MM Livestock Co

  (Wildomar, California)
It just makes sense.
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The sun is out and its BEAUTIFUL this morning. After feeding all the critters at the home place I loaded up Wallace, Grace, and the ATV and went out to check cows. Good thing I didn't try to drive the truck up the hill to the leases or I would have had a mess. The road washed out in one place and Tommy had to haul up some old landing ramps as a temporary fix. We can get up to the girls on ATV's or horseback but its going to be a few days before he can get a tractor in to fix the road. Good thing they're in close! 15 calves in this herd so far and everyone is doing well. They move back up to the higher pastures in late April and we are considering having a cattle drive and gathering for Farm Members to enjoy. We're still bouncing the idea around as access is difficult after you come off the paved road. The plans for sheep shearing day at the home place are lining out nicely and we'll have the date set as soon as Julie lets us know when they'll be here. It's always a fun day, john talks about shearing and sheep care, we put a lamb in the pit to roast, and after the work is done its party time! Speaking of party time. Our custom meat cutter is making Corned Beef from several of our Grassfed and finished Briskets just in time for St. Patrick's Day. Corned beef has no corn in it, the term refers to the process used to make it, usually a spiced brine. It's Delicious! And if there is any left after the Holiday, in the smoker it goes for a few hours and you have my favorite sandwich meat on the planet, PASTRAMI! Let me know if you want some as supply is limited. Easter lamb orders are being taken now as well. Whole and half lamb, or by the cut. I only kept back 30 lambs for Easter this year so order early. Grass fed and finished American Lamb is one of the healthiest meats you can eat. Naturally tender and flavorful as well as being hypoallergenic. This years breed choices are Suffolk X Dorper, Columbia x Suffolk, Khatadin, Dorper, and Ramboullet x Dorset x Dorper. Come on by and say hello, the farm flock has babies bouncing everywhere, and the pups are ready to go. For those of you following Mouse's antics, I will have an update for you all tomorrow. Back to work! Meg


I have been talking with an old friend over the last week or so about some legal stuff and learned that he is a nutritionist and a naturopath. As we were catching up it dawned on both of us that his work meshes perfectly with ours! So now in addition to grass fed and finished beef and lamb, pastured pork and poultry, u-pick fruits and veggies, farm members and friends will have access to nutritional counseling and alternative therapies. This is such a blessing ! We will have a page up on the website in a week or so with consulting information and dates for seminars/ workshops. I have known Robert for over 30 years and his father was my "Pops" who passed away in2009. Pops would be so glad that we have renewed our friendship and proud that his son has joined our Farm Family to educate people and help them get healthy, in mind, body, and Spirit.Meg

Lamb races!

There is almost nothing more comical than watching the twice daily lamb races! When the ewes settle in to graze in the morning and again when they come in at dusk the lambs start playing. They race around the flock and then one will get brave! It says to the other lambs "let's play king of the hill!" And off they go! Racing to the top of the big dirt pile! They bounce around and jump over each other until one notices that mom is out of sight! Yikes! The race is on again! Back to the flock as fast as they can go! This gets repeated 5 or 6 times and then everyone gets a drink and flakes out for a nap! The play is really good for the lambs. It builds muscle, lung capacity,and stamina. All grass. based livestock needs plenty of space to move around and do what comes naturally. They need to eat a species appropriate living diet. Hay isn't enough. The animals won't gain weight nearly as well and hay is lacking in vital nutrients needed for growth and muscle development. Penned animals are also prone to parasite infestations and respiratory ailments. That's why even the farm flock goes out on pasture everyday. We irrigate for them and make sure that at least 75 percent of their feed intake is live grasses. Come by and visit the lambs they are sure to make you smile. Meg

Market Day

It's a beautiful day and the market is bustling. Last nite we were afraid that it was going to be raining so we loaded everything into the horse trailer just in case. tables, chairs, freezers etc. We figured we could stay warm and dry in there and our customers would have a place to warm up! Our regulars brave the elements and we couldn't disappoint them. People want their grass fed beef, lamb, and their pastured pork, and poultry no matter the weather. The market in Murrieta has only been open a few months and more people find it every week. In addition to our meat, eggs and citrus, there are wonderful veggie stalls, flowers, bread, cheese, herbs, candy, killer BBQ, mexican foods, sauces, honey, salsa, and the list goes on! Come see us on Sundays at Village Walk. Its a fun way to spend a morning and take home local products for eating during the week. Starting in March Pauley will be back cooking delicious dishes from items exclusively available at the market. Yum! I can't wait for Lamb pita pockets! Meg

