A B C D E F G H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #
Glossary of Terms
100% Grass Fed: The label of last resort for true grass fed beef producers. It means that only grass and hay were fed to the animal during its lifetime. No grain. No silage. No distillers waste. No spoilt candies. Not when weaning. Not when finishing. Not EVER. The animal consumed Grass and other natural forages in fresh or dried form ONLY. Note that this label applies only to diet, not environment or drugs.
Acre: The acre was approximately the amount of land tillable by a yoke of oxen (two oxen, in appropriate harness) in one day. But since few folks own oxen, and even fewer use them to plow, it was decided that an acre was 43,560 sq. ft. (at least in the U.S).
AI (Artificial Insemination, not Artificial Intelligence): Both are technological substitutes for the real thing, and one term can easily be confused for the other. AI is often used in livestock production to avoid the expense and danger associated with having to buy and house a bull, as well as synchronize births so that all calves in that herd are born within a very short time period, which is impossible in nature. Sometimes it is used to gain access to superior genetics that are not otherwise available; semen can be shipped, and with AI one 'exemplary' bull can sire hundreds of thousands of calves. While this system increases certain currently desired traits, it also leads to a loss of genetic diversity in the longer term.
Alfalfa: Perennial forage related to clover. Cattle and deer both love it.
Angus: Originally, a specific line of beef cattle originating in Scotland. They were polled, quite short and well muscled, with a strong maternal instinct; the red or black hair coat grew thick in fall and shed off to a short and shiny summer coat. After many years of being crossed with larger breeds to obtain larger carcasses, few, if any, true Angus remain in the US; even registered Angus are not pure descendants of this line. They are still polled, and still grow a thick winter coat, but in this area of the US, all that the term guarantees is apparently polled black cattle with no white markings from the navel forward. Out west the same applies, but usually with a red coat.
Antibiotics: Chemical compounds administered to either kill bacteria or make the 'environment' (animal) inhospitable to them. They are often fed continually to livestock in an effort to avoid illnesses from poor conditions and to enhance weight gain. Research shows that 90% or more of fed antibiotic is excreted in the animals urine, whereupon it enters the environment. There are many antibiotics in a few different forms on the market for use in this manner. We don't use any of them.Cattle have amazing immune systems of their own, and very rarely need 'help' if given adequate clean space in a low-stress environment. Should an animal become ill or injured, we do call for veterinary assistance; if antibiotics are strongly recommended (we explore options if any exist), we do administer them - but the herd book entry and life course of the animal alters at that point. A Bull or Brood Cow may be retained on the farm, but if the animal is a calf, we remove that calf from our market beef program. It is kept long enough to be healthy, weaned and well past the time for the antibiotic to leave its system according to prescribing information, then it is sold at market.
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Balloon: Death to a calf, because:
1. The way a ruminant's digestive system works bi-directional - they 'wolf down' pounds and pounds of grass without chewing it, then regurgitate it later, chew it up, and swallow it again, when it goes through into another stomach. Remember that four stomach thing?
2. Balloons frequently have a string or ribbon still attached; like any infant, calves are very curious, explore with their mouths, and can't spit it out once they lick at it and get a bit of it in their mouth. Once they lick at it, it's going in unless someone stops it.
3. If a calf eats a balloon with a string on it, the process of bringing up un-chewed grass, chewing and swallowing again often results on the string/ribbon getting wrapped around a portion of the gut lining, which results in strangulating that tissue. The tissue soon dies (think hours) - and so does the calf.
4. Because there is no external sign, and rarely enough time for the vet to arrive (who could not diagnose it anyway), this is an unexplained death - requiring an autopsy. At this point, there's a dead baby bovine, a very distraught mother cow, and a huge vet bill.
5. We find balloons, evidently released by fun loving individuals, in the pastures quite often. Several times we have had to chase down a calf to pull a half eaten balloon from its mouth. Please never release helium balloons. As fun as it may be, they have to come down somewhere, and nowhere is safe.
6. The same process happens with those plastic shopping bags from the grocery. The survival rate there is a bit better, for calves anyway. It's important to let people know that their litter has much larger consequences than just making the roadways ugly.
Band: The process of turning a bull into a steer using a special rubber band & tool; a nonsurgical form of castration.
