Your Branch Ranch Natural Beef
1. For those of us on specialized diets, what does "minimally processed" and "no artificial ingredients" really mean?
- Natural for fresh meat products, as defined by the USDA, refers to “minimally processed and containing no artificial ingredients.” In order to meet this definition, companies may only use traditional processes to make the food edible, preserve it or make it safe. Additionally, any physical processes used cannot fundamentally alter the raw product beyond separating the whole food into component parts or traditional forms. A good example of this is ground beef.
- Branch Ranch products not only meet these requirements, they exceed them – absolutely no chemicals, “natural additives” or water is added to the meat during processing. Additionally, our cattle are fed a natural diet without added hormones or antibiotics.
2. What is the diet of the cattle before becoming part of the Branch Ranch finishing program?
- Birth to weaning - cattle will graze on native pasture grasses along with their mother’s milk.
- Grass fed - cattle may be grass fed after weaning to allow them to develop prior to entering the finishing phase. This diet is traditionally a grass pasture diet or a low-energy, grain based diet supplemented with grass, haylage or silage.
- Finishing – usually begins when the cattle reach about 800 lbs. The cattle typically receive a high-energy, corn or grain based diet supplemented with roughage, usually ground grass hay.
3. Are your cattle ever given antibiotics or hormones?
Unlike most “natural” claims, Branch Ranch cattle have NEVER EVER received any antibiotics or hormones of any kind. Lots of our competitors have what’s called a 120 day natural program. This means that the animal wasn’t given any antibiotics or hormones only in the last 120 days before processing. This is a loophole in the USDA natural protocol. Branch Ranch believes in going above and beyond, while being upfront with our customers. We will only offer cattle as natural, if they are truly natural.
4. How is the Branch Ranch verified?
We have partnered with IMI Global, a 3rd party that audits and verifies natural beef producers. Since 1995, IMI has worked to help all segments of the food supply chain build programs to comply with specific production practice standards that meet the varied tastes of consumers. IMI's third party auditing assures you, the consumer, that there is authenticity and integrity behind these food claims.
Animals are identified and can be traced to the ranch or farm on which they were born.
Source & Age
In addition to being able to trace these animals back to the ranch or farm where they were born, their age has also been verified, which is important to qualify for certain export markets.
This is a specific program to qualify cattle for export to the European Union (EU) and verifies that the cattle have never received supplemental growth hormones.
Cattle enrolled in this program have never received added growth hormones, have never been treated with antibiotics and have been raised on a diet that excludes supplements from animal sources.
Farms and ranches qualifying for this verification are implementing management practices that may encompass a variety of environmental or conservation enhancement strategies.
5. What is the age of Branch Ranch cattle when processed?
Our program mandates cattle are less than 30 months of age. Currently, our cattle are 18-24 months at processing.
6. How does the program’s humane handling requirements compare to other programs?
The cattle in our program are handled humanely and gently throughout all process phases with management procedures recognized by professional animal behaviorists. Trained Branch Ranch personnel monitor the program, and can be verified by signed affidavits.
Shipping / Purchasing
1. Is your beef shipped fresh or frozen?
Our all natural beef is sent directly from the ranch to our processor, where it is aged for 15 days then frozen. It is then sent to our customers frozen and packed in dry ice to ensure freshness.
2. What carrier do you use to ship?
We ship all orders through UPS Second Day Air.
3. Can I track my order online?
Yes, tracking information will be sent to your email upon ordering.
4. Can you ship outside the U.S?
At this time we cannot ship outside the United States.
5. What is the best way to store the beef?
It is best to store your beef in the freezer, until you are ready to prepare it.
6. How long can I keep the beef in the freezer?
We recommend keeping beef frozen for up to one year.
7. How long will my meat take to thaw out?
It is best to thaw out your beef in the refrigerator. Depending on the cut, your all natural beef can take anywhere from 8 to 24 hours to be thawed out in the refrigerator. Once thawed, it can remain in the refrigerator in the Cryovac for up to 7 days.
8. Can I send beef as a gift?
Yes. You can send beef as a gift or send a gift certificate for Branch Ranch Natural. We offer personalized hand written gift notes to be included with your gift as well.
9. Where can I locally enjoy BRN beef?
Branch Ranch Natural is served in many restaurants throughout Texas and New Mexico. Please check out our Restaurant Partner page on our website for a full listing of restaurant partners.
10. Where can I locally purchase BRN Beef?
You can currently pick up Branch Ranch Beef in Hutto, Texas at Westphalia Meat Market, and at Klemke’s Sausage Haus in Wolfforth, Texas.
Westphalia Meat Market
409 W. Front St. Ste. 206
Hutto, Texas 78634 MAP
Klemke’s Sausage Haus
930 W. Fifth St.
Wolfforth, Texas 79382
11. Does Branch Ranch Natural offer beef recipes or cooking tips?
Yes. On our website you can find great meal ideas and cooking tips from Chef Joy Field.
12. Is there a number I can call if I have an issue with my beef order?
Please call our toll free 1-800 number: 1-800-682-7710
1. What day will my beef arrive each month?
We ship beef club assortments every second Monday of the month. Shipping specifics vary based on your location and package choice.
2. What are beef club shipping rates?
For the monthly assortment:
Free shipping in Texas
$15 flat rate outside of Texas
6 month assortment:
Free 2 day shipping anywhere
12 month assortment:
Free 2 day shipping anywhere
3. Do I choose which beef I want?
No, but Chef Joy has taken extra care to pick cuts that are seasonal and flavorful.
4. Will I know what cuts are coming ahead of time?
Yes, our monthly club cuts will be posted on our website.
5. Will I have a tracking number on the beef?
Yes, tracking information will be emailed to you upon shipment.
6. What type of packing material is the beef shipped in?
Our food is packaged in a food grade thermal container and then shipped in a cardboard box. We lable the box perishable to ensure proper handling.