Star Brand Beef ~ Year One Recap!

☆ September 13, 2012

First off, I now know why middle-men exist. Organizing and coordinating this first run was about three times as much work as I was expecting ~ and I was anticipating a lot. I’ve spent the last month catching up on everything that fell by the wayside this summer, hence my blog slacking of late. But it was so worth it. The reviews have been pouring in and they, too, exceeded my expectations:

“The beef is UNREAL. I grilled up some New York steaks and could cut them with a butter knife. I have never tasted beef like this. Ever. Bravo.”

“We have been buying sides [of beef] for a long time and this is the best ever.”

“Star Brand Beef is the best beef I have ever eaten! I’m not a great cook so I know it’s not my cooking skills but the actual meat :-) It was incredibly tender, flavorful and juicy. I only used a little bit of salt and pepper to season it, that was it.”

“Been to some high end steak houses but this was THE best steak I’ve ever had. Seasoned with salt and pepper only. Wow.”

“I have to say, this beef is incredible tasting. And this whole process has made me much more conscious of the meat industry.”

Star Brand Beef is what a hamburger is all about. Spouse saysit’s the only beef he’ll eat from now on.”

“We grilled up a package of hamburger on Saturday night. They were unbelievable! It makes you wonder how it’s possible that we’ve been duped for so long into eating the tasteless stuff in grocery stores. I’ve been so thrilled with this whole experience…”

Healthy beef, humanely raised, better for the environment, and it’s delicious beyond words! Hurrah!

When we were loading Bethany’s truck, a number of local ranchers found reasons to “happen by” and watch. Word has spread around the area and I have a list of ranchers who want to talk with me and learn more about what I’m doing. This excites me so much ~ for this is how large-scale transformation of the industry and feedlot system (which is intimately linked with GMO corn and soy) can eventually take place.

In regards to the future: I’ll be spending the winter figuring out next year’s route, and the years beyond that. In addition to those in the East who patiently waited out this year, I’ve heard from a number of customers on the west coast who are hoping I’ll deliver West again next year, too. Hearing from you will help me enormously. I am putting together a mailing list, and info for next year’s sales will go out to this list before I make it public on the blog. If you’d like to get on this list, please email me with your name and city and state. If you have an idea of how much you’d like to order (whole, half, or quarter), that info will also help me plan for the future. I won’t be sending out many emails to this list and certainly won’t consider these emails from you as set-in-stone orders, rather, it’s information gathering so I can try to make everyone as happy as possible.

THANK YOU so much for your patience, support, and enthusiasm!


39 Responses to “Star Brand Beef ~ Year One Recap!”

  1. Torchy
    September 13th, 2012 @ 11:26 am

    I know how swamped you’ve been, but I’ve missed you.

  2. Janet in Cambridge
    September 13th, 2012 @ 11:38 am

    I am vegan, but if you can do anything to improve the lives of farmed animals, it can only be a good thing.

  3. PGL
    September 13th, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

    I initially read “middle aged men.” Was totally looking forward to the answer.

    This is an amazing thing you are doing. Someday when I am not living alone and in an apartment I would love to order from you.

  4. Mareike Kuypers
    September 13th, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

    Oh Shreve,
    While this whole post made me happy, this made me happiest:

    “When we were loading Bethany’s truck, a number of local ranchers found reasons to “happen by” and watch. Word has spread around the area and I have a list of ranchers who want to talk with me and learn more about what I’m doing. This excites me so much ~ for this is how large-scale transformation of the industry and feedlot system (which is intimately linked with GMO corn and soy) can eventually take place.”

    Yay! What a wonderful reminder that one person can make a difference.

  5. Farmgirl Susan
    September 13th, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

    Congratulations! There’s nothing like hearing from customers that your meat is the best they’ve ever tasted. What you are doing is wonderful beyond words.

    One quick question – what is the average live weight of your steers at processing? Thanks! :)

  6. shreve
    September 13th, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

    FS ~ I don’t know, I didn’t weigh them. Average hanging weight was 850, so about double that.

