It’s true – we don’t eat the beef we raise. I know it seems strange – shocking even – that we don’t eat the beef we raise, but we don’t. That is unless we inadvertently buy it at the grocery store.
I mean, it seems like a safe assumption. And many do assume we eat the beef we raise, that is until I mention buying beef in conversation or on social media. The response I get usually goes something like this…
“Wait. If you live on a ranch and raise beef, why do you buy beef at the store?”
Valid question. And one that I’m always happy to answer.
The answer is that we do not own the ranch we live and work on or the cattle we care for on the daily. We do make many of the management decisions here, but marketing is not one of them. All the calves we raise here, that don’t stay and become part of the reproductive herd, all leave the ranch and go on to a feed yard.
And while we do own a small herd in partnership with Mr FFB’s folks, we are absentee owners, which means my father-in-law manages the day-to-day care and operations. And in that case, it’s more economical for us to sell all the calves than it is to keep and finish one for ourselves.
So, we buy our beef from our favorite butcher or the grocery store.
And it works for us.
It may not be “the norm” or what most people assume ranchers do, but it works for us. Just as there isn’t one right way to parent or do life – there isn’t one right way to raise beef or procure it as a rancher.
We have the unique perspective of knowing what it takes to raise beef, and also what it costs to buy it. And I won’t lie, friend – as ranchers we love when cattle prices are good. But as a family that buys beef, we feel it down the road when it comes time to fill the freezer.
Maybe someday it will change. Maybe someday it will make sense for us to finish and eat our own beef. But for now, we’re happy to support our fellow beef farmers and ranchers and buy our beef.