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HORN STEW – Hot Off The Stove

Horn Stew – by Darol Dickinson

Barnesville, OH — HORN STEW, the book, contains 42 moving histories about people who loved their cattle and horses way beyond normal sensibility — enough that a level-headed psychotherapist could go bonkers trying to straighten them out. You will find personalities with bold enchantment and die-for devotion to breed extraordinary genetics — folks like Walter Merrick, Carl Miles, Hank Wiescamp, Frank Vessels, Johnny Cash, Sam Partlow, F.M. Graves, Audie Murphy, Sid Vail, Charlie Dees, Cecil Dobbin, Frank Doherty, Michael Mulberger, and Fennel “Impressive” Brown.

HORN STEW is exactly like the earlier Dickinson book FILLET OF HORN, except totally different. HORN STEW doesn’t have a semi-load of cattle rustlers and crooks, but replaces them with some bigger-than-life, colorful, business tycoons. These interesting actors had certain things in common: drive-your-wife-crazy chance-taking, the $317 bull that sold for $1,000,000, and such a love for great livestock that multi-millionaires even slept in the barn for years, with their livestock, to protect their investments.

You will picture the excitement of finding semi-coherent, famished swamp cattle with million-dollar genetics — unknowingly wanting to be rescued, become pampered and highly appreciated. Sense the thrill as they are acquired by risk and stealth. Watch them step off the truck, at home, forever admired, and soon to be highly valuable.

Study the inner workings of a conniving Tulsa police detective apply his most devious brilliance to win Quarter Horse Championships at the highest levels.

Watch my dad fulfill his dreams, from a little boy picking cotton on a sharecropper’s farm to building the first railroad tracks across the Mojave desert, to breeding and exhibiting a pasture full of World Champions.

Learn to understand the legendary horseman Henry J. Wiescamp, a personal side combined with an energetic business mind of unbelievable depth and chicanery.

In the end, learn the three ingenious common denominators of every great and highly successful livestock producer — by just reading on to the next chapter.

HORN STEW, 215 pages, 152 illustrations, available from Fillet Of Horn Publishing, 35000 Muskrat Pike, Barnesville, OH 43713. Mail orders $24.95 plus $3 for postage. On line click

Cooked horn will make your binoculars steam over — come and get it.

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Saving Money On Food Is A Good Thing

From: Longhorns Head to Tail Store, Barnesville, Ohio  740 758 5050

SAVING MONEY ON FOOD IS A REALLY GOOD THING. Owning your own thrifty storage freezer is the key to serious savings. Many people are buying bulk to get the good prices for real savings. Clients who check beef prices say buying bulk at Longhorns Head To Tail Store saves them about 20% rather than buying one package at a time. The freezer below can be purchased at Walmart, Sams, Lowes, etc, in about the same price range. It appears Sams Club offers the best price.

Sams Club Freezer

This is the label on a Sams Club freezer that has an estimated energy use cost per year of $24. A chest freezer always holds more than the same cubic feet up-right. The savings on one freezer of beef will pay for the freezer purchase and one year’s energy use.

Affordable Price

Halves of beef cut and wrapped at the LHTT store are still just $3.95 per lb hanging weight. If quarters are desired there would be remaining freezer room for USA grown fish, special LHTT pet food, mountain oysters and Oregon delicacy, fillet of spotted owl.

A 50 lb box of vacuwrap beef is 1.4 cu ft. Average LHTT halves are 5 boxes.

Store hours 10 AM to 5 PM every day but the Lord’s day, Sunday. Buy a freezer and call LHTT at 740 758 5050 —

Education: BETTER THAN ORGANIC  read how this can be

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The Beauty of a Western Polished Skull

It is just in time!  Place orders today for Longhorns Head to Tail products. Check on line for all types of decor, beef products, polished house-broke skulls, calendars, horn jewelry, tanned hair-on hides — everything horn or Texas Longhorn. Check it out. Avoid shoot-outs and stampedes in the malls.

Texas Longhorn Celebrity Calendar

2017 Calendar pp $12.

Fillet Of Horn Book

Fillet Of Horn, hard bound $29.


Tanned hair on full hide $275.

Real Horn Bow
Real Horn Bowl

Real Horn Bowl 8″x 8″ $39.50

Canned Meat
Canned Meat

Heat & Serve grass fed TL Roast Beef case of 12, $138.20

Big Skull
Big Skull

Polished skull 90″ tip to tip. Bring a cattle trailer to haul this one.

If you are a little tired of on-line ordering, call the ranch store at 740 758 5050, or better yet come to 35000 Muskrat Pike, Barnesville, Oh and make your own choices. Pinch the horn, kick the can, feel the tanned hides, or try on the horn jewelry. Make sure it is perfect. Give steaks for Christmas. One size fits all – if not save it for breakfast. Store hours 10 AM to 5 PM. Think of LHTT for gifts you can’t find in Walmart, hock shops, Good Will, or the Army Surplus stores.  Closed Dec 25 & 26.


