Ontario Corn Fed Beef is naturally great tasting! But what exactly is Ontario Corn Fed Beef (OCFB)? Why is it able to produce great tasting meat? Who are the people and communities involved that make this program such a success? How do they maintain the consistent quality of this beef?
I, MoVernie, is as curious as you, wanting to find out more about our food sources. As more people prefer to “Shop local, eat local and support local“. It’s part of my mission to gather more information and share KEY content with all of you about Ontario Corn Fed Beef. By being on the MOVE on beefy farm tour, visiting feedlots, cattle farms, restaurants and grocery stores that serve Ontario Corn Fed Beef, I will be able to find these answers. In this MoVernie x Ontario Corn Fed Beef BLOG series, you will be able to understand how Ontario Corn Fed Beef Program operates in various aspects from different parts of the agricultural industries.
Follow my MoVernie Beefy Journey!
Ontario Corn Fed Beef (OCFB) are high quality beef. So, what makes them high quality and tasty? Well….the existence of “The Ontario Corn Fed Beef Quality Assurance Program” provides protocols and nutritionally balanced corn based feeding program to ensure the consumers are getting consistent great tasting beef.
So what are the protocols? Here they are:
1) OCFB Audit and Registration: Every producer who is registered to produce cattle under the OCFB program is required to undergo OCFB audit process during the initial registration. That’s to ensure every producer passes the requirement in order to join the program. Once the producer passes the audit, periodic additional audits are on going to ensure every producer are consistently maintaining and following the quality assurance program.
2) OCFB Record Keeping: Proper record keeping is a MUST with the OCFB program. Records that relate to the implementation of Good Production Practices (GPPs) are required. And the Good Production Practices include the following areas of monitoring and maintenance:
– Receiving and shipping of cattle
– Feed & nutrition management
– Feeding environment
– Animal health
– Sanitation & pest control
– Personnel training
– Facilities & Equipment
3) OCFB Cattle Identification: Every cattle in the OCFB program MUST have an identification ear tag. This identification is enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. I think this is the KEY benefit to the program that records are being stored and tracked down on each cattle’s health records, behaviour as well as knowing which cattle farms they were transferring to the feedlots. That way, if there are any break out of diseases (touch wood) or other issues, the farmers and the authorities could quickly identify the affected cattle(s) and isolate them to other areas and reduce the risk of spreading the diseases to other cattle.
Maintaining Low Stress Handling Practices
During my beefy tour at the cattle farms, I think the most significant factor by the farmers and their staff is to provide the cattle with the best “Animal Care” that they can provide. Being passionate and caring for the cattle are the most important criteria in contributing to high quality of beef.
Apparently, I was told that cattle prefers to be living in a calm and stable areas and environment. Cattle loves to live in herds. So, even if there are tons of space, they prefer to hang out close to each other. I saw this first hand when there was a huge open air where the cattle could have stayed away from each other and have as much space as they want. Instead, they just like to crowd around with each other. Farmers also give the cattle the option to chill outside the field or stay inside the barn.
I recalled asking the farmer if the cattle feel bored doing the same stuff every single day. He told me that the cattle actually prefer consistent lifestyle and don’t like changes. They prefer not to be stressed. So, if the farmers can maintain a low stress handling practices, that’s the most ideal situation for the cattle to produce the high quality meat.
Consistent Monitoring the Health of the Cattle
The farmers informed me that every day, they will walk into the barn themselves, checking and monitoring every single cattle every single day. They said technology checking is great but in addition, manual human observations of the cattle are as important. They will check the animals feces or check if certain cattle’s eating habit changes, those are signs of sickness. And if they detect any sort of unusual behaviour or health issues on a cattle, they will isolate the cattle into a “sick bay” area to further monitor their well-being.
To me, it feels good that the food I am consuming are under specific protocols and meeting all the guidelines. High standards are taken place to ensure the consumers such as myself are purchasing high quality Ontario Corn Fed Beef. It’s a peace of mind. And most importantly, one person can’t do it alone. It’s an entire communities of hardworking farmers, agricultural companies and government authorities, retail and groceries stores and consumers such as myself or you and your family are all connected in this cycle, maintaining a high quality of Ontario Corn Fed Beef. It’s essential that we maintain this “sustainability“.
MoVernie Fun Fact: Ontario Corn Fed Beef conducted a survey asking Ontario people…”Would you prefer to purchase beef from cattle fed on Ontario family farms that is produced under a documented quality assurance program including defined good production practices (GPPs) and feed specifications?
Result: YES – 91%
91% of people said YES! That’s a substantial number!
This MoVernie BLOG was paid for by Ontario Corn Fed Beef. As always, all reviews and opinions are entirely my own.
And MoVernie is outta here!