Questions? 717.264.6787

From our ranch to your home.

FAQs

How do you thaw the meat?

There will be safe handling instructions on each package. We recommend thawing on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours.

How do you pack and ship?

The beef is packed frozen and placed in insulated boxes with reusable gel packs. We ship using FedEx Ground within a one day delivery radius of Lancaster, PA at no charge. Addresses farther from us require FedEx Standard Overnight service in which we provide a $20 discount.

When do online orders ship?

Presently, orders are shipped once a week. Orders are fulfilled and shipped out on Tuesday mornings and delivered to you on Wednesday from Lancaster, PA. Orders can be placed until 9AM Monday morning. As our online business grows we will be adding additional shipping days.

Do you have a minimum purchase amount?

Yes, we currently require you spend at least $75 of product.

Do you feed antibiotics or growth hormones?

No. Additionally, we do not use: Urea, Rumensin, vaccinations, pour-on wormers, chicken litter (a.k.a. manure), newspaper, candy bars with the plastic (petroleum) wrappers, animal protein (bone meal) or any other substances that would not be encountered a bovine’s natural habitat specific diet.

Do you use soy products in the animal’s feed?

No. We grow all of our own grass and our animals are grass-fed their entire life Our cattle are NOT fed corn, grain, or soybeans. We DO NOT use any genetically modified seeds. NO GMOs!

What measures do you take to assure flavor?

While most feedlots are harvesting animals that are 12 to 13 months old, our animals are fed a species specific diet of high brix grass until they are minimally 20 months of age. Also, our animals are managed quietly. They never get stressed and therefore never develop the off flavor from being confined and prodded into a tight pen. . Read The Link Between Taste & Aroma.

What measures do you take to assure tenderness?

We hang the carcass approximately 10 to 14 days, often referred to as “Dry Aging.” While most feedlot beef is ‘wet aged’ in the plastic bag immediately after butchering. Dry aging permits the meat to be cut to uniform thickness. They “graze in a free range” environment until the day they are harvested a.k.a., “HUMANE TREATMENT”.

What is “grass fed and finished”?

“Finishing” is the final stage of raising cattle. Most cattle are grass fed in some form at an earlier age but moved to a feeedlot and fed grains to increase their weight before butchering at 12 to 13 months. Our cattle are grass fed and spend their entire life in the pasture until at least 20 months of age and never spend any time on a feedlot.

How do you feed your steers in winter months when there is no grass to graze?

In the winter we unroll bales of dry hay and baleage for them to graze off the ground in the field. (Baleage is wrapped and fermented green grass. It is closer to fresh grass than dry hay.) We start feeding hay and baleage in December and put them on 100% grass in mid April. Additionally, if weather permits, they may graze wheat grass in January. Learn more.

Why do you insist upon Purebred Black Angus cattle for your beef?

To finish on grass, you need an animal with different genetics than what confinement feedlots use to grain finish. Purebred Black Angus has specific genetic characteristics that enable them to remain strong and healthy in their natural habitat. Things such as: maternal instincts, smaller frames, deeper heart girth, higher intra-muscular fat (IMF) are attributed to consistency, flavor and tenderness, This also means healthy Omega-3 is in the fat of our grass fed, natural habitat animasl as opposed higher rates of Omega-6 found in feedlot grain finished cattle. WE ARE GRASSED UP AND ANGUS TO GO!

Has your farm received special recognition?

Our farm has received both local and national awards including:

  • 2001 Grassland and Forage Council Conservation Farmer Award
  • 2003 PA Cattlemen’s Association Environmental Stewardship
  • 2005 National Cattlemen’s Beef Assoc. Stewardship Award, Denver, CO.
  • 2011 Conservation Farmer of the Year, Cumberland County Conservation District

At our farm, ranching is the full time business. We are actively engaged in the beef industry and Bob Boyce was elected the 2008-2010 Executive Director by PA Cattlemen’s Association.

What “USDA Grade” would your beef carry if it were in a supermarket case?

We would exceed the grading scale. Beef quality grades indicate palatability characteristics such as tenderness, juiciness and flavor. Quality grades reflect the amount of marbling (fat within the lean), firmness, color, texture and the maturity of the animal. Learn more.

Is your beef USDA inspected?

Yes! Our abattoir is inspected by both Federal and State agencies. Bio-Security is a key consideration for our operation. We have a closed herd. No new breeding animals have been brought to the farm in 20+ years that have not been sired by our Bulls. Our farm is certified under the PA Beef Quality Assurance Program. Lil’ Ponderosa is registered under the USDA National Animal Identification System. Farm ID: 00317BW

Do you offer tours of the Lil’ Ponderosa Ranch?

YES. You are invited to visit the farm and inspect our operation first hand. We offer a scenic setting and un-restricted access to the entire farm. Take a walk in the high brix grass, inspect the cattle, fish in the ponds, ask questions. We are very happy to explain all of our methods and process.