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Favorite Items

A sneak peak at some of our favorite items at Longhorns Head To Tail! What are your favorites?

Hey all. Just in time for some last minute shopping. Head on out to Longhorns Head to Tail and give that special gift for your perfect someone. Monday-Saturday 10-5. 740-758-5050. Consider all the really cool items posted here especially our gift certificates, good to give for any holiday, birthday, just because it’s Tuesday ☺️ And of course, our All Natural Pasture raised lean beef is the perfect Meat Gift,,,, nutritious and delicious!!!! Blessings ya’ll. The cast and crew from LHTT want to wish you and yours a healthy and safe Holiday Season. Merry Christmas friends.

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Queen’s new crown

Dairy Queen BurgerChili is Dairy Queen’s dressing — make that crown — for its latest iteration of the GrillBurger. The Chili Meltdown tops a -half-pound cheeseburger with spicy, meaty sauce, showcasing the product’s versatility and enduring appeal.

Dairy Queen VP Lane Schmiesing, who handles brand marketing for the fast fooder, says the product makes “a pretty strong appeal to a pretty important demographic for us, which is 18- to 34-year-old men.”

The Meltdown also is cost-effective, he says. “Sauce is inherent in chili, so we don’t necessarily have to condiment it with other types of sauces.”

Launched in September with the help of TV spots and newspaper inserts, as well as in-store promotions, DQ’s chili burger immediately shot up the popularity charts, where it occupied a spot next to other chain fixtures, including DQ’s cheeseburger and bacon cheeseburger. Sales have since settled down, but Schmiesing says the Meltdown remains a popular item.

“Our whole strategic focus for menu development is to create unique, crave-able flavors featuring products people associate with fast food but may not be able to get at every fast-food restaurant,”

Schmiesing says. Turns out DQ didn’t have to look too far for inspiration. The chain has used chili to top off hot dogs for nearly 50 years, so ladling a little of it over burgers was “a natural,” Schmiesing says.

DQ also serves chili soup-style, but the burger topping is more viscous, lest it compromise the integrity of the bun.

“It’s an indulgence item,” Schmiesing says. “It’s meat on top of meat. What more could a guy want?”

Article courtesy of March 2007


“Good farming is the greatest form of artistic expression. Farmers create the bridge between nature and human nourishment. Food as the product of the agricultural arts goes beyond any image on the wall of a gallery or museum. Good eating, in that sense, could be considered one of the most integrated forms of art appreciation.”

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Is Grass-Fed Greener?

Grass-fed beef has garnered plenty of attention thanks to its health profile and taste, but will challenges of growing, processing and selling it put it out to pasture?

by Anne Spiselman

Whenever USDA issues a standard, it’s a safe bet that a product category has arrived. Whether it heralds a revolution is another story.
Tasty SteakDespite its hype, the grass-fed beef category may be more evolutionary than revolutionary. Then again, it may be neither. It isn’t its health credentials that are in question. Omega-3S? Check. Fewer saturated fats? Check. More vitamins A, E and lineolic acid? Check, check and check.

Nor is its flavor an acquired taste. Variously described as “more robust,” “less sweet” and “more natural” than conventional product, grass-fed generally holds its own in the taste sweepstakes.

No, at issue is whether small-scale operators can afford the additional time and expense required to fatten up grass-fed cattle, and whether consumers will pay a premium for a product they’ve never tasted, despite the apparent health benefits it confers.

So the jury is out. Some industry members contend grass-fed will likely remain a niche product. Others predict it will grow to account for as much as 10 percent of the U.S. beef market.

Bill KurtisNow that would be revolutionary.

“Providing year-round grass with sufficient nutritional value to fatten cattle for consistent taste and tenderness is a challenge,” says Bill Kurtis, founder and CEO of Sedan, Kansas based Tallgrass Beef Co. “For ranchers, raising cattle entirely on grass increases the costs and the benefits. It’s an act of alchemy that transforms a maligned meat into a health food.”


Grass-fed beef currently represents only a fraction of the nation’s beef supply less than a fraction, as a matter of fact. But that meager percentage translated into retail sales of $120 million last year, according to Tallgrass Beef COO Alien Williams, who also is a partner with the Jacob Alliance, a Canyon, Texas-based livestock consultancy.

Only about half of sales were domestic, the remainder deriving from places such as Australia, New Zealand and Uruguay, but Williams maintains that more than 1,200 U.S. ranchers have begun grass-finishing at least some of their beef. With so many seeds sown, grass-fed could grow up to 30 percent annually over the next five to 10 years, Williams says.

Less promising is the fact that he doesn’t see major processors getting into the act, as they have with natural and organic meats. “It’s not worth their time,” he says. “It would require a major financial commitment, and there would have to be a significant paradigm shift to build supply, which could take years.” Don’t expect Wal-Mart and other mainstream mega-chains to carry grass-fed any time soon either, he says.