  7. LJ
    September 13th, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

    You are inspirational beyond words on a daily basis! So Happy & excited to see what’s to come :-)

  8. Farmgirl Susan
    September 13th, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

    I thought they must have been big boys. :) Thanks. Again, congratulations!

  9. Paula
    September 13th, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    I am THRILLED that this has been a success for you!! Congratulations!! I am one of the “trying desperately to be patient” east coasters who is still very much interested in participating when you branch out here. It’s just my husband and I, so we’d go for a quarter unless we can persuade friends and family to participate. We’re in CT if that helps your planning at all.

  10. Felyne
    September 13th, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

    This is so fantastic, Shreve you’re making people take the red pill and break free from the Matrix!

    Being from New Zealand I could never eat the meat in the United States – it tastes.. not like meat to me. And I don’t trust it. If I had meat it was from Wholefoods organic.

    But, I’ve relocated my US husband to New Zealand and he’s struggling to adapt to the meat here, he complains it tastes ‘gamey’. I’m not sure what saddens me more, that he’s been so programmed to not know the real taste of meat, or that he doesn’t like it.

    What scares me at the moment is how long before they start manipulating the organic industry, I know some of it is already happening. The only real food you know you’re eating is the stuff you grow yourself. To me, it’s wrong people should live in that sort of fear.

  11. Rhea
    September 13th, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

    So happy to hear about your success! Very well deserved to say the least.

    I’m with PGL – I read “middle-aged men” too!! Hahahaha

    I will be in Nevada when the next round of shipments are available and I will definately be ordering if you go west again. (and I HOPE you do!)

  12. dani
    September 13th, 2012 @ 4:11 pm are an amazing woman..I love all that you do to make a change in this crazy world. You are an inspiration..=}

  13. annbb
    September 13th, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

    Totally support what you are doing and hope it catches on BIG TIME all across the country. The circle of life demands that all the “participants” be happy. And a happy cow makes happy beef. Thank you for treating/loving your cows beautifully.

  14. Lesley
    September 13th, 2012 @ 8:08 pm

    Yes I support transforming feedlots and industrialized farming practices. I know you will be a wonderful influence, Shreve. You are a teacher.

  15. mlaiuppa
    September 13th, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

    I was waiting for a feedback post.

    Yes, the flavor is phenomenal. I never want to eat any other meat. I thawed two steaks and took them to my parents the Sunday after it was delivered and they were excellent. I’ve already had hamburgers and am having another one tonight.

    As soon as the weather starts to cool I am going to thaw some bones and stew meat and make stock and some beef and barley soup. After that….chili.

    Anyone up for sharing recipes?

    I was worried I wouldn’t be able to make it last and would have to go meatless until 2014. But if you’re considering allowing the West Coast a delivery next year you can count me in.

    I think it’s wonderful that you are not deterred after the experience and are moving forward. I am also very excited that your neighbors are considering joining you. You are right. This grassroots effort is a way to break the stranglehold of GMO corn and soy, CAFOs, etc.

    If more people could taste this beef, they’d eat nothing else. A little more expensive? Simple. You eat less. (We eat way too much meat as it is.) It’s a treat, not a daily occurrence. Makes it special and you treat it with more respect. I still thank the cow every time before I eat.

  16. Amanda
    September 13th, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

    What an awesome thing, and the feedback sounds excellent. I wish there was something like this available in Australia.

  17. rockrat
    September 13th, 2012 @ 11:49 pm

    This is really amazing how an artful blog can leverage a hobby into a business. It’s really heartwarming to see good intentions get rewarded so well through artful creativity.

    I’ve been a bit baffled by how some kids want to make a career from blogging. Now I think I get it.

    Keep up the good work.

