Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Despite lacking an agricultural background, Andrew and Natalie Hammer wanted to raise their children on a farm.
So about three years ago they purchased on outside of Canal Fulton and with it they bought a herd of “beefalo.” That’s right, “beefalo” – a cross between bison and traditional domestic cattle.
It was an experiment. We both work full-time jobs,” Andrew said. “Could we do it? With ‘beefalo,’ it’s a smaller niche. We felt we could do it and do it well.”
Andrew is the president of StarkJobs.com and Natalie is the vice president of sales and marketing for Blossom Bucket, Inc.
Today, the two are owners of Flightpath Farms and sell “beefalo” under the label Heartland Beefalo of Ohio.
“I hesitate to call it a hobby,” Andrew Hammer said. “But it’s a great way to come back from the office and do some physical work.”
He said there is something to be said for watching animals grow. “There is a great connection to the land…and it’s a neat side effect of what we do,” he said.
There are very few herds of “beefalo” in Ohio. The Hammer’s herd is one of about six in the state. When they purchased the herd they had 15 “beefalos.” Now at any time they have about 50.
It takes 24 months from the birth of a beefalo until it is ready for slaughter – about double the time of a beef calf.
Andrew said there are two common types of consumers for beefalo – those who have high cholesterol and those who prefer naturally-bred animals for consumption.
Beefalo meat – a red meat – is low fat, low cholesterol and high protein and is comparable to eating chicken or fish. Beefalo are grass-fed, and no steroids or accelerants are used on the animals.
Meat eaters will notice a slight difference in the taste of Beefalo, Andrew said. “They will notice it is much leaner and it is a non-marbled meat,” he said. “Marble is the fat that runs through meat. We are conditioned to the taste of fat (in our steaks). You will notice a slight difference (when eating beefalo). Some say it tastes sweeter.”
The meat cooks in about half the time as traditional beef and runs about $1.25 more per pound.
To purchase beefalo from the Hammers or for more information, call 1-877-BEEFALO. The Hammer’s beefalo meat is sold at the Raisin Rack, on Cleveland Avenue in Canton, and is on the menu of Corky’s Restaurant in Jackson Township.
The Independent, Massillon – Reprinted with permission