Barbed Wire: A fencing material that cattle like to rub on.
Barn/Hay Barn: Farm buildings. Barns may be used for sheltering anything from fragile animals to equipment or hay. Nature does not make barns; healthy beef cattle are hardy and do not stay in barns. Hay must be kept dry to maintain its nutritive value, so it does. Ill or injured beef cattle may be temporarily confined to a barn for their own protection, but they don't like it.
Beer Bottle: Glass containers tossed from passing vehicles that often break in our pastures and hay field, causing animal foot injuries and equipment damage.
Beer Can: Metal containers tossed from passing vehicles. If unseen and run over by a Bush Hog, these result in small scraps of metal that older calves may eat. This is called 'Hardware Disease', and is also often fatal, as the sharp edges cut the animals stomach(s).
Beet Sugar: Granulated sugars made from sugar beets. As of 2011, over 95% of sugar beets planted in the US are GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms). We do not use Beet Sugar in any of our products.
Beyond Organic: A term used by actual organic producers to distinguish themselves from certified organic producers, because USDA Organic Certification standards now allow up to 15% non-organic ingredients and a number of non-organic management products. Technically we could make this claim, but find it pretentious and unnecessary.
Biodiesel: Diesel fuel made from vegetable oils. Sadly, not a very viable solution to petroleum as it requires racing or airplane fuel to produce.
Blackleg (Gangraena emphysematosa): Blackleg is a fatal disease of young cattle caused by the bacteria Clostridium chauvoei. The spores of the organism can live in the soil for many years. The bacteria enter the calf by ingestion (mud splashed on grass blades) and then enter the body tissue through small punctures in the mucous membrane of the digestive tract. Only the mucous membrane needs be breached, and grass stems naturally disturb this membrane daily. The animal usually dies in 12 to 48 hours. It has an extremely high mortality rate, and exists in soil throughout the country. We take no chances with this one; thus, we vaccinate against it. It is the only vaccination our calves are given.
Bluegrass: One of many cool season grasses. While it does not make good hay (too short), it creates a durable sod and is a fine pasture grass.
Braise: Braising is cooking in liquid. It allows for longer cooking times, which makes meats that are desirable as 'well-done' more tender without drying. Pot roasts, short ribs, and similar cuts are often best when braised.
Bratwurst: Yummm!! Sausage containing meat and seasonings only; there are no grain based fillers in bratwurst.
Breech Birth: Usually refers to a calf presenting rear legs first; in a complete breech the buttocks are first into the birth canal and nothing 'presents' except a cow in labor for far too long. In normal births, the first thing that presents is the front hooves, facing down. If the hooves are facing up, it indicates that the calf is backward, and these are the rear legs.
Assistance is required to deliver the calf alive, because in that direction the calf's rib cage will crush the umbilicus against the dam's pelvis and suffocate the calf before it can breathe air. Normal birth (from showing feet to 'on the ground') takes one to two hours, with most of that spent delivering the head; in a breech presentation, the calf must be delivered within three minutes of the ribcage contacting the pelvis. She cannot do that without assistance. (see Calf Pulling). This is uncommon, but not rare.
A full breech requires veterinary assistance; the calf must be pushed back out of the birth canal and repositioned for exit; it cannot be extracted in that position and will die.
Broom Sedge: Cattle don't seem to like to eat this grass. Appearance of Broom Sedge in a pasture is an indication that the pasture soil is acidic and needs lime.
BSE (Bovine Spongioform Encephalopathy): BSE, "mad cow disease", is a progressive degenerative disease that affects the central nervous system of cattle. While the cause of BSE is not conclusively determined and there is no known treatment for this fatal disease, prevention is simply a matter of not feeding animal by products to cattle. While one cow imported from Canada was found to have BSE some years back, there have been no known cases of BSE in US born cattle.
Bull: The future of the herd. The big guy. Cause of fear and feature of traveling salesman jokes. A reproductively intact adult male bovine.
Burdock: This close cousin of the thistle produces round burs with hooks that cling to everything. Ironically cattle seem to like eating burdock; this often results in impressive hair-do's
Bush Hog: Much like the brand name Zipper has come to refer to all toothed clothing fasteners, Bush Hog is a brand name often used to refer to any mowing attachment for a farm tractor. It is a wonderful tool for mowing pastures and clearing brush.
