The Beltie Beef Story
Nestled in Central Wisconsin, in a farming community of 268 people, an imaginative family combined their skills in biochemistry, medicine, genetics and nutrition, accounting, law and marketing into an enterprise to produce and market healthy Belted Galloway beef of the highest quality. They converted a conventional dairy farm into a sophisticated beef operation to meet this goal. Michael and Lorna Caldwell from Caldwell Farms formed Beltie Beef, LLC, to provide a vertically integrated corporate structure. Beltie Beef takes advantage of the unusual grass-fed genetics and tools for marker-assisted Belted Galloway selection available at Caldwell Farms, coupled with the Caldwell’s expertise in management intensive grazing and grass finishing to produce fine grass fed beef primal cuts and certified organic beef summer sausage.
Why Belted Galloway Cattle? Central Wisconsin winters are cold, and while most cattle breeds adapt to winter by adding a thick layer of body fat for insulation, the Belted Galloway grows an additional hair coat in winter. This coat provides such efficient insulation to keep body heat in, that the snows of Wisconsin will not even melt on their back. Thus the animal is comfortable in the cold and does not lay down the excessive back fat found in other breeds.
There continues to be a growing interest in the U.S. in the safety of our food products. As more health problems are linked to the use of practices of the food industry that place the quality of food products in jeopardy, customers have begun to seek products that assure healthy food production and the avoidance of harmful production practices. In 2003, the USDA formalized this process with published national standards for organic beef production. These standards assure that the animals are raised humanely and in an environment that is free of agrichemicals, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones, and also require documentation of the life history of the animal from birth to slaughter. This is Certified Organic Beef and is Beltie Beef’s premier product. To produce Beltie Beef there are several important steps: first the land used to produce the feed for the animal must be free of herbicides, pesticides and other hazardous agrichemicals for 3 years prior to producing the feed for these animals. Second, the animal must spend the last 3 months of gestation and all of its life on this land. Third, the animal cannot receive any antibiotics or hormones throughout its entire life.
Thus Beltie Beef was born with the goal to combine the right animal, our God-given talents, and a healthful environment to produce the best beef possible for our customers. We feel privileged to produce this product. We hope you appreciate and enjoy it.