The impetus for starting this project was the reactions I have as I learn more about the meat industry specifically. There are so many aspects of it that concern me. First off, all animals should be treated humanely, which is nowhere near the case in the mass-production of meat. Then there’s what they are fed. Cows, for example, should eat grass. Period. Not corn, and not genetically modified corn at that. They should not be pumped with growth hormones and antibiotics. The list goes on and I’m not really in this to lecture. So I’ll stop there.
It was very important to me to purchase meat from a place that held up these standards. In this valley, we have HD Dunn and Son. Their beef is pasture-raised, grass-fed, all natural Angus beef…and it’s delicious. I’ve been to the ranch before for a few photography projects including their annual bull sale (a wonderful cast of characters show up to this event), a branding session and even a portrait. But this time, I was meeting Sarah Dunn there to buy some beef that I can feel great about giving to my family. Sarah married the “& son”, Ken, 4 years ago. They now have a beautiful 2 year old boy named Walker. Sara and Walker met myself and my two boys (1 and 4) the other day. The plan was to purchase a package (we chose the “Thirty Below Slow Cooker Package”) and then have a playdate. Turns out, all of the boys were overtired and wild and the latter part of the plan was nixed. I did, however, come home with a box of meat that has found a home in our deep freezer.
Here’s the thing about buying local in a small town. Chances are you know the seller personally in some fashion. It’s an intimate experience you don’t get from a cold case in the supermarket. If you have a question about the product, you ask it and the answer is given to you. No, “Let me go ask my manager.” It’s just simple. Anyway, here’s a few photos so you can see how dang lucky these cattle are.
The good stuff is kept under lock and key. Walker helps out by unlocking the freezer. I learned which part of the cow each cut of meat was from.
Sara puts together my slow cooker package as Walker and my boys wreak havoc on the place. Later, my 1 year old, Harper, helps Walker shut himself in the freezer (no, of course we didn’t let him actually shut the door.)
We cruise around the ranch, braving the incredibly gusty winds.
The rain is almost here, but manages to stay away long enough.
My happy freezer.
You can find HD Dunn & Son beef at Barrels and Bins, Jackson Whole Grocer, Broulims, Forage restaurant, and more places I’m sure I’ve forgotten. Oh yeah, you can also pick some up at the ranch. Go for a visit!