  18. DFM
    September 13th, 2012 @ 11:55 pm

    This is wonderful to read about! I’m glad that your neighbouring ranchers were so interested in this, because this is the sort of thing that NEEDS to be spread. I’m hoping that someday you will have a team of affiliate ranchers and farmers under the Star Beef Brand, people who all raise and care for livestock the same way you do and distribute the meat to areas you can’t easily reach. (I’m one of the East Coast crowd who would LOVE to get my hands on some grass-fed, raised-with-love beef.) You can’t feed the entire world with one little herd, after all! :D

    Definitely joining the mailing list–maybe someday I’ll be able to get in on this!

  19. DFM
    September 13th, 2012 @ 11:57 pm

    *LOL* Got my Brands and Beefs reversed. But I guess it would read a little weirdly if I’d typed “Star Brand Beef brand”!

  20. Laura
    September 14th, 2012 @ 8:20 am

    I’ve emailed you my info. My husband is what I call a “meat guy” — he plans every meal around the meat. And he grew up on wild game (his dad was a professional hunter and trapper), so he knows good meat, and he is intrigued with the story of your meat and how good it is. Here’s hoping it all works out for the East Coast next year! And here’s also hoping that some of your neighbors start adopting your ethical practices; you’ve had quite an impact on that little community, haven’t you? That’s what happens when someone with true convictions decides to try something different and not just do the same-old same-old because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

  21. Linda Lu
    September 14th, 2012 @ 8:43 am

    I’m in North Western Illinois, and we definitely want to get in on your next shipment that comes Eastward! We are so looking forward to it.
    Love reading about your experiences and all the great pictures of Charlie, Chloe, Eli and the rest of your Farmily. Keep up the great work. Love it.

  22. PatH
    September 14th, 2012 @ 10:31 am

    I want to thank Erin in San Jose for allowing me to join in her order since I have a small freezer. Ten pounds wasn’t enough after tasting it! Really an incredible flavor that becomes a spiritual experience knowing it came from a source of caring and a compassionate land practice.

    Heading to S. Calif. I sadly pass a huge cattle ranch, cows packed together eating grain, standing on hard dirt or in mud fenced in along the highway. My cat always awakes from sleep and yowls passing by from the stench. I offer metta “may you be free and healthy” but now I can add “live your next lifetime in Wyoming with Shreve and Mike and the gang.” For many years I could not eat meat until the pasture fed ranchers emerged.

    In N. Calif. there are several ranchers who advertise grass fed beef/lamb/pork/chicken. I visited some of the ranches with a Nourishing Traditions group and talked to ranch owners at farmers markets. I found a few owners finish off the beef on grain during the last few months to fatten them up but still take the high “grass fed” price. I know from experience the pasture finished Star Brand Beef makes a big difference in taste and flavor.

    So Bless you Shreve and Mike for not only creating an ethical and sustainable venture but also for providing a nourishing food source and creating a model of a fair business practice and treating those cows with compassion.

    Maybe that Ted guy can lease you more land and you can show him a thing or two!

  23. Liane Bennett
    September 14th, 2012 @ 10:52 am

    I’m not computer-savvy enough to know why I can’t send an email to you (error msg said something about not finding the correct server…whatevah), but I live in West Richland, WA (southeastern side of the state) and would be interested in a quarter next year. Thank you!

  24. Niki
    September 14th, 2012 @ 11:05 am

    I dream of being able to afford my own land to raise/grow my own food. Wish you were here in Canada! You should add links for savy meat choices from all around so all the people you can’t reach have an idea of where they could go. Good job!

  25. carmel
    September 14th, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

    Tried to email you but ran into problems…live in Chicago, Ill…count me in if you visit this area next year…family and friends very interested too.

  26. Diane Brown
    September 14th, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

    From coyotes to cows…you are making a difference in this sad old world. Thank you.

  27. Farmer Lady
    September 14th, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

    You Go Girl !!!
    Teach that Industry!
    You give me hope for them.
    May they be eager to learn…

    If my neighbor didn’t raise Organic free-range grass-fed beef that I already partake of, I would have been one of your first customers.

    I’m so glad you are educating all on what beef should be like!

