| Jun 19, 2008

Feature Article - June 19, 2008

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Feature Article - June 19, 2008 Where’s the Beef? Local Family Farms in Verona… that’s where!By Julie Druker

4H Club member Darcy Clow of Godrey with his family's breed of Charolais beef cattle.

Dave and Kim Perry of Local Family Farms in Verona thought it might be wise to celebrate their store’s 1st year anniversary with a special event. So when the The Frontenac Cattleman’s Association and Kingston radio station KIX 93.5 decided to team up for a “Local Beef Promotion Day”, it made perfect sense to offer their store as the venue.

As director of the Frontenac Cattleman’s Association and a beef farmer himself, Dave Perry is all for the benefits of home grown beef. “When you see the abundance of American beef products being sold in local grocery stores, you realize how unnecessary it is when there is higher quality, healthier and tastier beef available from right here in the count,y that is processed locally as well.”

Volunteer Andy Smith of Verona flipped the triple A burgers on the BBQ in the parking lot. After sampling one (made from Kim and Dave’s stock of Black Maine-Anjou steers, which are locally processed at Quinn’s Meats in Yarker), it is easy to see (and taste) why local beef deserves promoting.

Kevin Bovey and Polly Walsh, both 4H Beef Club leaders (the four “h”s being head, heart, hands and health), organized the young members present at the event, “who will likely become the province’s future beef cattle farmers.” The young 4H Club members learn the ins and outs of beef cattle farming and spent the afternoon demonstrating roping techniques on Woody, a sawhorse stud.

A 4H Beef Club member for seven years, 17-year-old Darcy Clow of “Bel-Char Farm” in Godfrey has been around beef cattle all of his life. He spends his summers along with his parents Oliver and Lynda Clow haying, getting ready for shows and helping with calving in the spring and winter. At one of the pens set up for the event, he showed off his family’s stock of French Charolais, a breed known for their “triple-purpose power of draft, milk and meat.”

“Big G” and “Mathews” from the morning radio show of KIX 93.5, a country music station, interviewed the “Who’s Who” of local beef farming and broadcast the event live.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and the National Farmers Union (NFU) were represented as well. Peter Dowling, past president and currently director of the NFU, set up a display and answered questions.

Inside the store free samples of slow roasted, dry rubbed and marinated locally grown beef were gobbled up by shoppers. Apron clad Kim Perry took a well-deserved break from baking strawberry, rhubarb and cherry pies, and told me how Scott Celeste was up in the thunder and lightening the night before, slow cooking the meat used for the samples that day.

Having savoured the flavour of these delectable samples of beef, I will most definitely remember the next time I am shopping for meat to ask my butcher: “Was this beef raised in Kingston’s countryside?” Or better yet, I’ll just head out to Local Family Farms in Verona where I will find a huge selection of meat and produce, all locally grown, raised and processed and support the good, healthy and tasty cause of “food less travelled.”

WINNERS: Charolais Steer Weight: Jennifer Bennett guessed 990 lbs. Weight was 995 lbs. Black Maine-anjou calf age: Simon Gowdy guessed 130 daysand was dead on!

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