Butcher: 1. The process of sectioning a carcass into manageable portions for use as meat. 2. A person performing such work. A good butcher is essential to the quality of our final product.
Butcher Paper: A white high density craft paper coated with a paraffin coating originally developed for butchers. One might think that using butcher paper is avoiding petroleum products, but reality is that the coating is petroleum based.
BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhea): BVD is a disease of cattle which reduces productivity (growth) and increases death loss (primarily of calves). It is caused by a Pestivirus. By rotating pastures and maintaining a closed herd system we don't have to worry much about BVD or some of the other more common bovine diseases.
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C.A.T. (Cow Action Team): A crack team of bovine distress specialists trained to respond to any bovine emergency, 24/7 (aka Jewell and Robert, muddling along as best they can).
CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation): Production source for commercial beef. Animals are kept in pens (confined) and fed. They are very efficient and scientific in their approach to finishing a beef. Most of you know more about them than we do.
Calf Pulling: The act of extracting an as-yet-unborn calf from a cow. Sometimes a cow needs assistance with the birth, especially if the birth is a breech (see Breech Birth). This involves immobilizing the cow in the working chute and carefully locating the two feet (sometimes this means reaching up inside the cow), attaching the pull chain (a smooth chain specifically designed for pulling calves) to the feet, and pulling at the appropriate angle in time with the cows natural contractions. A full breech requires veterinary assistance in repositioning the calf.
Cane: A prop to assist with walking and a tool for guiding cattle, much like a shepherd's crook. Also helps human 'puff up' so the cows think they're REALLY big. (see COW PSYCHOLOGY)
Cane Sugar: The only sugar we use, either personally or in our products. A GMO version of sugar cane has yet to be developed.
Capon: A capon is the chicken version of a steer; a male neutered before puberty. In this case its internal surgery, but for the same reasons and with the same result; this allows the animal to grow to full maturity without the animal becoming dangerous, engaging in unwanted breeding or the meat becoming tough.
Cattle Farmer: A rancher without a horse.
Certified Organic: USDA organic certification program.
Chainsaw: One of the most useful tools on the farm.
Charloais: A large white breed of cattle. An 'oxen' breed. Charloais are sometimes crossed with Angus to increase size.
Cherry: Wild or Choke Cherries are common trees in this region. Wilting cherry leaves produce cyanide as one of the products of decomposition. Cattle will die quickly from the cyanide content of a small amount of wilted cherry leaves. This is why pastures are checked regularly and after every wind event for downed cherry limbs, which are cleaned up as quickly as possible.
Chicory: A weed that is claimed to have worming qualities when eaten by cattle. It has a pretty blue flower. We wish they ate more; we have lots.
CLA's (Conjugated Linoleic Acid): Grass Fed Beef is 300-500% higher in these cancer fighting fatty acids.
Clover: Clover is a legume that cattle love; it is also high in protein. White and Red Clovers dominate most of our pastures and hay land. Clover also adds nitrogen to the soil, which benefits the surrounding grasses.
Clover Bloat: Sometimes, a calf consuming a large amount of clover, when it is not accustomed to clover, can bloat. Gases accumulate in foam in its stomachs and must be released. The calf will eventually suffocate from the pressure against its lungs if not treated promptly. Treatment consists of either a tube into the stomach, or an incision through the side, or both, to relieve the pressure. If treated, the calf usually recovers without further incident.
Coccidiosis: Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease of the intestinal tract of animals caused by coccidian protozoa. While coccidia can infect a wide variety of animals, including humans, birds, and livestock, they are usually species-specific. One well-known exception is toxoplasmosis caused by Toxoplasma gondii.
Colostrum: The first milk a mammal produces; perhaps the most important thing a cow gives her calf. It is necessary for the calf's survival, as it contains antibodies and extra nutrients. Calves deprived of colostrum at birth do not thrive, and often die of infection within weeks.
Conserve: A fancy name for jam.
COOL (Country Of Origin Labeling): A controversial regulation amongst cattlemen, especially the big guys.
Cow: An adult female bovine.
Cow Psychology: The science of the bovine mind is important to low stress handling and management. We call it by its older name, "Cow Sense".
