Featured Farmer – DH Longhorn

It all started in a living room when the logo of a green square with white and yellow print reading “Pure Nebraska” flashed into Don Sr. Linquist’s eyes. This particular episode highlighted longhorns and what amazing animals they were. It didn’t take long before Don Sr.’s interest was sparked- he decided then and there he was going to own his own longhorns. Over the next couple of months, Don Sr. began researching longhorns and figuring out how he was going to obtain some to start his own herd. Finally, he found a sale. He and his wife, Charlotte, began Don Sr.’s wild hair idea of owning longhorns. The kids decided that not only could this be a hobby, it could also be a business. Together, Don Jr. Linquist and Terri Barger began the next step in this simple hobby by launching their business, DH Longhorn, in 2013. As Don Sr. passed away in June 2018, this fourth generation ranch holds a special place in the Linquist and Barger family as they continue to carry on Don Sr.’s longhorn herd legacy.

Rachel and Don Jr. Linquist alongside Don’s sister Terri Barger and her husband Dave Berger began selling longhorn beef in 2015. While they cannot classify themselves as organic because of owning so many acres that by law they have to spray, they do maintain mainly organic practices. The longhorns are pasture raised and are fed grass or hay with a treat of corn once or twice a week. They are given no hormones or antibiotics, but will be given some if it is needed for humane purposes. Any meat given antibiotics will not be sold or will be sold at a discounted price with the caution to the consumer that antibiotics were used. For the most part, longhorns are a very hardy animal that is able to take care of itself. In all of DH Longhorn’s history, only one calf has had to be pulled. This proves a longhorn is one resilient creature.

DH Longhorn’s meat competes with traditional grocery store meat as it is a good lean meat. However, it’s prices are a little higher. Because longhorn beef is so lean, it is an excellent option for those individuals that struggle with cholesterol issues. DH Longhorn’s beef was tested at a company in Omaha at 92% leanness. It is dry aged for three weeks before butchering Unlike grocery store meat, no water is added to it. Dry aging does cause some shrinkage of the meat, but it gives it more flavor for eating pleasure. When butchering, the animals are USDA inspected and processed in a USDA inspected facility. There is enough natural fat to give it the fat it needs to cook up well. On the ranching side, longhorn beef finishes slower than regular beef because it is fed grass and hay without being finished on grain as most beef is. According to the USDA, grass finished animals can receive grain up until a few months before being finished. Their beef is pasture raised.

DH Longhorn appreciates the relationship they have between their ranch and the consumers. Consumers enjoy knowing their longhorn beef is natural, where it comes from, what the cattle were fed, where they’ve lived, and the peace of knowing it was a “happy cow.” A common phrase they use is “From our ranch to your table.” as the meat is from their pasture, to the butcher, and straight to the table. Consumers have the privilege of calling and asking any questions they may have and are able to pay the cattle a visit. One individual has even come out to photograph the cattle to later be turned into a painting.

On a typical day, Rachel heads out to the pasture and calls up the cattle to see if they want some corn or cake treats. Another way she maintains a good relationship between her and the cattle is by siting at the bunks with them. If a huge group comes up, she will get on the four-wheeler to complete checks. She checks them for sores or pink eye, counts to make sure everyone is present, checks the fence lines, and ensures all gates are closed. This whole process typically takes 2-4 hours. While all four members of DH Longhorn contribute to all areas, Rachel spends the most time with the cattle as she typically has the most time. However, the other three do a lot of hard background work to keep a successful and booming business. DH Longhorn appreciates your business and enjoys providing you local, home-grown beef.

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