Since 1965 there have been cows at Newmiln farm. In 2000 when we first started selling and eating our own produce we noticed that one month our steaks would be superb but then the next they would be very different. We realised that in order to win customers and keep them coming back we needed to produce conssitently great tasting beef.
In 2003 we decided to go for pure bred Aberdeen Angus cattle to help us remove the factor that has the greatest impact on taste: genetics. There are 2 main components in producing great tasting beef: genetics and feeding. The Aberdeen Angus breed is Scotland’s traditional meat breed. It has fantastic intramuscular fat or marbling through the meat giving our organic beef great flavour, taste and tenderness. Our herd is whats known as a "closed" herd which means we retain all our own females to replace our cows as they get older. We also now produce our own bulls and Hugh selects breeding animals based on a statistical method known as EBV (Estimated Breeding Values) selecting for animal welfare characteristics but most importantly taste indicators like intramuscular marbling. We also have an AI (artificial insemination) programme to introduce external genetics and further imporve our beef herd.
A further reason for selecting Aberdeen Angus cattle is that they do really well on grass, an important factor in our organic farming system. Grass is what cattle have evolved to eat, their digestion is perfectly adapted to it, and the Aberdeen Angus breed is a superb converter of grass to great tasting beef. We grow clover grasses here at Newmiln to build soil fertility in a natural way, with NO artificial fertiliser. Grass fed beef also has been shown to have higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids (the good ones) than grain fed beef. Feeding cattle on grass, and producing beef from it, is a great use of land that is not suitable for growing anything else.