our soils through proper grazing management systems that provide our customers with nutrient dense food that is a great eating experience supporting good health.
For more information visit out website at www.topgrass.ca
Email- email@example.com or by phone at 403-242-5530
Ray and Nancy Nolan are partners in life and business. They both graduated cooking college, Ray in Ireland and Nancy at SAIT in Calgary.
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