Wolf Creek Farm and Polyface are both grass fed beef producers located in Central Virginia. I think the beef from Wolf Creek Farm is better than Polyface. One reason is taste. Another reason is that Wolf Creek Farm slaughters animals with more fat. I view skinny cattle as being a sign of suboptimal health.
One difference between the two is that Polyface does not do lime supplements. In parts of the country which are warm and/or have sufficient rainfall, the minerals leech out of the soil. Some farmers add lime which suppiles calcium to the soil. In Virginia, the soil tends to be deficient in magnesium, also. So Wolf Creek farm adds dolomite lime (calcium and magnesium) to the soil.
Another difference between the two is Polyface practices mob grazing and Wolf Creek Farm uses a rotational grazing and then bush hogs the pastures to prevent overgrowth. My thinking is that mob grazing forces cattle to eat lower quality pasture. Salatin, I think, likes mob grazing because he views the trampled pasture as returning organic material to the soil. I am not clear on the advantages and disadvantages on each grazing style.
A final difference between the two is Polyface will buy cattle to raise and sell while all of Wolf Creek Farm's cattle come from births on the farm. Wolf Creek Farm uses selection to improve their herd.
I am not posting this to praise Wolf Creek Farm or tear down Polyface, but rather to spark a discussion on how different cattle raising methods affect nutrition. There is a common perception that grass fed beef is leaner than regular beef. Based on the example of Wolf Creek Farm, I don't think that is necessarily true.
asked byJRM (448)
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