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The Beltie Beef Story

Wisconsin is blessed by the beautiful colors of all seasons. There you will find the lush greens of spring and summer, the golden hues of autumn and the pristine white of winter. Wisconsin is also blessed with the kindness, gentleness and intelligence of its population, imbued with a strong work ethic, a dedication to traditional family values, and, yes, (to borrow a phrase from our Minnesota neighbor) …”the children are above average… every single one of them”. These are the types of families that not only care about the quality of food they eat, but care equally about the quality of the food they produce. So, it is not surprising that Wisconsin is one of the leading regions of the U.S. in the production of certified organic and all-natural foods. 

Nestled in Central Wisconsin, Milladore is a farming community of 268 people. Here an imaginative family combined their skills in biochemistry, medicine, genetics and nutrition, accounting, law and marketing into an enterprise to produce and market healthy Belted Galloway beef of the highest quality. They converted a conventional dairy farm into a sophisticated beef operation to meet this goal. For a brief farm tour, visit the Caldwellfarms.com website.

Michael and Lorna Caldwell from Caldwell Farms formed Beltie Beef, LLC, to provide a vertically integrated corporate structure.  Beltie Beef takes advantage of the unusual grass-fed genetics and tools for marker-assisted Belted Galloway selection available at Caldwell Farms, coupled with the Caldwell’s expertise in management intensive grazing and grass finishing to produce fine grass fed beef primal cuts and certified organic sausage.  Beltie Beef contracts with a USDA certified, Certified Organic processor for beef processing and markets beef products both directly and through the internet.

Why Belted Galloway Cattle?  

Central Wisconsin winters are cold. Most cattle breeds adapt to winter by adding a thick layer of body fat for insulation. The Belted Galloway grows an additional hair coat in winter getting to 4000 hairs per square inch. This coat provides such efficient insulation to keep body heat in that the snows of Wisconsin will not even melt on their back. Thus the animal is comfortable in the cold and does not lay down the excessive back fat found in other breeds.

The Belted Galloway originated in the region surrounding Galloway, Scotland, an area known to be cold and damp. The animal is thought to be a cross between the beef producing, Galloway and the effective milk-producing. Dutch Belted. Thus this animal provides good beef production, little excess body fat, and superb milk production to allow healthy, happy calves. In addition the animal is naturally polled, gentle and the cows are known to be great mothers.

Therefore, this animal becomes an excellent choice for beef production in Central Wisconsin.

Why Certified Organic Beef?

There continues to be a growing interest in the U.S. in the safety of our food products. As more health problems are linked to the use of practices of the food industry that place the quality of food products in jeopardy, customers have begun to seek products that assure healthy food production and the avoidance of harmful production practices. In 2003, the USDA formalized this process with published national standards for organic beef production. These standards assure that the animals are raised humanely and in an environment that is free of agrichemicals, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. They also require documentation of the life history of the animal from birth to slaughter. These practices should provide the safest, healthiest beef product for the consumer. This is Certified Organic Beef and is Beltie Beef’s premier product. To produce Beltie Beef there are several important steps: first the land used to produce the feed for the animal must be free of herbicides, pesticides and other hazardous agrichemicals for 3 years prior to producing the feed for these animals. Second, the animal must spend the last 3 months of gestation and all of its life on this land. Third, the animal cannot receive any antibiotics or hormones throughout its entire life. As an example, if a new calf receives just an antibiotic drop in an eye for treatment of pinkeye, it cannot be certified as organic even if it receives no hormones, no other antibiotics and is raised on completely organic feed its entire life. Finally the animal’s entire life history must be carefully documented and those records are inspected along with the farm and its operating principals annually or intermittently, by unannounced inspections.

Thus Beltie Beef is Born

The goal  -  combine the right animal, our God-given talents, and a healthful environment to produce the best beef possible for our customers. We feel privileged to produce this product. We hope you appreciate and enjoy it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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