  28. CathyA
    September 15th, 2012 @ 11:56 am

    About the neighbors dropping by……….this is the way real change happens. When a few brave farmers tried no-till corn years ago, the neighbors drove by all growing season to check on it. Minds were changed by what they saw.

    Congratulations to you Shreve.

  29. christine
    September 15th, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

    Just got back from a college football tailgate. I made a chuckroast in a dutch oven, cooking with hatch chillies, some stock, garlic and crushed tomatoes, baked for 4 hours at 300 degrees and then flaked with a fork…This made some pretty tasty little sandwiches. I started with a big chuck roast almost five pounds, i have about 12 ounces left…so lots of questions about the Star brand…It was to die for.

  30. Heather
    September 16th, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

    “When we were loading Bethany’s truck, a number of local ranchers found reasons to “happen by” and watch. Word has spread around the area and I have a list of ranchers who want to talk with me and learn more about what I’m doing.”

    This made me tear up a little bit. Awesome on you for doing your part to change the world for the better.

  31. Holly
    September 17th, 2012 @ 8:58 am

    Gosh, I wish you could ship to Canada as well, but I certainly understand the costs, plus the aggravation at the border, etc. would love to taste meat that melts in your mouth, without it being marinated in something. Keep up the good work, and hugs to all of the farmily….

  32. Holly
    September 17th, 2012 @ 8:59 am

    Gosh, I wish you could ship to Canada as well, but I certainly understand the costs, plus the aggravation at the border, etc. would love to taste meat that melts in your mouth, without it being marinated in something. Keep up the good work, and hugs to all of the farmily…..

  33. kelli
    September 17th, 2012 @ 9:03 am

    those neighbors know in their hearts that the way they raise their cattle isn’t good enough. and i would imagine that the bigger corps and feedlots etc have been squeezing and maneuvering them for years now, and they are at a place where they are desperate enough to try something new.
    I live in a ranching community and we have a handful of grass fed beef farms. more and more ranchers are opting for this. I didn’t eat beef for 10 years because of how it is raised, not just the inhumanity of it, but the disease etc in the lots. since I moved here, I have gradually included local beef back into my diet.
    this past saturday my little town had its 3rd annual beef n brew, a celebration of beef and a festival of beer. it was amazing, and clear, which meat was store bought and which was locally raised. kudos to you.
    such a lot of wonderful things in your life these days.who would have imagined all this when you were starting out on your moped for the east coast, all those yrs ago.

  34. Monica Platz
    September 20th, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    Please add me to the list of those in Northeast Illinois who would LOVE to get in on your next shipment going east! Can’t wait!

  35. Cheryl Dunkin
    September 20th, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

    Girl we are loving our Beef, we are in for next year for sure and we want a 1/4….

  36. Nola
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 11:45 am

    The liver. OMG, the liver! It’s the best liver I’ve ever tasted. I guess not being laced with antibiotics and Ivomectrin and toxins from eating grain makes a huge difference. The beef is wonderful, but I’ve had pastured beef before, so I wasn’t surprised about the taste. But the liver is just amazing.

  37. CK
    September 23rd, 2012 @ 4:40 am

    In CNY here – just outside of Rochester. We’d be interested, I couldn’t find a price list, but I might be able to split between households as even the smallest order would take over my fridge, lol.

  38. Lee
    September 30th, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

    Will you also be anti wolf like the ranchers? I sure hope not!

  39. Tracy
    November 11th, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

    The language used here is very confusing. You can’t raise beef and you can’t feed beef. You raise and feed cows. These cows are killed, their bodies are cut into pieces and ‘they’ – who no longer exist – are transformed into beef.

    I think this kind of ranching is better than traditional practices these days which are absolutely atrocious, but you should never overlook the fact that you are still killing a living animal. I still wish that Shreve had stayed with the cows when they were killed. This seems like such a betrayal. Does she know that they were not terrified, that they did not experience pain as they died having their throats slit?

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