By David Esteppe
On the way to interview Jewell and Robert Doering about the new online store for their grass-fed beef, I had to stop the car and put on my emergency flashers. I saw a striking looking kitten in distress on the bridge in Ronceverte. I had traffic stopped in both directions as I calmly approached the kitten, which I intended to take to the vet for shots and then bring home as the new family pet. A kind lady rolled down her window and told me to “leave the bobcat alone or you’ll be getting rabies shots.” I thanked her for the newfound wisdom, and got back in my car and headed to the Sarver farm. Bullet dodged!
I was immediately greeted upon my arrival to the farm. The Doerings knew that I wanted a tour of their beautiful property, with over 200 acres dedicated to best farming practices for raising cattle. We hopped into a pick-up truck and were on our way, driving through field after field of award winning hay producing lands.
We came to the first herd of Galloway cattle grazing in splendor. I forgot about the bobcat, now I wanted one of the calves with the mottled coloring and sweet dispositions. Jewell explained the cows are used to their caregivers, and would warm up to me, and … “yes, you can kiss him if you want to, but that’s poop on his face.”
“Galloway cattle are generally very docile, a most valuable point, and rare to find a bull furious or troublesome.” by William Youatt, researcher and scientist writing on cattle in the early 1800’s as noted in the Sarver Heritage Farm newsletter. And Robert says,” our free-ranged grass-fed beef is low in saturated fat and has almost half the calories of regular grain-fed store brand meat, yet is still juicy, tender and flavorful. I wonder why fast food restaurants and grocery stores do not promote this?
The Galloway crossbreeds raised on Sarver farm are cared for in meticulous ways to ensure a stress free life. This includes the end of the cow’s life. The Doerings make certain the practices of the meat processors include no cattle prods, and a calm humane end to each life as the meat goes in for production and processing. Dying under duress affects the flavor of the meat.
Robert says, “Raising good beef is like wine production.” From choosing the right breeding stock all the way through the packaging process, Sarver Heritage Farm may as well be producing fine wine.
Sarver Heritage Farm’s online store is at www.sarverheritagefarm.com or you may still call 304-647-5482 to purchase and arrange pick-up or delivery of your beef purchases.