Meanwhile, some of the usual suspects have begun stocking domestic grass-fed, in some cases to supplement or replace imported product. Meat from Vina, Calif. -based Panorama Natural Grass-Fed Beef debuted late last year in 22 Whole Foods Markets in Northern California, Portland, Ore., and Seattle. Panorama also supplies the 188 stores in Trader Joe’s Western division as well as smaller regional players on the order of Oakland, Calif.-based Farmer Joe’s.

Marc Blitstein, meat director for Boulder, Colo.based retailer Wild Oats, reports that organic grass-fed beef, which the retailer only recently introduced, already accounts for 10 percent of beef sales, despite its comparatively hefty price tag some $6.99 per pound for ground chuck and $19.99 for New York strip, as compared to $4.49 and $14.99 the retailer charges for comparable cuts from Coleman Natural Foods.

The other half of the equation is cost, no small consideration given that grass-fed cattle especially those grazing on open pasture gain weight more slowly than their grain-fed counterparts. Rather than being harvested at 14 to 18 months at 1,250 pounds, grass-fed cattle generally don’t reach their slaughter weight of 1,150 pounds until they are 24 to 30 months old. The grass sets the timeline and accounts for taste and texture, though it is subject to the vagaries of weather and other variables.


Grass-fed companies positioning themselves for growth tend to contract with ranchers rather than raise their own herds. But first they must convince them to follow company protocols, then provide them with sufficient financial incentive to ensure cattle wind up in the pasture rather than the feedlot. They also must locate finishers that understand proper pasture rotation and other aspects of what Williams says is “part art, part science.”

Then there is the issue of locating and qualifying plants in close proximity to the finisher. Because few, if any, plants are dedicated to grass-fed product, operators must be persuaded to slaughter, cut and pack a relatively small number of cattle on a dedicated shift to ensure that product doesn’t mix with that from conventional cattle. None of it necessarily comes cheap.

Companies are meeting these challenges in a variety of ways. Dillon, Montana based La Cense Beef uses a seasonal model, with about 200 animals harvested annually in the fall. Animals are selected from a herd of 2,000 Black Angus cows and 1,000 yearlings that feast on lush pastures for at least 60 days once they reach the age of 14 months. All meat is processed at once, dry-aged for 19 days, then frozen, says COO Scan Hays, who says he would like the last of his product to roll out the door as next year’s rolls in.

The year-old Tallgrass contracts with several ranches and five finishers to accommodate a business that is doubling monthly. Each animal undergoes ultrasound testing to evaluate its marbling, tenderness, back fat and carcass cutout. Current yield 1859 percent, though the goal is the 60 percent to 62. percent range, like commodity beef. Though Tallgrass harvested only 20 head in July, some 2,000 to 3,000 more are being finished. Product is USDA graded for carcass quality but isn’t marketed by grade. The resulting beef is 60 percent Choice, compared with a national average of 42 percent to 45 percent for grain-fed.

panaromaGenetics and feed play a big role in those results, as they do with Panorama’s. Panorama cattle are all Black and Red Angus that spend their last 30 to 60 days in a “conditioning corral” on rations of grass-hay and alfalfa supplemented with rice bran and almond hulls for energy and roughage. CEO Mac Graves says the breeds were chosen because they readily deposit intramuscular fat on a grass-based diet. The finishing regimen, he says, allows cattle to reach their harvest weight in just 14 to 18 months while ensuring a tender, tasty product.

The 4-year-old company adheres to a “Born and Raised in the USA” verification program, contracts with up to 45 West Coast ranches and harvests 145 head of naturally raised cattle per week, making it the largest grass-fed provider in the nation. Recently, Panorama also began raising and harvesting organic product due to the category’s strong growth potential. “Consumers have come to recognize that ‘natural’ can be almost anything, and appreciate the stricter protocols of organic,” Graves observes.

Although he won’t disclose sales figures, Graves says about two-thirds of his business involves retail distribution, with steak sales having grown about 25 percent in the past few months alone. He also is active in the value-added segment, having recently developed four types of sausage and, for Trader Joe’s, Cowday Quick-Eye Steak, a thin-sliced, ready-to-cook eye of round that includes a packet of brandy mushroom sauce.

As with any emerging category, marketing is key to moving product off shelves, or off electronic shelves. This past spring, La Cense launched a Web site to promote and sell grass-fed, and

Hays says he’s pleased with the traffic he’s getting. Though he has a ways to go, he says he hopes one day to be the “Omaha Steaks of grass-fed” a goal shared more or less realistically by all who embrace the category.

Article courtesy of September 2006

“Good farming is the greatest form of artistic expression. Farmers create the bridge between nature and human nourishment. Food as the product of the agricultural arts goes beyond any image on the wall of a gallery or museum. Good eating, in that sense, could be considered one of the most integrated forms of art appreciation.”