Locally Minnesota Grown Sustainable Beef
You Are What You Eat
You are what you eat is a statement that is so powerful and simple to understand, yet so often hard to live by. It is so easy to become a prisoner of our taste buds, that we often overlook the long term impact on our health and the environment.
Thankfully, when you choose Revier Beef, you won't have to sacrifice taste, health, or the environment. When I first had a Revier steak I could not believe how good it was. The flavor was amazing, the tenderness perfect, and it came from a sustainable 150 year old family farm in Olivia Minnesota.
It has been about a year since Manea's Meats has been carrying this local and sustainable beef, and our customers are very pleased with the quality of Revier Angus Beef. Many have said it is the best beef they have ever had.
What we really like about Revier is they are local and sustainable. Many beef companies like to hide the conditions of their cattle farms. Revier will happily display it, and answer any questions you might have. They also offer public tours of their farm to show the consumers exactly how they raise their cattle.
Manea's went on a tour last fall and it was very satisfying to see first hand their sustainable cattle operation. It was a very cold and rainy day on our tour. Unfortunately, our photos of the cattle did not turn out very well.
When we arrived at the farm Tom, Libby, Paul and Family were very welcoming to us, and even fed us some of their delicious steaks! There was a group of over 20 people representing meat markets from all over the state. We started off with a question and answer session, and the chatter among our big group was that the steaks are a very unique flavor and when they now go to restaurants and order a steak, they are not impressed with the flavor after being spoiled with Revier Beef! Paul chimed in and said that he has done several blind taste tests with two steaks side by side. He said that he can always pick out the Revier based on the flavor and color.
Tom Revier is a true visionary and is very passionate about his farm and the welfare of his animals. He explained to us that the mainstream cattle are fed a blend of protein and corn that is designed to make the animals grow faster. In return, the feed helps the cattle grow rapidly, but their stomach is not designed to be able to handle those conditions. As a result, the animal suffers from acidosis and it causes the release of stress hormones which jeopardizes their overall welfare and the flavor of the meat.
Tom passed out his proprietary feed blend to us and made a bold statement that 95% of the taste of the beef is what you feed them. It can be also said that it contributes to the overall health of the animal. Revier has trademarked the name TLC – Total Livestock Care which ensures humane treatment and animal welfare.
The proof that this TLC method works is in the numbers. The TLC method has acclaimed their livestock to have a 32% healthier cattle than the national average. The combination of proper feed, housing, and waste disposal are a huge contributor to these numbers.
The Revier farm also focuses on gathering most of their feed locally, and some of the feed comes straight from their farm which is fertilized with upcycled waste from their farm.
The process of how they recycle their waste is perhaps the most intriguing factor of the farm. The south facing barns which are designed to keep warmer in the winter have a river of recycled water running underneath the main floor. The floor has small slits so that the manure falls through floor and is washed away with a steady flow of water underneath.
The slits are small enough for the cattle to be unaware of the gaps in the floor, but large enough for the manure to fall through. As we got out of the bus, I remember preparing for that usual awful cow manure smell, but to my surprise there was not even a trace of smell! This cleanliness greatly benefits the animal welfare and humans. Tom explained how manure is no joke, and can be life threatening for animals and humans if not disposed of properly.
From where we were standing, the waste water is then flushed into a separation tank / lagoon and digested into biogas which can be used for fuel. The manure then goes through the full anaerobic process and is used for fertilizer at their farm and other local farms.
To complete the cycle, the cleaned up water is pumped back into the barn to start the whole process over again. This process reduces their underground water consumption by at least 40% which is quite remarkable.
Tom showed us how they use the latest technology for implementing the feed to his animals. There was a certain ratio given to the animals so that the weaker cattle were always getting enough feed, but the stronger ones were not dominating the pack and overeating.
At the exit of our tour someone from the crowd asked how did you know all these ideas were going to work?
Tom's responded that he had to rely on his intuition that it was going to work, and worked with engineers to help him make his vision a reality. He explained that since this was one of the first of its kind, it was a risk, and that there were definitely some hiccups along the way.
Tom's next vision is installation of solar panels that will be used to power the farm and mounted to provide shade to the animals in the summer. He is always thinking of how to enhance the welfare of his farm and animals and that is why we proudly carry Revier Beef in the front showcases Manea's Meats.