StoneBridge Beef had another record sales year in 2014. Sales were not just higher than 2013 but 30% higher. We added new customers of course but the growth was largely YOU (our existing families and restaurants) who placed larger orders in 2014. For the first time in our 10 year history there were more orders for half beeves than for quarters.
So I appreciate all of you in our “tribe” who spread the word and include your friends, relatives, and others in combined orders. Many of you counter the media publications who propagate the drum beat that “beef as a food item is environmentally troubling as well as generally unhealthy”. It is a case of presenting all beef products using the same uninformed dogma. Beef feedlots, part of the three beef industry giant corporations, are a well-recognized tragedies. Industrial beef as a product is unsustainable. GRASS-FED, PASTURE FINISHED BEEF, HOWEVER, IS A SUPERSTAR OF THE LOCAL FOOD MOVEMENT. The comparison is astonishing!
I would like to comment on our method of processing. In the beef industry freshness is often overlooked as a component of beef flavor. Our relationship with our processor, St. Joseph Meats, does not include storage. It is my job to keep the beef food chain as short as possible by not slaughtering until you place an order. All deliveries are scheduled the same week as the beef is cut and packaged unless you, the customer request a delay. Compare this kind of service with industrial meat with multiple ownership changes while traveling freezer to truck to freezer to truck for months on end. As StoneBridge beef we try our best to go directly from farm to fork.
We are working on a new website for 2015. It will have a “shopping cart” similar to ones you use for ordering other products. Don’t be afraid to call us during site development to place or clarify your orders verbally. We hope it adds to your convenience but retains that “direct from the farm” feel StoneBridge Beef plans to maintain.
Yes, we are excited about 2015 and for now our cattle are experiencing a mild winter. We are continuing to raise our own calves as much as possible rather than buy calves from grass-fed cattle ranchers. A note here about Lester Good, my partner in the stockmanship portion of StoneBridge Beef. Mostly due to his expertise we are getting even more consistent as month to month suppliers of grass-finished beef. Come visit us at our farm and we will show you the production details as well as the beauty of seeing a large number of cattle feeding on a salad bar of grasses.
Mike Stine, owner-farmer, StoneBridge Beef