Cattle ranch of the week: Novy Ranches

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The Novy Ranch herd began in 1976 when Lowell L. Novy took the  plunge and purchased the 6000 acres that comprises the Novy Ranches today. Along with the real estate came 100 or so cows, 40 of which were registered Red Angus. Over the years Lowell tried different breed crosses, but always came back to Angus. After 33 years of selective breeding, they now raise Red and Black Angus cattle exclusively, though a few cows retain some mixed heritage traits with a white splotch or two. Angus cattle are well adapted to the environment and positive for the traits valued by Novy. Angus beef has long been the “gold standard” for taste and tenderness and you will find Novy beef to uphold the Angus reputation for quality within a strictly grass-fed program.

New genetics are now introduced from the best sources and via frozen semen. They do not purchase calves from outside sources. Essentially, they have a closed herd and that means that they know exactly where these cattle have been all of their lives. They’ve been on the ranch, eating grass and enjoying the pastures.

ALL Novy Ranch cattle are born and raised entirely on the ranch.

Novy Ranch raises their herd in large, open pastures with room to roam and places to hide from inclement weather or when a mother cow feels the need for privacy to give birth. They are never confined in feedlots, ever. In the winter months when grass is dormant, they are fed high quality hay (high protein) of mixed grasses and alfalfa and are provided straw to bed in. The ranch terrain itself provides areas of shelter from wind and weather with trees and hilly, lee-side areas, but in addition, they provide bunkers of large straw bales for the cows and calves to nestle in and behind. The cows love this. They know that caring for the cows well and reducing their stress enables them to produce a better product.  

The irrigated pastures of the ranches are comprised of many perennial grass species including fescues and wheatgrasses, along with legumes of clovers, and alfalfa plantings. Native species such as sedges and cattails are seasonally attractive to the cows. Add to that some sage, rabbit brush, milkweed (essential to the lifecycle of the migrating Monarch butterflies), foxtails and trefoils so Novy pastures are a bovine grazing smorgasbord. It is the uniqueness of the grasses and plants that the cattle consume that defines the herbaceous flavors of the beef and provides the significant health benefits that only grass-fed beef can give you.

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Marybeth Cillo    
Pittsburgh PA  |  February, 26, 2011 at 09:29 AM

The Novy operation should become the gold standard of livestock management principles, in every issue raised by anti-animal management activists. variety of foodstuffs, freedom of movement, adequate but minimalist shelter mimicking that found in a natural habitat are the ideal means to ensure healthy stock, be they feed cattle horses or sheep and goats.

Eric Bohlander    
Los Angeles, CA  |  August, 23, 2013 at 12:34 AM

I just had a really good piece of chuck that Novy Ranch sold me as a piece of Chateaubriand. I've had yak that was less tough than what they claimed was chateaubriand. I'm sure their beef is grass fed, but my family has raised beef, my grandmother was a butcher, and I will NEVER buy another cut of anything from them. They have violated the traditional occupation of Butchery. Also, the beef jerky I purchased was next to inedible.

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