hen US Wellness Meats was founded back in 2000, we were raising and selling our grass-fed beef products only. After a few short years in business we realized we needed to widen our horizons as there are so many other great products we could be offering! So we started to branch out into grass-fed dairy and lamb products, and things continued to grow from there. We would not be the company we are today without the other amazing farmers and producers who contribute to our business. Continue reading to learn more about our incredible partners...
Beef: Our founding farms are located in the heart of the Midwest. Most of our current production comes from three of the founding members of the company located in Northeast Missouri and West Central Illinois. Our cattle are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished and do not receive any starch (grains) in their diet. Every beef product- from the steaks to franks and ground beef meets this same criteria. We do not feed any antibiotics or hormones and do not use any pesticides or herbicides on our pastures. Besides our founding farms, we also source from a few private farms throughout the United States and through our partnership with grass-fed farmers in Tasmania. Currently, our cattle farms are located in Missouri, Illinois, Alabama, Montana, and Tasmania. We enjoy long summers with abundant rainfall to keep our pastures green most of the year. We bale plenty of those warm weather grasses in the summer so the cattle enjoy those same grasses when snow is on the ground in the Midwest region.
A small group of Tasmanian farmers came to the US for tours of our farms many years ago, which led to the formation of this unique partnership. Tasmania is the ideal place for grass-fed production due to their temperate climate. This island is the ideal place for grazing animals as they have a temperate climate and plenty of rainfall that allows for grazing year round, and no hormones or GMOs are allowed on the island. They are raising their cattle to the exact standards as we are: 100% grass-fed and grass-finished, not fed any antibiotics or hormones, and the farmers do not use any fertilizer or pesticides on their pastures.
We started sourcing product from Tasmania because there are certain cuts that the animal only has so many of - such as skirts, flanks and hangar steaks, and were always running short. So we turned to our friends from Tasmania for some of these cuts, which they were able to provide. These primals are going through the aging process while they are on the ship here, and they are then processed at the same processing facility here in the US as all of our other beef cuts. If a product is currently sourcing from our Tasmania product, it will have that information on the product description, such as the Flank Steak. If a product is domestic, it won't have that disclaimer, like the Sirloin Tip Steaks.
Click here to learn more about the farm in picturesque Tasmania.
Bison: Our bison are roaming around the open pastures of the Dakotas and Northern Plains and our farmers there are dedicated to improving the native grasses of the area, and ensuring the natural way of life bison have been accustomed to for decades. NorthStar Bison in Wisconsin and Wild Idea in South Dakota raise their bison on 100% native prairie grasses, without chemicals, hormones, pesticides or grain. All our bison is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished.
Pork: All of our pork products are GAP-certified, meaning they are raised in the best conditions possible. Our pork comes from Heritage Acres which is a group of small, local Missouri and Kansas farmers providing the finest quality, antibiotic-free pork. You can read more details on our pork blog, including information on the pigs diet which is 100% vegetarian feed. They receive no added hormones and are antibiotic free.
Since pigs have a single stomach, they cannot be raised on grass along and are supplemented with a conventional, 100% vegetarian diet that includes corn and soy. Since January 2015, the feed is non-GMO. All our current inventory is from pigs fed a non-GMO diet.
None of our pork products are processed with or include nitrates or nitrites.
Poultry: We source our free range chicken products from a few poultry farms throughout the US . The free range chickens enjoy plenty of fresh air and sunshine while maturing at their natural pace. Raising chickens in this way takes a little longer with our birds reach marketable weights in 6-10 weeks as opposed to the industry standard of 6 weeks. Currently, we source from farms located in: South Carolina (bundles shipped directly from the farm), Arkansas, California, and Florida.
Once mature enough, the chickens are outside on pasture during the day where they can scratch in the soil, eat green plants and whatever bugs they find. For their protection from predators such as foxes and coyotes, the chickens are moved indoors at night.
Because chickens have a single stomach, they cannot be raised on grass and foraging skills alone. Their diets are supplemented with a conventional poultry diet which includes corn and soy. This all natural feed contains no antibiotics, hormones or animal by products.
We have converted nearly all our poultry options to a non-GMO feed ration. Any selection that is GMO free will specifically be stated in the online description, such as our free-range chicken wings.
Due to growing interest and frequent customer requests, Maypop Farm also started raising soy-free chickens in the summer of 2011. These selections may be found in our soy free category. The only soy-free chicken products we currently offer will have "soy free" in the item description and ship directly from our South Carolina poultry farm. The soy-free chicken feed is non-GMO and does contain corn. Maypop Farm in Darlington, South Carolina also raises all of our free range 20 pound chicken bundles and ships those direct from the farm.
The following poultry options are free range, but not GMO free: South Carolina chicken bundles (except for the Soy Free bundles, which are GMO free) and Chicken Braunschweiger.
The following poultry options are not free range or GMO free: Turkey Jerky, Chicken Sausages, and Turkey Provolone Sausage. These selections are free roam and antibiotic free from birth. The diet for these chickens is a conventional poultry diet which includes corn and soy.
Duck: We source our ducks from upstate New York. All of our Pekin Ducks are free range and enjoy a diet free of growth hormones and antibiotics.
Rabbit: Our rabbits are sourced from a farm in Missouri. Rabbits are fed pellets containing alfalfa, soybean hull and a mixture of various grains and minerals. We cannot claim 100% non-GMO for the rabbit feed. The rabbits are not given growth hormones or antibiotics.
Dairy: We are very lucky to be able to source grass-fed dairy products, without any added growth hormones. We have two different Amish dairies- one in Indiana, the other in Pennsylvania, who supply us with raw, grass-fed cheese. The ingredients in our raw cheeses (except unsalted cheddar) are: milk, cultures, sea salt (either Redmond or Celtic - depends on variety), and rennet. We do not feed any antibiotics or hormones to any of our animals, and all of our cattle - both beef cattle and dairy cows are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished, so they are not consuming any grains throughout their lives. They are grazing on pastures free of any sprayed fertilizers or pesticides.
The cheeses are not certified organic, but we are sourcing all of them from a group of Amish farmers, raising their animals the same way our ancestors did years ago - very organically, but not certified.
Lamb: Our lamb is raised in Oregon and southern Missouri on a 100% grass-fed diet devoid of any chemicals, hormones, pesticides or grain. The lamb enjoy lush pastures and plenty of rainfall.
Seafood: Our seafood products come from Vital Choice located in the state of Washington, one of the premier wild-caught seafood providers in the country. Their products are certified sustainable, and most products are caught off the west coast and surrounding waters. The only exception is our wild-caught raw shrimp which are harvested in the Pacific Ocean and processed in the United States. They are wild-caught and chemical free.
We have carefully collaborated with like-minded farmers and individuals that hold their products to the same standards we believe in for our company. Long story short, we have built our business over the many years while respecting our animals and our environment. We enjoy the products, just like our customers, so it remains our goal to offer the best selection possible.