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Chipotles created a frenzy amongst Texas beef producers with their advertising campaign.

The Denver-based restaurant chain Chipotles Mexican Grill opened a restaurant in Amarillo with the announcement that they serve wholesome grass-fed beef from Australia. Food with Integrity is their motto. That press release absolutely blew up social media in our area with promises to boycott, along with the Texas Agriculture Commissioner weighing in on the matter.

So why are Texans so passionate about their beef?

fall weaning casey The metro-plex of Amarillo is located in the heart of the Texas Panhandle, once dominated by historic ranches such as the T Anchor, LS and XIT. About 45 minutes away is the community of Hereford, which is known as the Beef Capital of the World. Around 1.5 million head reside in Hereford and in the immediate surrounding area.

The Texas Panhandle is comprised of energetic, friendly folk living within communities which are surrounded by plowed fields and range pasture stretching for miles. In a discussion with our UPS driver, who is from New Jersey, he can’t get over the feeling of isolation. It’s hard for people to understand that these towns are separated by miles of what most people think of as nothing. There’s a lot of work going on off of the paved black top. We produce beef cattle, dairy cattle, pigs, sheep, oil and natural gas, thriving farm crops like wheat, cotton, plus all of the service industries that go along besides. You get the picture; working hard, loving life, and eating juicy beefsteak. Texas has more cattle (89.9 million head) than the Rocky Mountain high state has people (5.356 million) and even Australia (23.13 million people). The good thing about this hullabaloo is that Chipotles has definitely opened the dialogue about where our meat comes from. branding 003 2013

I can’t speak for every ranch, but I can tell you about our cattle operation.

We participate in a hormone free, age verified, certification program. We guarantee that our 600+ calves spend their entire life on the same grass where they are born, or “dropped”. Every calf is assigned a numbered ear tag which is put on during spring branding. If for any reason an animal received antibiotics (due to colds or infections), the ear tag number is notated in the official herd record and that calf is not sold with the bunch. He’s sorted out from the group at fall gathering. april red angus 2014 085.2 The cattle buyer is assured that our babies at fall shipment are grass fed and have remained on our ranch their entire lives. At the feedlot, they’re fed for a few months, maybe longer. The heifers might go on to stock another ranch. The steers are trucked again to a processing plant, many times for a specific customer such as a grocery chain, restaurants, or even to fill orders for world class resorts, as is the case of our beef. Texas Panhandle beef has the potential of being consumed in fine eating establishments all over the world.

There’s always paperwork, assuring that cow’s number can be traced back to the ranch of origin. The physical location of our ranch and our herd is inspected, as well as our office where records are kept. As a Texas Angus beef producer, the people employed by our ranch are committed to the humane treatment of the ranch’s’ livestock and to make sure our pastures are not over grazed. The needed mineral blocks and winter feed grasses are natural, healthy and nutritious. The results are optimal conditions for our base herd of mommas.

Bull genetics is studied extensively. Bulls are purchased based on their ability to produce a herd of strong, healthy babies. Selective genetics and healthy momma cows are the future of our herd. We’re proud to live and raise beef in the Texas Panhandle.

As an added note, while I haven’t eaten at either place, according to word on the street the locally owned Sharkey’s Burrito on Georgia continues to hold the #1 spot as the absolute best in town.

Thank you for supporting Texas Beef Producers!

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