About Us

Fehr Brothers Farms is a family farm in Central Illinois that raises Black Angus cattle year-round. The family farm has been in operation for well over 100 years. You can arrange a visit - small farms are one of America's greatest assets!

Support Your Local Farmer!

The Problem: "Mystery Meat"

Where do you get your food? These days it may be hard to tell. Even today, in the information age, many consumers still eat "mystery meat."

Purchasing an attractively branded beef cut in the grocery store tells you very little about where and how the animal was raised, fed and handled. Try to find out next time you go. Chances are they won't know - it's difficult to say because they come from large feedlots all over the country - and from other countries. There is now no label requirement which shows farm or even country of origin. I'm sure consumers would have even more trouble trying to find out where that McDonald's hamburger they ate came from. Why the lack of transparency and traceability?

Does It Matter?

Despite the packaging and claims of quality, that cut of meat came from an animal who was confined all or most of its life where it was mass produced on a large industrial feedlot - Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). There it was fed unnaturally high levels of high calorie food energy and cheap animal byproducts - to put on fat weight quickly.

The large producers do this so they can utilize economies of scale and lower their costs. Today, an oligopoly of 4 large processors control over 85% of the beef market in the U.S. Much of it comes from outside the U.S. (USDA COOL Program)

The result: higher concentrations of confined livestock means higher concentrations of animal waste - and waste runoff - with no safe, easy way of getting rid of it. A bad combination both for herd health and for the environment.

Next, confining large numbers of livestock with little opportunity to graze freely on fresh green grasses, alfalfas and clovers also means less healthy animals. This increases the chance of contamination, disease and lower quality meat.

The risk of cross-contamination multiplies for ground beef, which commonly combines meat from many different animals and various suppliers, mixed together in large vats. Some processors have even used an ammonia treatment for this low-quality fatty trimmings of ground beef to kill the bacteria that results. This ground beef product ends up in over 70% of burgers in the U.S. - particularly school lunch cafeterias. (Article: NY Times)

Lower quality meat should concern all of us and the larger these feedlots get, the more midsize and smaller family farms are pushed out of the market.

You Can Choose! - Eat Local

Choose to know where your food comes from and that it has been humanely treated.

Wouldn't you like to know where and how your food was raised? Wouldn't it be nice to have a choice about what you eat - instead of having a large food processing company make that choice for you? I don't think your health is their main concern.

Our cattle live naturally as they graze and forage on pasture and farm land. The herd numbers are small so they are not crowded or confined in a feedlot. Calves are bred and born on the farm and are vaccinated against respiratory illnesses and diarrhea to protect their health.

Choose better beef for your family.

Purebred Black Angus cattle in the top level of USDA Choice, often meeting Prime grade requirements for yield and marbling. Meat purchased is generally dry aged 14-21 days which concentrates the flavor. Registered seedstock and husbandry practices are used to select purebred traits of Black Angus beef cattle. You won't find a better steak in any fine restaurant - but you will pay a lot more for it! Taste the difference

Our cattle are not given any hormones, antibiotics, or steroids or fed with animal by-products, high levels of grains, feedstuffs or concentrates. They are not trucked long distances. The processing facility is an organic locker located 3 miles from the farm, lowering animal stress. The meat is steroid and antibiotic free. They are primarly fed on pasture land - their natural grazing environment - and hay. They are rotationally grazed on corn stalk fodder and finished with a 100% vegetarian diet.

USDA inspected and processed at a certified organic locker in Illinois, the meat is vacuum packed in clear packaging, labeled and flash frozen to preserve cell structure, moisture and freshness.

Thank you for your interest in Fehr Bros. Farms!