Cow/Calf: A term used to describe a cattle operation that breeds cow, births calves and sells them as weanlings (6 months, or so).
Coyote: Chicken thief.
Craftsmanship: "Measure twice, cut once." For the craftsman the art of creating is as important, or more important, than even the final product. Craftsmanship demands that the easy way is not necessarily the best way. This is one of the many reasons we raise our beef from birth. It is the only beef we could sell with any confidence in quality.
Cryovac: Packaging process for our beef, involving vacuum packaging and flash freezing.
Cube Steak: Cubed Steaks are mechanically tenderized cuts, usually made from Round Steaks.
Cud: What a cow chews.
Cull Cow: A cow that is permanently removed from the herd for one reason or another.
Cured/Uncured Sausage: Summer Sausage is cured. Bratwurst is not.
Custom Butcher: Non USDA inspected processing.
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Dry Aging: hanging a beef in a chilled, humidity control cooler for a period of time. The process of Dry Ageing provides many benefits to the final product. Through enzyme action and evaporation, flavors are intensified and tenderness improved. One of the less commonly known benefits of the dry aging process is bacteria control. The sides of beef are washed with a light acid solution (frequently vinegar) prior to hanging in the cooler. E-coli and other bacteria cannot survive such an environment.
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Ear Tag: Ear tags are used as a means of identifying individual animals.
Electric Fencing: Fencing that gives off an electric shock when touched.
Electro-ejaculation: Not touching this one.
Electro-prod: Evil device that gives an intense electric shock. We do not use them and have canceled slaughtering appointments when we discover a processor might use them.
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Farmland Protection: We entered our farm into the Farmland Protection Program for the legal protections it affords our farm from local aggressive governments looking to annex or condemn via eminent domain. It also puts the farm under a conservation easement guaranteeing that the land will never be subdivided or developed commercially.
Fat Cover: The external fat on a carcass is called Fat Cover. Good fat cover is essential for high quality beef; it keeps a carcass from drying out during the aging process. And if there is no fat cover, there will likely be no marbling.
Fatty Acids: In chemistry, and especially in biochemistry, a fatty acid is a carboxylic acid with a long aliphatic tail, which is either saturated or unsaturated.
Feeder: In the commercial beef system, Feeder Calves are those old enough to be sent to a feedlot for finishing. This is a commercial production term used to refer to calves of a certain age and size, usually yearlings but more specific.
Feedlot: Feedlots are used primarily in commercial beef production. Cattle are kept in pens and provided constant access to feed until they reach the desired processing weight. They are an efficient way to feed a large number of cattle in a small space; some farms also have feedlots.. A key determining factor of what constitutes a feedlot is that the plants in a feedlot area never re-grow, even when cattle are not present. We don't have a feedlot. Sometimes we re-seed the grasses we want in areas where winter hay was fed, but if we didn't, there would still be plants - just not ones the cattle like very much.
Fence: An illusion used to fool livestock into believing that they can't just roam where ever they wish.
Fence Stretcher: A tool used to stretch wire fencing; not to be confused with the fictional tool known as a board stretcher.
Flavenoid: Tasteful molecules largely stored in fat cells.
Fly Tag: Ear Tags with pesticide, similar in function and technology to a flea collar. We do not use Fly Tags.
Foot Rot: An infection that usually starts in the hoof area. Foot Rot can cause lameness and possibly death if left untreated.
Free Martin: A term that refers to a heifer that has undeveloped reproductive organs. This occurs when a male twin at some point in the gestation period (the male might have died and been absorbed). The testosterone from the male affects the development of the female.
Freezer Burn: This is what happens to ones fingers when handling frozen meat for a couple hours without wearing gloves.
Fresh Beef: Fresh Beef is that, simply fresh beef. If the beef has ever been frozen, it is not fresh.
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Galloway: A heritage breed of cattle.
Gestation: The time required to make a baby. Cows require 283 days on average, key word being "average".
GMO/GE: Just because something can be done, doesn't mean it should be.
Grades of Beef: The USDA grades beef based on marbling and maturity based on observation of the ribeye cross section and development of cartilage and bone, mostly in the area of the vertebrae. The four basic grades of beef are: Standard, Select, Choice, and Prime.
