Where’s the Beef? Right Here at Home
By: Michelle Shooter
Extension Livestock Agent
N. C. Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center
One of the many things that makes Robeson County a special place is the connection we maintain with our local growers and farmers. We have many talented farmers and local producers who sell their products directly to you. If you are looking for more ways to connect with our local meat producers we have a direct marketing beef brochure filled with people from almost every community in our county selling meat that was raised right here in our county by our producers. When you buy local beef, it has been processed at a local USDA- and NCDA-inspected slaughter facility. The meat can even come plastic wrapped just like the meat you find in the stores. The local slaughterhouses have the same regulations as larger slaughterhouses that package meat sold in larger stores.
Many of our local producers have meat that is from different breeds of cattle. We have producers who raise Angus cattle, Angus cattle crossed with other breeds, Charlosis cattle, and Santa Gertrudis cattle. A few producers even cross their Angus cattle with a dairy breed and swear by the meat, saying it has a richer, sweeter taste. Every time I meet with a producer who sells locally, he or she tells me that their beef is the best I have ever tasted, and I can assure you that I have enjoyed every local steak, hamburger, or roast I have had. The different crosses and breeds produce different flavored meat. I think it would be interesting for you to try the different local beef and have a taste for yourself. We even have a local bison producer and you can’t find that in most places!
Buying local products including meat, supports local farms and supports our neighbors who spend their money locally. A win-win for all involved. Also, with local food you become more connected to the farms and farmers around you and appreciate what it takes for food to get from the farm to your fork. We have an all-natural beef company in the Prospect area, Moore Brothers Natural. At their store, you can buy any cut you’re looking for and they have also started selling locally raised chickens.
I mentioned the meat directory earlier. You can call or E-mail the Extension Center and I can get the directory to you. You can contact local producers and buy a quarter, half, or whole cow. You can go in with your neighbors, friends, or family to split the meat. Food prices will continue to rise and I think you’ll be surprised with the satisfaction of buying local meat in bulk from one of our outstanding producers. Most producers will welcome you to their farms, so you can see the quality and conditions for yourself.
As for raising cattle, on January 17 Robeson County will be hosting the 4th Annual Cape Fear Cattle Conference at the South Eastern Agricultural Events Center in Lumberton. Topics include: fence troubleshooting and common cattle diseases. If you have ever thought about getting in the cattle business, this conference is a must. Come learn from vendors, specialists, and local livestock producers.
For more information, please contact Michelle Shooter, Extension Livestock Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, by E-mail at Michelle_Shooter@ncsu.edu, or visit our website at https://robeson.ces.ncsu.edu/.
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