About the Highland Breed
These long-horned, stocky animals originated and were bred for centuries in the rugged, rocky climate of the Scottish Highlands. Highland Cattle were brought to the U.S. in the second half of the 19th Century. The Highland is the oldest registered breed of cattle, with the first herd being established in 1884.
At first sight, the shaggy, comical and toupee-like hair that tumbles down into their eyes and faces is the most notable distinguishing characteristic of this gentle animal. Another quality is the ease with which they are kept. Highland Cattle are widely considered to be THE hardiest breed of cattle found anywhere in the world. Despite their long horns and shaggy appearance, both bulls and cows are mild-tempered. The cows possess excellent mothering abilities and instincts, as well as very low calf mortality and ease and independence of birthing. They require little in the way of shelter, feed supplements, or extensive graining to maintain good condition. Highlands are excellent foragers and browsers. It has been said that the Highland will eat what other cattle pass by. . . and get fat on it!
Long lashes and forelocks shield their eyes from flying insects, and as a result, eye diseases are uncommon. Highlands do not stress easily, so stress-related diseases rarely occur. Other bovine diseases affect the Highland less, due to the genetic advantages they have achieved. They also have a higher intelligence than modern breeds of cattle and are easily halter trained.
Because of their double coat, cold weather and snow have little effect on them. They do not have to put on a thick layer of fat for warmth. This produces leaner meat that is marbled and fine grained, lending a product of good quality and superior taste.
About Highland Farm Beef
Highland Beef is outstanding for its flavor, tenderness and fine texture, all attributable to a combination of factors. . . the breed itself, a grass based diet, good management and correct handling of the carcass. This includes USDA inspection and ensuring that the sides of beef are well hung for a minimum of three weeks before cutting. Lean and low in cholesterol, the beef carries just the right amount of marbling through the meat to give that succulence and flavor so typical of old fashioned traditional beef.
What makes Highland Beef “Premium”?
Premium suggests superior to other products in its field. The taste has to be more intense in flavor and it tends to be tenderer than other breeds. The ability of Highland breeders to trace the sire/dam of each cow permits them to select back the better animals to produce “premium cows.” This is a big plus for small operations over the large mass production ranches.
What are the advantages of raising small herds?
Because we are working with smaller numbers, we don’t have to feed cattle antibiotics to prevent disease from occurring. By using grass-fed methods and giving them more attention, they produce a more “all-natural” product.
Does it cost more than the beef in the supermarket?
Yes it does. Why? Because it costs more to produce and there isn’t much around. It is our opinion that the extra cost is worth a superior beef that is dry aged and has more flavor.
Where can Highland Farm Beef be purchased?
As our herd builds, beef will be available for purchase by quarter, halves or individual cuts by contacting us. Individual packages may also be purchased at “The Bread Basket”, 2167 Webb’s Mill Road, Floyd, Virginia.