Farming can be stressful, but most people don’t think about the effect of stress on farm animals.
For David and Mary Lynne Ohnemus, though, that is top of mind. They strive to provide a stress-free environment for their cattle, which leads to better taste and texture in the end result.
Like many cattle ranchers (including all of those providing meat through ChopLocal), the Ohnemuses are Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified, which assures the safe and ethical handling of their cattle. Special care is taken to ensure that moving, feeding and transporting cattle is done in a way that will keep the cattle calm and prevent injury or distress.
David and Mary Lynne have been raising and selling beef cattle on their family farm located outside Lacona, Iowa for over 20 years. Much of south central Iowa is made up of rolling hills, which are less than ideal for row-crops like corn and soybeans, which cover much of the farm ground in Iowa. The hillsides are much better suited to wide-open grass pastures, perfect for raising cattle. The cattle live in these grass pastures and are given unlimited hay with a corn and gluten ration.
Ohnemusbeef is lean, naturally-raised beef. The steaks are relatively small, but provide valuable nutrients for the consumer’s diet, including protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B12.
David and Mary Lynne have been selling their beef directly-to-consumers for several years, and take part in local farmer’s markets. They joined ChopLocal in 2021 in order to share their beef with more consumers.
When asked about her favorite cut of meat, Mary Lynne said she may not have a favorite. “It is how you cook it that makes the difference,” she said. “It’s about texture, technique, and time.”
One of Mary Lynne’s favorite recipes is to cook tenderized round steak like a chicken finger. She slices it thinly and breads the steak in eggs, flour and seasoning before frying. This is something fun and simple that many families will enjoy, and it is a great way to make something different with the round steak.
Along with the steak finger recipe, Mary Lynne also enjoys cooking for lots of other people, so take and bake meals are her go-to including shepherd’s pie, chili, Asian stir fry, and others.
While Mary Lynne is the cook in the family, David has a heart and passion for cattle, and he loves to share that with anyone he talks to. The hope is to pass the passion and experience down to an interested grandchild. Mary Lynne and David welcome farm tours and hayrides for community and school groups. The kids get to come to the farm, see the animals, and learn how a farm is run. This helps give children the early opportunity to experience a farm with animals and to show where meat comes from starting from an early age. The children get to meet their meat.
Ready to meet Ohnemusbeef meats for yourself? Order by the cut and have it shipped anywhere in the country. Or, if you are local, purchase a whole, half or quarter of beef and fill your freezer at a discount.
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