Frequently Asked Questions
Where does the name Goodparla come from?
Goodparla was the name of a 900,000 plus acre cattle station in the outback of northern Australia owned by Paul Andelin’s father, Aubrey in the 1960’s and 1970’s. We chose the name Goodparla to remember Aubrey’s legacy.
How do you raise your cows?
All of the animals we use for meat are born on our property or purchased at the time of weaning from neighboring farmers that live close by. We do this so that we can know about the manner in which the animals have been raised since birth. We use a variety of bulls that are rotated periodically for the purpose of maintaining good genetics.
The calves are raised on open pasture with their mothers until the time of weaning which is usually at about 7 - 8 months of age. A cow usually has a calf about once every year. Weaning at an appropriate time allows the cow to put nutrition and energy into the development of her new calf.
At weaning most calves weigh about 500 to 600 pounds. They are separated from their mother and provided a clean pasture. We prefer to wean the calves across a fence from the mothers as this decreases the emotional stress on both the mother and calf. After about two weeks post weaning the calves become more independent and wander off towards their own pastures.
Over the next several months the calves continue to gain weight eating a variety of forages. For pastures we use a variety of cool season and warm season grasses and legumes.
All the animals have access to salt and mineral supplements as these are important to bovine health.As the calves grow we often supplement with chopped corn. Sometimes we add hulls from cotton seed or soybeans as this gives a higher protein content. The addition of corn in these young animals increases intramuscular fat deposition ( marbling) which results in very flavorful steaks and roasts.
We also finish some calves without any grain. This leads to a very lean end product.
If you peruse our web site you will notice photos of us on horseback. There are multiple reasons for this. We have found that using horses is safer for both man and beast. Horses are very agile and develop a natural sense of how to manage and steer cattle in the proper direction.
Horses are able to keep the cattle calm. Working with horses helps all of us develop an appreciation for the unique bond that occurs between man and animal when working together towards a common goal. An example of this is when we are running a large number of animals through working pens to give vaccinations.
Several hundred head of cattle can rest in a holding area that has shade, water and pasture. Then cowboys can bring up 5 or 10 head at a time to go through the working area while the remaining animals are comfortably resting in the holding area.
Why do you use the term “pasture-raised”?
We believe that the term “pasture-raised” is actually more accurate than the term ‘’grass-fed”.
The United States department of Agriculture in a statement dated July 2019 defines “grass fed” as below:
“Grass (forage) fed means that grass and forage shall be the feed source consumed for the life of the ruminant animal, with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning. The diet shall be derived solely from forage ( annual and perennial), *forbs,** legumes,***Brassica, ****browse, or cereal grain crops in the vegetative ( pre grain) state.
Animals cannot be fed grain or byproducts and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.”
Grasses are plants in the plant family “Poaceae”. These are plants with long narrow leaves and hollow stems. There are hundreds of varieties of grasses. Our cattle forage on a wide variety of plants including rye, fescue, orchard grass, crab grass, blue stem, lespedeza, clover, leafy plants to name just a few.
Our cattle spend their entire lives on open pasture with access to forested areas. This gives shade and protection from wind and rain. The wooded areas also offer the cattle the opportunity to browse on leaves.
* Forbs is a group of flowering non woody stemmed plants such as sunflowers and daisies.
** legumes is a group of plants that include clover, beans, alfalfa and peas. These plants are known for their ability to draw nitrogen from the atmosphere and bring it into the soil thus helping the growth of other plants that rely on nitrogen for growth.
*** Brassica includes soft stem plants such as kale, turnips and cabbage. Turnips are commonly planted as a forage crop for cattle in Missouri.
**** browse refers to leafy forages from trees and bushes.
Do you offer grass-finished beef?
For about three months prior to processing, our pastured animals are offered supplemental chopped corn. This results in a very tasty product with good marbling. You can, by special request, order grass finished beef that has not received corn supplementation. These animals tend to be very lean. Although many people prefer the taste of corn-finished beef, if you want a very lean end product, then grass-finished is the way to go!
