High Five Meats, LLC
Words from sara
Life on the Ranch
Well, that had to be the longest winter ever, AM I RIGHT? Our first snowfall was in October and we continued to get snow all the way into April, 7months of snowy winter weather...WHY MONTANA WHY? Although I cannot complain too much because even with the harsh weather that isn't so friendly for our livestock, the moisture for our land looks is beyond amazing. IT IS SO GREEN AND LUSH! I've been living in Montana for 5 years now and this is the best grass I've ever seen. Even with a flooded basement (thank you ground water, no thank you insurance), extreme colds, and keeping a baby locked inside for way too many days in a row, we have come out on the other end and it feels GREAT!
Since winter ran well into spring we have been getting all our spring time ranch events done late, but at least we are getting it done right?! We still haven't branded our calves, mainly because we cannot drive into the pastures they're currently in (roads are still a muddy mess). We did manage to finish docking and vaccinating all of our lambs yesterday! Such a relief to get such a huge task finished. The weirdest part, it was freezing cold! Seriously the low was 34F, Montana YOU ARE CRAY. Although, I rather dock tails in cooler weather than hot ANY DAY!
Currently, we have four sheep herders on summer pasture across the state. Wilder is in Beach, North Dakota with all of our ewe lambs, Nilton is in Brusett, Montana with a band of ewes, Conty is heading out this week with another band of ewes to Deerlodge, Montana. Once Carlos returns from Peru this weekend we will send him with another band of ewes and lambs up near Brusett on a different pasture than Nilton (maybe they can wave from hilltops to each other). So that just leaves Gilmer at the ranch to take care of the May lambers that will head up to a pasture we lease nearby in Molt! Things will be quiet around here this summer!
Henry started Rodeo about a week ago, the season doesn't really take off for a few weeks. Rhett and I will try and travel to as many as we can, between farmers markets that start the middle of July! Henry and his dad Mike are especially excited for this summer because Henry will be riding three amazing red roan horses that were born, raised and trained on the ranch. Sometimes people think Henry is riding the same horse in different events because they all look very similar. 'Hippie' is a 8 year old gelding that Henry heels on, 'Bob' is a 7 year old gelding with a HUGE personality that is showing amazing ability as a head horse, and 'Ruby' an 8 year old mare that Henry has started calf roping on. Ruby hasn't made her debut at a rodeo just yet, but Henry plans on entering her in a few jackpots while still riding his main mount ReyDay at PRCA rodeos.
High Five Meats is doing well! I have been pouring myself into starting a local food hub with a few other producers in the area. We raised good chunk of money to start the process of hiring a manager to represent us and sell our meat and produce to restaurants, hospitals, schools, and families! It is a project many years in the making and we are hoping to have it up and running by the end of the year. In the meantime you can always purchase our meat online, I will deliver it to your door and I will be at the Billings Farmers Market all summer long!
For more information about the Yellowstone Valley Food Hub (that you can also donate to, wink wink) check out the site here: https://northernplains.org/yellowstone-valley-food-hub/
Oh, and the most fun event we just did, GOAT YOGA! It was a blast. You can read more about it in the Billings Gazette here: https://billingsgazette.com/news/local/photos-goat-yoga-comes-to-billings-for-a-good-cause/collection_483ee513-8817-56a4-a23f-9e0742cd84d4.html#6
Recently Henry and I went to a lamb butcher class at the Univeristy of Wyoming. IT WAS AWESOME. We evaluated live lambs and then followed them through the entire harvesting process. We even got to cut up a whole carcass and make sausage ourselves! We learned A LOT in a matter of just 3 days. Since then we have been much more aware of how our lambs are being processed and what cuts we would like to sell more of. We currectly have a lamb lovers package available for purchase and I needed to take some pictures of what came in it. After the photo shoot I attempted to cook my first french rack of lamb. IT WAS DELICIOUS! I highly reccommend this cut for a fun dinner with friends, or a holiday as it really is a special cut of meat.
Unless you live in Mexico its probably COLD where you are. The last few days at the ranch have been dropping below zero at night and staying in the single digets during the day. Needless to say, everyone is cold, and nothing is working. Waters are frozen, pickups won's start, and straw is everyone's best friend. But alas, we got the waters unfrozen, pickups plugged in and since turned on, and straw is still everyone's best friend. Looks like the cold front isn't leaving us anytime soon so we have been feeding all the animals a little extra to keep them happy. Luckily animals in Montana are used to this and are very hardy in the winter. We put lots of straw in their shelters during this time of the year and it seems to do the trick. If you are a sheep you are even more fortunate because you have a natural jacket of wool on keeping you cozy and warm. Hope everyone is staying safe and warm out there!