Grading: A carcass is graded by the grader visually judging the amount of marbling in the Ribeye.
Grant Money: Some farmers apply for, and accept grant money from the state (government). We are morally opposed to this process, as we feel this money is taken from someone against their will. We think that using the "system" just perpetuates it and indentures future generations to the state. We have no problem with private grants, as this money is volunteered.
Grass Fed: Should now read "Primarily Grass Fed". The USDA in its definition for "Grass Fed" allows for grain "supplements" during times when forage is scare (winter/drought). Thus, in our opinion, much like organic, this label is somewhat meaningless.
Grass Finished: "Finishing" in the cattle business refers to the last 120 days, or so, prior to slaughter. This label is most often used by producers that purchase animals from other farmers and "finish" them on grass or hay. This label gives no indication of whether hormones or antibiotics were given to the animal, or was the animal fed a grain supplement prior to "finishing".
Grass Tetany: Cows on lush spring grasses, particularly nursing cows, are susceptible to Grass Tetany. Mineral deficiencies of either Magnesium or Calcium, or both, are the cause of Grass Tetany. Symptoms include staggering, shaking, and paralysis. Grass Tetany can be largely prevented by offering free choice Trace Mineral Salt and by avoiding dramatic changes of diet, dry hay to fresh spring grass.
Green Manure: Basically grass clippings.
Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation: A taxpayer funded government entity that provides grants, training, web development, marketing and organizational assistance to small developing businesses, including farmers. We do not use these services as a matter of principle.
Grill: Hot spot for creating mouth watering, tender, juicy Sarver Heritage Farm steaks and burgers.
Ground Hog: Like many felons and malicious people, ground hogs have several aliases: Whistle Pig, Woodchuck, and even Land Beaver.
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Handmade/Handcrafted: Objects that are handmade are created with the use of hands and hand tools. Each is created individually and is inherently unique for that reason.
Hanging/Carcass Weight: Hanging Weight is the weight of the cleaned carcass before it goes into the cooler for dry aging.
Hay: Forages that are preserved, either by drying or fermenting, are referred to as hay. When hay is dried or cured its nutrients are preserved. We put great effort in producing the best hay possible, as this is just another part of the process of creating the best beef possible.
Hay Fever: Sneezie, runny nose, itchy eye festival.
Haylage: Forages that are baled with 50% moisture, plastic wrapped, and allowed to ferment like silage are referred to as Haylage. We do not use this practice, mostly for economic reasons and we are not keen on using the plastic wrap.
Head Gate/Squeeze Chute: Tools to confine a bovine during medical procedures and examinations.
Heifer: A nulliparous female bovine. During her first year, she's called a Heifer Calf, the second, just a Heifer. After she is successfully exposed to a bull, she is a 'bred Heifer'. She does not become a cow until her first calf is born.
Hen: An adult female bird, around here it usually refers to chickens.
Hereford: An English breed of beef cattle, they are dark red with horns and white (often furry) faces .
Highlands: Not really mountains and not really foothills. Good for raising grass and livestock, but not for crops or mining.
Highland Cattle: Cattle breed originating in the Scottish Highlands. They are small and shaggy with long horns and look like Muppet characters.
Hippopotamus: What a cow (here, anyway) becomes when she does not have a calf for one or more years. It is difficult (read: impossible) to individually control a pastured cow's diet; as herd animals, a cow who is accustomed to being part of a herd cannot be held alone because she first suffers extreme anxiety (dangerous to humans)and then depression (dangerous to cow). Cows are eating machines. When the calorie drain of pregnancy and nursing isn't there to offset her intake, she puts on weight - lots of weight. Unfortunately, this often results in the cessation of her natural hormonal cycles; she soon gets too fat to breed again and must be sold. The average weight for an Angus/Angus Cross brood cow is 1200 lbs.; in our first experience with this, the cow weighed 2419 lbs. on arrival at market. On the bright side, she was calm and happy.
Hobby Farmer: Someone who does not make a substantive living from their farm.
Homemade: Something that is made in one's home as opposed to a factory-type setting; items that are homemade are frequently also Handmade, but with currently available technology, this is no longer a given.
