We don’t see animals as commodities to be injected with growth hormones and force-fed unnatural diets in confined feedlots — where conditions are so crowded and unsanitary that large doses of preventative antibiotics are standard practice.
Instead, we recognize that cattle evolved to roam in open spaces, grazing on grass and green forages. They have dynamic social structures, group hierarchies, and behavior patterns that need to be respected. Between grazing, cattle need time and a comfortable place in the shade to ruminate and digest their grass. If stressed, they will purge themselves of feed, and lose a day’s worth of grazing. In short, cattle require a lot of care and attention to raise in a natural and healthy way.
That attention starts with care for our soils and pastures. In fact, it would be more accurate to describe us as grass farmers and graziers, rather than cattlemen. Without good soils and grasses, we have nothing.
We understand that as we convert grass into beef, we are removing nutrients from our soils. These nutrients must be replenished, but in a natural way. We prefer to use organic foliar fertilizers, effective micro organisms, and occasionally an application of organic compost. This is expensive and produces only a fraction of plant growth as inorganic fertilizer. But we feel we’re taking better long-term care of the soil, and producing a healthier forage for our cattle.
We also apply the same level of care and attention to our beef. To make a truly exceptional steak, it needs to be aged. The industry ages its meat in a way that gives them the biggest profit rather than the best-tasting beef. We prefer the traditional aging method, which is much more costly to do, but produces a more succulent, flavorful steak.
For us, it’s all about craftsmanship. We are of the opinion that life is short. And if something is worth doing, then do it the absolute best way you possibly can. Be proud of it. Make it your legacy. That’s why, at Hacienda Sur, we produce what we call “artisan beef.”