Ask someone with Longhorns why they own them and beef is not usually the first answer they give. Their horns, hides and history often top the list along with their gentle nature. History, how- ever, portrays Longhorns as an important resource for one reason – the demand for beef. While selling Longhorn beef is nothing new, today’s market is experiencing increased consumer demand for naturally raised agricultural products. Longhorn breeders venturing to sell Longhorn beef still face challenges developing a local market for their product. There is a misconception, partly due to the wild history of Longhorns and their nature, that Longhorn beef is tough and dry. Other breeds have eclipsed the naturally lean and slower gaining Longhorns as a source of beef. Education can overcome preconceived notions – there is ample testimony to the flavor and tender juiciness of Longhorn beef once you adapt to cooking it properly. However, the nutritious benefits outweigh any extra time or care in preparing it for most consumers. Profit can be made, as quite a few Longhorn breeders report success in developing a customer base, with some creat- ing more demand than they can supply. We recently did a survey and followed up with Longhorn breeders who chose to speak further about their beef programs for this look at Longhorn beef today. The beauty of building a market for Longhorn beef is it complements any breeding program. It offers a way to afford to retain your best while culling the rest, and hopefully, make some money in the process.
NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF LONGHORN BEEF
Beef is the number one source of protein, zinc and B12, and the third best source of iron in the food supply. You’d have to eat 12 cans of tuna to get the equivalent amount of zinc in one 3 oz. serving of beef. It takes seven chicken breasts to equal the Vitamin B12 in one 3 oz. serving of beef. Beef, a good source of Selenium, provides 20-30% of the recommended daily allowance for men and women. Recent research found the selenium may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer (such as prostrate) as well as enhancing the body’s ability to fight infections. “Lean beef is good for you and the key word is “Lean”... A heart patient can eat steak every meal if it is in the right proportions. Registered Longhorn meat, on the average, contains 10% less saturated fat than that of other cattle. That puts lean Registered Longhorn Beef on par with skinned boneless white meat of chicken and that fact may come as a surprise to many dieticians.” Dr. Joseph Graham, former Cardiovascular Surgeon at St. John’s Medical Center in Joplin, MO, and Longhorn breeder.
If the source of the beef is 100% grass-fed the nutrition impact is even better. Omega-3s and B6 are abundant when cattle are fed on grain-free diets, which many Longhorn owners are choosing to do. Even if you choose not to sell the beef, utilizing it to feed family and friends is a good alternative for removing unwanted animals from your herd. Survey participant Jim Pruett of Pauls Valley, OK shares that he never intended to get into beef sales, but his heart doctor actually got it started. “I have two stents and the heart doctor said ‘no red meat’. I showed her the study on heart healthy grass fed Longhorn beef and she wanted my business cards to pass out to her patients. It’s nice to have an outlet besides the sale barn for culls. I sell enough to pay for the processing and a little extra.” The desire for people to keep beef in their diet and to know it’s raised and processed naturally in a healthy environment is growing stronger every day and is creating a need that Longhorn breeders can fulfill.
Source: Trails July 2017 Issue