Hormones: In cattle, we are referring to injected or implanted manmade growth promoting hormones. Because all animals also produce natural hormones, this is differentiated by use of the term 'natural hormones' in our communications. This duality is why the USDA requires that we specify our rejection of hormone implants as 'No Added Hormones'.
Horned: Cattle with pointy, dangerous things growing on their skulls. .
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Idiot: A young calf more than twenty feet from its mother.
Incubator: Specialized tool for providing an environment conducive to growth of a target organism. On the farm, that means chicken eggs.
Intern: Currently, the last legal form of slavery.
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Jam: A preserved, sweetened fruit spread containing actual fruit pulp. May or may not contain seeds. Depending on producer, may be chunks of fruit or pureed fruit. Generally speaking, it has a lower added sugar content than jellies, because the fiber of the pulp provides part of the 'body'. Because we prefer chunks, that's how we make it.
Jelly: A preserved, sweetened fruit spread made from the juice of the fruit only, containing NO pulp or seeds; nearly always translucent to clear. Usually has a higher added sugar content than jam, and has no fiber. Depending on variety, it requires 50% to 300% more fruit to produce per ounce of finished product, as well as several more hours. Because of the time requirements and fruit waste, we usually only do jellies from high-moisture fruits such as grapes, apples or peaches.
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Karst: Also known as Karst Topography, Karst is a geological feature dominated by old limestone. Sinkholes, caves and rock outcroppings are common features of Karst.
Kosher: Kosher foods are those that conform to the regulations of kashrut (Jewish dietary law).
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Lepto: Leptospirosis is an infectious and contagious bacterial disease of most farm animals and many wildlife species. In cattle, leptospirosis can produce an abortion rate of up to 30 percent when it occurs during the final third of pregnancy. It may also be responsible for high mortality among young calves, decreased milk production, and blood-contaminated milk. Severity in adult cattle is extremely variable, ranging from inapparent infection to 5 percent mortality. The causative organisms, called Leptospires, are shed in urine and survive in surface water, streams, or moist, alkaline soil.
Limousin: A breed of cattle that originally was bred as oxen. In modern times the Limousin breed has been bred with Angus cattle to increase the size of the Angus breed. Over the years Angus have gone from 800 -900 lbs. to 1200 - 1400 lbs.
Live Weight: Live Weight is the weight of the live animal at any given time. As a new born, they average 50 lbs. The beef will weigh 1,000, or more, at time of slaughter.
Live Dangerously: When a calf tries to nurse its mother from behind, we say that calf is living dangerously.
Locust: A very useful hardwood, the Locust. It is more durable than treated wood for posts, lasting two to three times longer. Locust was also used in wooden ship building as 'nails' hold planks to the ribs. They were baked and hardened, so they could be driven with a hammer. When they got wet, they swell and became tighter.
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Manure: The black gold of sustainable, organic farming. Cows make it from what they eat. And manure sounds much better than poop.
Marbling: The Holy Grail in grass fed beef production. Marbling requires good genetics and good pastures. Great marbling requires great genetics and really good pastures, weight gain of 2-3 pounds is essential.
Marmalade: A sticky fruit spread, usually involving citrus.
Market Beef: These are the animals that we raise and finish for eventual retail sale. While it is rare that we have to treat an animal with antibiotics, it does happen. A treated animal is removed from our Market Beef Program and sold into the "system" after the animal is well and off antibiotics (not sure why that is important they will likely get fed antibiotics where ever they end up).
Mastitis: A disease that affects a cow's udder and teats. We have had only a couple cases of this in the past the vet recommended solution is: antibiotics and hand milking out the affected quarter (udders have four quarters) daily (see also, Stripping).
Mattock: A tool dating back to ancient times. It is very useful for digging and grubbing large weeds. It is what passes for herbicide on our farm.
Meaties: Chickens raised for meat.
Milk Replacer: Sometimes a calf becomes orphaned and needs to be bottle fed. Milk replacer is basically powdered milk (just add water) for baby animals.
Mob Grazing: Mob grazing is a grazing practice that is also known as intensive grazing. Basically it involves placing a large group of cattle on a pasture small enough to feed them for one day, usually controlled by moveable electric fencing.
Mouthing: The easiest way to determine the age of a bovine is to look in its mouth. The number and wear of the teeth indicate the age.