Do you use hormones or other growth stimulants?
Often growth stimulating implants are placed under the skin of the ear to increase weight gain. Although many good and responsible cattle producers use these, we have chosen not to for a variety of reasons.
What medicines, if any, are used in the herd?
We vaccinate all our calves. They get a vaccine for black leg which is a fairly uncommon but potentially fatal bacterial disease. We also vaccinate calves against common respiratory, ocular and gastrointestinal diseases.
Common illnesses we deal with include calfhood pneumonia and bovine pink eye. We use vaccines to prevent these diseases but also use antibiotics as needed. We do not use antibiotics for prevention of disease. Overuse of antibiotics is avoided as it can contribute to the development of bacterial resistance.
Most cattle here deal with both intestinal and external parasites. These are treated yearly with topical and oral antiparasitic medicines.
No animal is taken for processing until there has been a withdrawal period of at least 30 to 90 days since the last vaccine, antibiotic or anti-parasitic medicine.
What breeds of cows do you have?
Our mother cows are mostly black and red Angus. We use a variety of bulls including Angus, Simangus, Gelbveigh, and South Poll. Cross breeding leads to “hybrid vigor”. This means that mating two genetically dissimilar animals results in offspring that are healthier and inherit favorable traits from each parent.
Is your herd treated humanely?
We believe that all life is sacred and should be treated with kindness and respect. When it comes time to “work” our animals with medicines or with weaning, we attempt to do so in a manner that helps the animals remain as calm as possible. We do not “hot brand” our animals as this is quite painful. We use ear tags for identification, which is better tolerated.
Dehorning is another painful procedure which we avoid. Instead we use bulls that are polled (without horns) so that the offspring are born without horns.
Where do you ship to?
We ship to the 48 continental states within the U.S.A. We can also ship to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa with special arrangements.
Is your beef dry-aged?
Hanging beef in a cool environment helps with tenderizing. Hanging too long decreases the quality of the beef. Our beef is aged for up to 14 days.
Our meat processor is very experienced in choosing the optimal aging time for each animal as this may vary according to the composition of the meat.
What if I have other questions?
You are welcome to call or email us with specific questions. We are with the animals daily and are happy to give honest and candid answers. If you leave a message we will return your call.
What is the shipping cost?
The shipping cost is $2 per lb no matter where it is shipped, or you may pick up your beef from our family farm.
Is your beef USDA certified?
Yes. Obtaining certification from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is a rigorous process. The physical facilities must be inspected and approved. An inspector also must be present during the meat processing to assure that the animals are processed in a humane manner and under sanitary conditions.
In addition, our processors, Will and Julia Neal have years of experience in the industry. They will alert us if they believe that any of our meat is not up to our usual standard (such as meat that is too tough) even if the meat is approved by the USDA as safe.
How do I order bulk beef?
Please follow these steps:
- Select the size of bulk beef you would like to order. We offer Whole, Half, and Quarter shares of beef.
- Pay the deposit amount today through our online shopping cart, or email us with your request to pay by check or bitcoin.
- Your beef will be processed on the next available processing date (see home page for fulfillment dates) and will be shipped the first Monday of the month following.
- Before your beef is shipped, you will receive an invoice with your remaining balance.
- Receive your frozen beef.
What’s so great about your pasture-raised beef?
You will know the origin of your beef. You know that it has been raised humanely and responsibly by experienced, caring people. The animal is processed at a younger age and lighter weight than is typical of feedlot raised cattle. This leads to a leaner, more tender, and more flavorful product.
When will I get my beef?
Our cattle are raised until their processing date and will be shipped on the first Monday of each month following the last processing period. Processing happens about 4 times per year and takes approximately 2 weeks.
Why do I have to order so far in advance to get my beef?
We process our cattle 4 times per year. In order to select how many animals to send to our processing appointment, we have to gather that information ahead of time. We will have dates listed and updated on the homepage so you can be aware of when you will need to place your order so that it will be part of the next available processing time. Once processed, orders will be shipped on the following first Monday of the month.