Ethically sourced and sustainable grass-fed beef
IN THE South Burnett, nestled above Neumgna and near the Yarraman State Forest, Glenn and Skye Douglass have been farming sustainable grass-fed beef.
Their cattle roam across 650 acres of land, for their entire three years of life.
"We have herefords with short horn in them and black angus cattle. They are all British breeds too,” Mr Douglass said.
"That's how our business name came about. Because we have all British breeds and we're situated pretty high up here,” Mrs Douglass said.
"There's been quite a few of generations now. We started breeding back in 2013 when we decided we wanted to start farming sustainably and ethically.”
Glenn and Skye first met more than 20 years ago, a year before they both attended The University of Southern Queensland.
It has now been six years since the pair started their business HighBritt Pastured Free-Range Beef.
"We met through a mutual friend in our gap years. Then we both studied together,” Mrs Douglass said.
"I studied environmental science and Glenn studied psychology. Something we always talked about while at uni was wanting to be able to access locally and ethically sourced grass-fed beef. But more so than that, we wanted to know everything. All of the farming details.
"That's why we are so open with what we do. We think it's so important to know more than just where your food is coming from. But, how it is handled along the entire supply chain.”
Mr and Mrs Douglass know that to farm the best-tasting grass-fed beef, their soil needed to be as nutrient-dense as possible.
"Having rich and healthy grass in our paddocks is heavily dependant on the quality of our soil,” Mrs Douglass said.
"In this we take a biological approach to farming and we are always pro-actively working towards a fully regenerative approach. Over the last five years we have planted over 12,000 trees to improve our soil and pastures.
"We've also got our land split up into pretty small paddocks. This helps us to be able to more intensely graze every part of the land. Which is important when that's all we're feeding our cattle.”
Mr and Mrs Douglass only feed their cattle grass, no matter the circumstances.
"There are some people with really severe grain allergies who need to know that the beef and other meat they are eating has never been fed grain. Because grain can stay in that steers system for their entire lifespan,” Mrs Douglass said.
"A lot of beef producers will also grass feed. But, they will often have to finish them up with some grains. We don't do that.
"Things were looking a bit bad up until a week ago. Because we are in drought. Luckily we had enough rain last week so we know this will keep us going for a bit.”
Their HighBrit Beef cattle also do not receive any antibiotics or growth hormones.
"I think grass-fed beef is actually much tastier. I know there a lot of people who also feel that way,” Mrs Douglass said.
"Our cattle are also only handled using low-stress techniques for their whole lives to ensure happy, healthy cattle and delicious beef.
"Grass-fed beef is actually healthier than feedlot industrialised beef. It is richer in Omega 3s and conjugated linoleic acid. And much lower in mono-unsaturated fats. It also has higher levels of vitamins A & E, and anti-oxidants. Oh, and it tastes great.”
Back in the 1930s Mr Douglass's family bought the land their property is now on.
"They used it to run cattle and other stock. But, before that it was actually originally a peanut farm,” she said.
Mr Douglass is also a fourth-generation pasturalist and comes from a long line of butchers.
The couple has also started having open days on their farm.
"We're just really trying to offer a completely transparent process and we love to share our farm with with our customers. We find the experience can give them that piece of mind,” Mrs Douglass said.
"It's just so important for us to know where our food is coming from. I'm so happy we are able to be doing that with our life's work.”