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Natural: In labeling terminology the word "Natural" means that no artificial substances are added to a product. It is a broad term without much meaning, and in regards to beef is undefined by the USDA.
Nipple Drinker: A watering device for chickens.
Nose Ring: Some farmers put rings in the noses of their bulls (really) to maintain better control of the animal. We do not do such things. Our bulls are calm and manageable.
NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation District): The NRCS oversees several programs, including the Farmland Protection Program.
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Orchard Grass: A cool season grass that cattle love to eat. Orchard grass makes up a large portion of our pastures and hay meadow.
Organ Meats/Offal/Orts and Gobbits: Liver, heart, kidneys, and tongues are considered "offal" or "organ meats". Organ meats are considered the most nutrient dense of all the parts of a beef.
Organic: An overused buzz word that has lost its original meaning over time.
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Package Weight: After all the beef has been processed into individual cuts and grinds, Package Weight is the final yield from a carcass.
Paleo Diet: Any diet that is based on grass fed meats is one that we support.
Pasteurized Milk: Also known as dead milk, pasteurized milk was first created in Chicago as way to make use of dirty milk that could not be sold at the market. This cleaned up milk was then given to the poor. Pasteurization is a process that heats milk to a certain temperature for a certain period of time. This process kills both good and bad bacteria, and changes the protein structure of the milk.
Pasture: A pasture is a place where our cattle graze. It is where our calves are born and raised, eating what nature provides. A pasture is where our market beef are finished. Our pastures average 30 acres, and most are wooded, which provide shelter in bad weather and shade from the hot sun. We apply no chemicals to our pastures. We do clip them (see Bush Hog)
Pastured: To us, "Pastured" means that the animal spent its entire life on pasture, casually munching on tall lush green grass. But a pastured animal can still be fed grain or injected with growth enhancing hormones and antibiotics.
Pink Slime: Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB), aka Pink Slime, uses what once was sold as scraps for dog food via heating, centrifuging, and ammonia gassing to create 'ground beef'. LFTB is then mixed with ground beef to reduce costs. This can be found in public schools or any package of commercial beef that says "Ground Beef". Note that Ground Beef is cuts of lean muscle meat ground into burger. Ground Beef is NOT heated, centrifuged, and gassed with ammonia hydroxide. And, yes, ammonia hydroxide is the same as the ammonia you buy for household cleaning.
Pinkeye: A bacterial infection in a cow's eye usually caused by an irritant, like a dry grass seed husk. Pinkeye can be transferred to humans. There are several treatments, including antibiotics. We have discovered that cod liver oil is an effective treatment that accelerates the healing via the cow's natural immune system.
Polled: Cattle that are naturally hornless are referred to as polled.
Post Driver: A device used to drive posts into the ground. We employ both manual and hydraulic post drivers.
Pour On/Delice: A pesticide product that is poured on the backs of the animals to control insect pests like flies. We have found that good pasture management (rotation, etc) is a better means of controlling flies.
Preg Check: The most reliable and cost efficient way of checking a pregnancy status is by physical examination. The process requires a shoulder length glove, but an experienced vet can tell not only if a cow is pregnant, but also how far along she is.
Primals: The major sections of a beef are called primals. The primals are: chuck, brisket, plate, shank, rib, short loin, flank, sirloin, tenderloin, top sirloin, bottom sirloin, and round.
Private Reserve: Much like a winery will occasionally produce a superior vintage, we will produce a beef that is just a cut above the rest, deserving of special consideration. The best of the best we label as "Private Reserve".
Pull Chains: Specially designed chains for pulling a calf.
Pullet: A hen that has yet to lay an egg.
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Race Baby: Any calf running with abandon around the pasture.
Rancher: A cattle farmer with a horse.
Raw Milk: Unpasteurized milk, the good stuff.
Residential Envelope: The official name for the 2 acres where our house is located.
Rhinoceros: A cow that becomes too fat to breed.
Roast: In this case roasting is a cooking process, not an event where panel of folks lovingly make fun of an individual.
Rooster: A male chicken, usually high on testosterone.
Rose Veal: Veal produced from six month old, or younger, calves.
