Meet The Locals: Painted Outlaw Ranch
Tell us about your business’s history, how it got started, who runs it, etc.
We started our longhorn journey in 2009 with three heifers and it didn’t take long before there were ten. We started raising longhorns for the grass-finished beef pasture to plate market. The consumer demand took off faster than expected and pretty soon we were searching for more cattle. In 2018 we started to make the switch to all registered cattle to expand our ranch market into raising replacement quality breeding stock alongside our beef program. Our goal is to produce heavy but stylish breeding stock. We chose the longhorn as our breed of choice based on looks at first. Ammon has always had paint horses and Ali wanted cows. So we met in the middle with “pretty cows.” Soon we were learning about the breed and finding out that they are disease resistant, easy calving, great mothers, and grass efficient. Our family includes twin girls who also have a small herd of their own and are involved in the everyday farm life. From feeding and forking pens to helping chute side, they are always helping in some way. We are happy they share our love of longhorns. We work as a family on the farm, but Ammon does the buying and selling of live cattle and Ali does the selling of the beef.
What does your business specialize in? And what makes your business unique in the Chippewa Valley?
We specialize in grass-fed and grass-finished Texas Longhorn beef. Longhorn beef, especially grass-fed, is lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol than other beef but still packs the flavor, protein, B3, B12, B6, zinc, and selenium. There are longhorn breeders scattered across the state of Wisconsin but in the sense of cattle population as a whole, we are few and far between. We enjoy getting others started in raising registered Texas Longhorns, but they are very beneficial to crossbreeding programs as well.
What is your favorite part about owning and operating a beef farm?
My favorite part of the beef farm is the calves. We never know what color they will be or what coat pattern they will have. The longhorns come in every color possible, and the calves will a lot of times be born one color and change to another. Also horn direction. Some of their horns go up and out, others twist in like a corkscrew, and then others will stretch straight out. I guess really the surprises the longhorns bring all together is my favorite part. They are just an all around fun breed of cattle to have.
What are your farming practices? And are they an important part of your business model?
We chose to grass finish our beef because it is a healthier choice for the consumer as well as the animal. Also, our cattle are not fed antibiotics nor do we use growth hormones. You are what you eat. We rotate our cattle every few days to new paddocks during the summer and feed them baleage, fermented grass/legumes, during the winter months which we cut and bale ourselves. We also unroll the hay so that the manure and waste is already out on the pasture unlike when hay rings are used. We feel if we take care of the land, it will take care of us. Our animals’ wellbeing is number one, and even though we are raising animals for food, they still deserve the best life possible that we can give them.
Anything else you’d like shoppers to know about your products, practices, family, or business?
We sell cows, calves, steers, heifers, bulls, and skulls as well. If we don’t have what you are looking for, we can find someone who does! We have beef on hand at the farm and sell halves and quarters, but we definitely love working with Menomonie Market Food Co-op. Y’all are a great way to support the local agribusiness. We also exhibit at a few Longhorn breed shows and help to promote the breed in the great state of Wisconsin. The longhorn breeders are one big family, and we enjoy helping each other out and getting new breeders off on the right foot. Look us up, give us a shout, we will do our best to answer any questions about Longhorns you may have and love to talk about how awesome they really are. Visit our website paintedoutlawranch.com for more information.
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This article was originally published in the May/June 2021 issue of our bi-monthly newsletter, The Morsel. If you’d like to read more stories like this one and stay up to date on the latest co-op news and events, pick up a print copy in-store on your next grocery run or find more news on our website here.