300 East Highway 329. Citra, FL 32113. Tel. 352-807-5709
All animals are free range. (24 hour access to pasture).
All beef is antibiotic and hormone free.
All pastures have been free of commercial herbicides and synthetic fertilizers since 2011.
Going back to the early days of Master Blend Cattle Company, we find ourselves in Massachusetts – the spring of 1963. Earl and Teresa, who were first generation farmers, had just started a dairy and were enjoying the progress of their small herd of Holstein, Jersey and Guernsey cattle. New England winters, however, were harsh (Earl would’ve used more descriptive words, but you get the point). Weary of the cold, they began looking for a warmer place to call home – a search that ultimately led to the purchase of our current farm in the winter of 1971.
Family, as well as the dairy herd, moved south the following summer, and for thirty-five years, our farm continued to be actively involved in the dairy business, milking cows ranging from Holsteins to Jerseys to even the rare Angus that made her way up to the barn. Unfortunately, during the latter half belonging to these three-plus decades of dairying, spatial constraints were beginning to limit our herd’s size. This meant that the business could no longer physically grow, and as such, we had to pursue other venues of maintaining income. This prompted us more seriously down the path of improving our herd’s genetics – a strategy by which we were able increase production while preserving both cattle and environmental health.
In the end, these innovative methods helped us maintain the dairy a good while longer than we could have otherwise, but by the turn of the century; our family – now second and third generation farmers – came to realize that the dairy business was no longer a viable way to earn our livelihood. As a solution, we decided to gradually reduce the size of our milking herd, and with the freed-up land and resources, began to rear dairy heifer replacements for other farms. It was at this time that we also began building the foundation of our current beef herd. This transitional phase took a number of years to complete and ultimately led our being ‘dairy-free’ by mid December of 2006.
While a portion of our operation is still focused on raising dairy heifer replacements, our own herd of beef cattle has expanded vastly over the last dozen years. Throughout that time, we have been exploring – or perhaps one could even say, experimenting with – various combinations of breeds in an attempt to find a superior blend.
What does this exploration entail?
For our current herd, we use the same successful methods that were utilized to record pedigrees, health, and overall performance of our milk cows. Similarly, when it comes time for breeding, we draw from our previous experiences in selecting premier genetics from around the globe. These skills – abilities that we have been employing and honing for decades – are used in conjunction with new tools: better technology, improved software, and even state of the art tests that grant us insight into our cattle’s unique genetic markers.
The results have been remarkable. Not only have we been able to improve our cattle’s productivity in a sustainable and healthy way, the quality of our product has been robustly influenced – pasture-to-plate beef founded upon countless records, specifically designed pedigrees, and the genetic readings of over 50,000 unique markers for health traits, marbling, yield, and even tenderness.
In other words, we at Master Blend believe you’ll taste the difference.