Rotate Pastures: Moving cattle from one pasture to another, allowing pastures to rest and grow. Rotating pastures also cuts down on diseases and pests (flies).
Round Bale: A bale of hay that is rolled rather than compacted. Our round bales weigh 800 - 1000 lbs. A bale will feed approximately 30 cows for a day.
Rye Grass: A species of grass that comes in two basic varieties, perennial and annual. We mix annual rye seed with orchard grass seed when we sow damaged sections of pasture. The annual rye germinates quickly and prevents weeds from sprouting and soil erosion.
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Scours: Diarrhea that mostly affects calves and can lead to death.
Shrinkage: When a carcass is hanging during the dry aging process, it loses moisture resulting in shrinkage.
Silage: Chopped and fermented corn.
Simmetal: A large continental milking breed that has been crossed with Angus to increase both size and milking capacity.
Sink/Sink Hole: Common in Karst Topography. Essentially a sink hole is a collapsed cave.
Slaughter House/Processor: The place where animals become meat. Finding the right processor is essential to the quality of the final product.
Sorting Pen/s: These are small paddock/pens that we use for sorting cattle. They are designed with rounded corners and other stress reducing features in mind.
Springing: When a cow begins to prepare for the labor of calving and show visible signs.
Square Bale: About 40 - 60 lbs of hay are compressed into rectangular shaped bales tied with twine and sometimes wire to form what is referred to as a "Square Bale".
Staple/Steeple: Used to nail wire fencing to wooden supports. Locally, staple is pronounced steeple. You can purchase them with barbs; or as some say here, jaggers.
Steak Burger: Technically, burger made from ground steak. Sounds good, but in reality any part of a beef made be made into a steak. So really, it's just ground beef. The USDA does not recognize "Steak Burger" as a legitimate label.
Steer: A neutered bull.
Stocker: A commercial beef term referring to beef that are between weanling age and finishing age, 8 to 14 months.
Stockyard: An auction house for livestock.
Subsidy: Welfare for farmers.
Sustainable: One of those over used buzz words especially amongst local producers to describe their production methods. A sustainable farm is also fiscally sustainable. If a farm depends on grants, subsidies, interns, volunteer labor, etc; it is not what we consider "sustainable".
Switch: The long hairs at the end of a cow's tail.
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Tall Fescue: A cool season grass. Most tall fescue contains an endophyte that is harmful to horses; and cattle, if the conditions are right. It is hardier than orchard grass and makes a good stockpiled forage for winter pastures. Cold temperatures and frosts drive the endophyte into the root system and concentrates sugars in the grass making it more palatable to cattle.
Teat: The faucet that calves drink from.
Timothy Grass: A cool season grass that cattle love.
Trace Mineral Salt: Most herd animals visit salt licks for the minerals. We provide these essential minerals in the form of trace mineral salt; free choice, meaning it is available to them all the time.
Tuberculosis: A disease that has basically been eliminated from the US beef herd.
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Umami: The fifth taste. Sweet, Sour, Salt, Bitter and Umami (Savory) make up the tastes that most human can sense. Umami is that Savory flavor that is associated with a great steak.
U-Pick Beef: Our live beef program.
Upton Sinclair - "The Jungle": A piece of socialistic propaganda in the form of a fictional novel based in the stockyards and meat packing plants of Chicago. This piece of fiction inspired the meat packers to lobby for the Meat Inspection Act of 1906. It was also the beginning of the demise of the small processor.
USDA/FDA/FSIS: Alphabet agencies of the federal government.
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Veal: Meat from a calf (2 days old to a couple months), usually dairy calves are butchered for veal.
Veterinarian: Doctor for animals.
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Warm Season Grass: Species of grasses that prefer warm or hot temperatures. Bermuda grass is an example of a warm season grass.
Weanling: A calf roughly 6 - 12 months old.
Wet Aging: A modern aging process that lasts about seven days, essentially the time it takes for beef to be shipped from slaughter house to retail meat counter. Primal sections are packaged in plastic and cooled. There is very little moisture loss with this practice and no benefit is had in regards to pathogen control.
Wet Weather Spring: A spring that appears during the spring melt and rainy periods, another common feature of Karst Topography.
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Yearling: Like horses, yearling cattle are aged 12 - 23 months old.