Meat & Seafood - 09/06/2012
Fresh Local Grass-Finished Beef Available Now
Local Dexter Breed Beef from Wakarusa Ridge Ranch
Here at the Merc Meat & Seafood Department we are proud and honored to offer the Irish Dexter breed of beef, raised by Patti and Clay Adams on the Wakarusa Ridge Ranch near Overbrook, Kansas. Wakarusa Ridge Ranch is the perfect grounds to raise these Irish cattle. Overlooking the Clinton Lake water shed, the land is rolling and diverse with slightly rocky slopes and green grazing fields. Their pastures are well kept and rotated to optimize efficient grazing and environmental protection. Native prairie grasses line the creek bed and outline the grazing fields to help ensure that the land retains its fertile soil and that the water stays clean and clear. Looking out across the pasture new calves and happy cows graze lazily on the sweet grasses as new fields grow in conversion from crop to pasture.
Having had the pleasure of touring the Wakarusa Ridge Ranch numerous times, our Meat & Seafood staff has been lucky enough to enjoy the layout of the ranch and the gentle nature of the Dexter breed of cattle. Patti and Clay, owners of Wakarusa Ridge Ranch, have raised these cattle since day one and know each of them by name as well as the names of the sires and dams, fathers and mothers. Each cow has been bred, raised and taken care of for reasons more than just being beef. Each cow has been bred and raised for a specific purpose such as to strengthen weaknesses, maintain quality and produce certain characteristics known to its breed. This love of animal husbandry shows in the cattle themselves. They all seem very happy to see Clay, Patti and visitors when they show up on the fence line or in the field. They nonchalantly come over to say hi and they don’t mind being rubbed down a bit. As we all stood in the pasture simply hanging out with the Dexter and Kerry cattle, it was like a family reunion discussing each one's achievements and offspring, it was very clear how symbiotic the relationship between land, cattle and farmer really is.
Every aspect of these Dexter cattle’s life has been geared to ensure optimum health and the best living conditions. The cattle are all-natural, grass-fed and grass-finished. They are rotated on lush pasture lands during the spring, summer and fall months to reap the healthful benefits of the grass growing seasons. In order to obtain the maximum health benefits of grass-finished beef, the cattle must graze on fresh growing pasture for at least 90 days before processing. The optimum start time for fresh growing cool season grasses, such as brome, start in March and grow strong through May which produces healthy steers for processing in June. Warm season grasses, such as fescue prairie grass, start growing again in May and provide green growing grasses through the summer which produces high quality steers that can be harvested in July, August, and September. The cool season grasses resume growth in the late fall and extend our grass-finished beef harvest through November. The cattle are then fed baled hay throughout the winter months where every once in a while they may receive a little treat of alfalfa pellets, pressed alfalfa grass, to sweeten the visits of Clay and Patti.
When the time comes for us to appreciate and respect the cattle’s life, they are taken to a small family-owned processing house in nearby Overbrook where they are treated and handled very caringly. A few of our meat department staff have shared in the experience of delivering the Dexter breed to the processors. Their gift to us was recognized by man and cow as we took comfort in the light of love and respect which had started from day one and all the way through from the farmers hands to ours and from us to your family to enjoy a true gift from both the Wakarusa Ridge Farm and the Dexter cattle. We currently have fresh Dexter breed beef cuts for sale. Since our beef is always fresh there is a limited time to enjoy this extraordinary gift. Look for the Wakarusa Ridge Ranch label or ask any meat employee for additional assistance.