There’s nothing quite like a nice cut of steak, cooked perfectly to your liking or the aroma of a savoury roast as you come into the house from a hard day’s work.
People have an interesting relationship with beef. Many people can name the best steaks they have eaten. They remember where they were, who they were with and how they felt. It’s a testament that shows the kind of value that people put on eating quality beef. Fortunately for producers like Brian Hamp, people are becoming increasingly concerned with the quality of the beef they consume.
Farm Fresh Beef (FFB) is a family-run farm outside Radisson, Saskatchewan. Brian Hamp and his family-wife Deborah, and children McKenzie, Kristen, Noah, and Arielle, have been raising cattle for many years, along with Brian’s parents, who started before them. Brian and Deborah note that raising their kids on a second-generation farm had allowed them to instil values of team work, effort, and sacrifice for the greater good. The farm lifestyle has also taught their children the importance of good stewardship of both their animals and the land.
Although the Hamp daughters have moved on from the farm to pursue other interests (Arielle is in her third year of Commerce, McKenzie with a career in human resources, and Kristen working in the oil patch as an EMR), their son Noah continues to work on the farm every day, contributing to the family business.
Brian says the work ethic learned on the farm is something that has life long benefits for kids. “Most employers understand that farm kids know how to stick with it, solve problems, think creatively, and they absolutely know how to work hard. Our kids have never had a problem getting a job and we attribute a lot of that to what they’ve learned on the farm,” says Hamp.
For Brian, Farm Fresh Beef means pride. It’s about raising a premium product right here on the prairies and feeling the reward of the appreciation from his clients. “I just love it when customers tell me, ‘That’s the best beef they’ve ever eaten!’,” says Hamp. It’s the motto about his clients Hamp loves: “It’s their story, and I’m sticking to it!”
From his 4-H experience, Brian learned that what and how you feed cattle is everything when it comes to the quality of the beef. Animal care and happiness is top priority at FFB. Brian’s father Walter would always say “Be good to the cattle and they’ll be good to you.” That’s a lesson Brian has been able to incorporate into his daily operations—from birth to slaughter, herd health and balanced rations are paramount to raising top quality beef.
Aside from health and care, genetics play a large role in the quality of the meat. Brian raises a breed of cattle called Welsh Black. They are similar to Black Angus, but Brian likes to highlight four distinct qualities they have that sets them apart. First, they are a true “brood cow”, meaning that the heifer’s calves mean everything to them. Second, with a heavier coat of hair, they hardly seem to notice the harshness of prairie winters. Third, the meat has really good marbling and taste and finally, their size is perfect for producing 400 lb. halves with larger rib-eye cuts.
Farm Fresh Beef is processed at Green Leaf Meats just outside of Marcelin, Saskatchewan. Their beef cuts include burgers, roasts, short ribs, stew meat and steaks. They also offer racks of ribs and brisket for smoking enthusiasts. With advance notice, Brian also offered custom cutting to his client’s specifications.
Farm Fresh Beef has happy customers from Lloydminster to Estevan and every month Brian finds himself going somewhere new in Saskatchewan. It is one of the favourite parts of his business. Brian sees customer satisfaction as a top priority for FFB.
A premium product will tend to sell itself, but adding honesty, integrity and good value makes this family business tough to resist. By offering personalized service that delivers meat directly to his customers, Brian gets the opportunity to meet and understand the needs of his clients.
As people get more and more educated on the importance of eating healthy, local producers are winning back market share from wholesale companies and large grocery stores. People want to know about the history of the meat they are eating and only local producers can show that timeline and guarantee the quality of their products. As their small family owned business grows with a loyal customer base, and steadily winning new fans, Farm Fresh Beef sees their business model succeeding in this new climate of competition.