Making a difference

One of our sustaining families has done a wonderful thing! They purchased a beef share for a local food bank. This is a great way to get great food to the people that need it the most. USDA inspected and graded source verified grass fed and finished beef is helping needy families! We have been helping military families for a while now but this is the first time our beef has been used as a gift to do "Gods Work". I was so touched when Joe came to pick up the beef and told me that it would be helping nearly 100 local families, amazing! To know that our cattle are helping feed the local community through the generosity of our members shows just what community is supposed to be!

New Calves

We had 2 calves born overnite both to first time heifers. I like to have the first timers in close just in case there are any problems. Both girls did fine and the calves were up and nursing really quickly. I can only recall having to help on one or two occasions but better safe than sorry. We breed for ease of calving and good mothering in addition to grass conversion and I am ruthless when it comes to culling inferior animals or those with genetic markers for trouble. It never ceases to amaze me that there are people out there that think any beef cow can produce superior grass finished beef. "Corn cows" will never finish out properly on grass. They don't have the genetics. What you end up with in that case is beef with no finish that won't grade. "Grass Cattle" will finish well in either production system. I'm proud of the fact that my beef grades Choice or better with a yield of 1-2. That's how grass finished beef should finish. Add in dry aging and artisanal butchering techniques and you have a product that is what people should expect from properly raised sustainable grass fed beef. I will be posting new pictures on the website in a week or so and you'll be able to see the new calves. Meg

How does one compete with Johnny Come Lately?

That's a tough one. Where I come from Ranching is done from the back of a horse (or ATV) with working dogs, Handling and skill. Long hours spent managing and moving stock over large areas to keep them well fed and in good condition. Many of us have spent generations on the land. Ranching is a way of life, not a marketing tool. In my lifetime I have seen the available pastureage decrease by 90 percent in my area. One by one the big spreads like the Vail Ranch, The Shamel, and others get chopped up and sold off. First to the horsemen and vintners and later to the housing developer. We run on one of the last remnants of private rangeland thanks to one family whose vision is longer than the distance from elbow to wallet. We understand the importance of range management and land stewardship. Our Grass Fed Beef are bred specifically to thrive on grass. The genetics are proven to be some of the best around. Our mother cows come from generations of cattle bred to convert grass. These aren't some tired roping calves thrown out to fend for themselves. These aren't cattle stuck in a pen with hay thrown in twice a day. These are herds that took almost 100 years to build into what they are. Cattle that grade on grass! You hear these newcomers touting higher omega 3's and CLA in the same sentence that they claim extra lean. Hey Stupid! Fatty acids are stored in Fat! You need finish on those steers to make them palatable. You need to properly age your beef to improve tenderness and enhance flavor. Grass fed cattle move! They get their nutrition from LIVING grass, not hay or grain. I saw an ad for grass fed beef from local indigenous pastures and I almost fell over. Pastures have to be improved to some degree in this part of the country or it would take 5 acres to keep one cow alive, never mind get it to slaughter weight let alone finish. So many people are getting in to grass fed beef for the money that they produce an inferior product at the expense of the health and welfare of the animals. Well managed rangeland produces superior beef. Well managed cattle protect the rangeland. Do it right. Do it well. Don't do it without knowledge and experience, it's not fair to the cattle or your customers.

Beef Harvest

Our field harvest yesterday was remarkably well attended and those that came out had some great questions for the butcher! They got a lesson in live wt. vs hanging wt. & how to "judge" a carcass for quality. What I feel was the biggest lesson learned was just how humane field harvesting is. The animal is relaxed in its home setting until the moment it is dispatched. That alone has an impact on the quality of the finished product. Dan came out and gave a little talk on grass vs hay vs grain and what the differences really are. It was interesting to see when people "got it" one gal asked if there was any way to tell the difference between grass & hay finished animals. Yes! It is in the finish, fat, & flavor profile. You can e-mail me for a copy of his lecture. Fascinating stuff! These beeves will be ready for pick up in 5 weeks. USDA Beeves are still 3 weeks out but we have our holiday cuts available. Lambs come back from the butcher Friday and will be ready for pick up 12/21 at the winter gathering. Thank you for your support! Meg
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