Christy and Patrick Lohof raise 65 Red Angus-based beef cattle near Otter, Montana. The Lohof beef cattle run on 3,000 acres of rolling rangeland at 3,700 feet elevation. While some grasses were seeded in the 1960s, the majority of the grassland is made up of hardy natives that thrive in the temperature and precipitation extremes of eastern Montana, and their cattle, like their pastures, are well-adapted to the landscape.
All of the Lohofs’ cattle are raised on the ranch from birth through slaughter. Through careful breeding, Christy and Patrick have selected animals for the hardiness that their herd now exhibits. However, Christy notes that the Red Angus breed is extremely well-suited for their climate since it was developed just 60 miles from their ranch. The animals are moderately framed with a good disposition, which makes for easy handling, weaning, and processing.
Genetics are just one important aspect of producing high-quality, healthy beef: The Lohofs also ensure their cattle are raised outdoors on pasture and only fed local grass hay when grazing isn’t possible. The Lohofs also believe the meat quality is influenced by the high-protein grasslands of Montana, which have been famous for raising beef since the days of big cattle drives from Texas in the 1870s. “About a decade ago,” says Christy, “we realized that our beef was truly unique and we began selling it directly to customers.” They identify this uniqueness as resulting from the land’s ‘terrior,’ a French word referring to a set of special influences that the geography, geology, and climate of a certain place has on the production of a food product, such as wine, cheese or beef.
The importance that the Lohofs place on pasture management led them to apply to AWA: “We really liked the technical sheets that AWA provided and found the AWA philosophy to be consistent with our own, so getting AWA-certification for the herd was logical,” Christy explains. “We hope that our customers will continue to recognize us as good stewards of the land and livestock with AWA certification, and that we can continue to make ranch management improvements with AWA advice.” Christy and Patrick look forward to meeting the increasing demand for high-welfare, sustainably-produced beef by continuing to improve their management techniques and their land’s carrying capacity.
LOHOF Grass Finished BEEF is available at farmers’ markets and grocery stores in Sheridan, WY, as well as direct from the ranch. Christy and Patrick deliver free-of-charge to Sheridan, WY, and Miles City, MT. For prices and information, visit lohofgrassfinishedbeef.com, or contact the Lohofs at firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 784-2549.