From Going With the Flow...
...to Changing the Tide
My husband and I are both third generation farmers. Yet, it took me 35 years to say the line out loud, “I am a farmer.”
Growing up, I didn’t want anything to do with farming. In fact, I refused to date my now husband for months, solely because he was a generational ‘farm boy.’ Even after we purchased our farmland and moved onto it, I always said, “My husband farms, not me.” But then life changed.
My father-in-law’s sudden passing in 2016 turned our world upside down. Not only did we lose a guiding light in our family, but we lost the greatest influence in our farming operation as well—he was my husband’s partner and mentor.
In the years since, I’ve watched my husband become the main caretaker of his childhood farm while managing a full-time job and helping homeschool our six kids by teaching them how to work the land. Through his dedicated care of our property and animals, I came to accept that my husband is a farmer. And maybe more significantly, that I too, am a farmer. (There, I said it.)
Then, we decided to get more intentional about the farming game—specifically about grass finishing our cattle, and TLC Beef was born.
Our cattle have always freely roamed our open pastures with very little interruption from us. Grass already made up 99% of their diets. No routine antibiotics. No steroids. No hormones. Hay harvested off our own land sustained them during the winter.
Now, we’ve taken our commitment to clean feeding a step further and wean with only hay and nutrient dense alfalfa. Instead of taking our calves to the sale barn for finishing in feedlots after weaning like most cattle producers, we keep our cattle grazing on our rolling Ozark hills an extra 18 months or so to finish on lush grass.
Sounds simple, right? So why doesn’t every farmer operate as fully grass fed and grass finished?
FACT: All cattle are ‘grass fed’ at some point in their lives. The marketing arm of the USDA withdrew their definition for ‘grass fed,’ leaving it up to the consumer to figure out what’s really in the beef they’re purchasing. And sadly, some farmers play on this fact and promote their beef as ‘grass fed.’ Yet, with a little digging, you’ll find that many ‘grass fed’ producers still grain finished their livestock for the last 90-120 days to increase the weight of their beef, enabling them to sell sooner and get a better market price.
Holding back calves for an extra 18+ months takes financial and operational planning. Since selling cattle is a farmer’s main source of income, it causes many honest, small American farmers to go with the flow using grain supplements to wean and finish. But the tide is changing.
As a nation, we are waking up to the negative effects of what we put in our bodies—all the chemicals, unnecessary by-products, and toxins. As the price of healthcare skyrockets, it’s time to get back to the basics and fuel our bodies naturally, the way God intended.
Our mission is to provide wholesome, nutritious, real grass finished beef to our family and yours, while blazing a trail for other small American farmers to do the same. What we put inside our bodies makes a difference from the inside out—and our commitment to providing truly grass fed beef is our way of making a difference for you.
“from our farm to your family”~ The Tarvin Family