Lily Hill Farm: Beyond the Beef Box
From birth to finish, it takes one of our steers 18-24 months before they are ready for harvest. All of our steers are born, raised and finished on our farm, ensuring we have complete traceability over the finish product. We don't believe in taking shortcuts and choose to slow finish our cattle on grass, in addition to a custom grain ration designed to supplement their natural forage intake. While finishing on both grass and grain increases our finishing time compared to a traditional feedlot system, it not only improves our cattle's quality of life but we feel it also greatly enhances the quality of our meat.
Their diet of natural grasses adds a depth of flavor to our beef that cannot be replicated in a feedlot setting, and the supplemental grain ration helps improve marbling. Our finishing program, coupled with our dry aging process (which will be elaborated on later in the blog), results in a finished product that showcases rich flavor, tenderness, and overall quality that we feel truly sets us apart.
On harvested days, we wake up around 5:30 am and head out to the farm to load up the steers we have selected for harvest. Once loaded, we haul them an hour and half to our processor, Midsouth South Packers, located in Forsyth, GA. The facility is a small family-owned USDA-inspected processing facility that aligns with our animal welfare practices and humane handling techniques. Pictured below is Joseph Egloff, the owner of Midsouth, standing with our steers in the background at his processing facility. Joseph is heavily involved in all parts of the process ensuring animal handling and quality standards are met.
Once processed, our beef will hang and dry age for a minimum of 14 days. During the dry aging process, it is placed in a controlled environment with specific temperature, humidity, and air circulation conditions for at least 14 days to enhance the flavor and tenderness of the meat. During this process, enzymes in the meat break down proteins and connective tissues, resulting in more tender and flavorful meat. As discussed earlier, dry aging paired with our finishing practices results in full-flavored beef that is exceptional in flavor and tenderness!
After processing, Marc and I personally collect the frozen beef directly from the processor and store it in our walk-in freezer that is located on the farm. I am responsible for managing our inventory in the freezer, which is maintained at a brisk -10 degrees Fahrenheit, yes it is cold! Our freezer is kept at such a low temperature to ensure that your beef remains frozen throughout the shipping process. The colder the beef is when it is packed, the less likely it is to thaw during transit.
Tuesdays (and sometimes Wednesdays, depending on our volume of orders that week) are shipping days on the farm, which means all hands on deck! Marc and I fulfill all orders ourselves (sometimes with the help of our family) and hand-brand every single box to add a personal touch.
Each box of meat is packed on dry ice and comes with a brochure explaining our practices and a thank you note expressing our gratitude for your order. Every customer, is important to us so we take the extra time to focus on the small details that we feel truly make a difference.
Once all boxes have been packed, they are load on the UPS truck and your beef will arrive at your doorstep within the next 48 hours!
By taking the time to slow finish our cattle paired with our dry aging process, we are committed to going above and beyond in order to bring you exceptional meat with a story behind it. From the early morning harvest to the careful packaging and personalized touches, we strive to produce the highest quality product and believe in being involved in every step of the process. We are grateful for your support and trust in our farm, and look forward to having you become a part of our story.