About our Certified Organic Beef Farm

Belted Galloways "Belties" are a beautiful heirloom breed from Scotland. We chose this efficient beef breed for several reasons. They are great foragers and are the perfect breed for grass-fed beef production. Central Wisconsin winters are cold. Most cattle breeds adapt to winter by adding a thick layer of body fat for insulation. Belties grow an additional hair coat in winter getting to 4,000 hairs per square inch. This coat provides such efficient insulation to keep body heat in that the snows of Wisconsin will not even melt on their back. Thus the animal is comfortable in the cold, and does not lay down the excessive back fat found in some other breeds and therefore provides an increase in beef yield.

Grass-fed diet - Grass-fed beef tastes different from feedlot beef because the cattle are raised on a different diet. Our grass-fed cattle are on a diet of fresh pasture in the summer and baled hay and haylage in the winter. Our haylage consists of alfalfa, clovers and grasses which we harvest in the summer and preserve in our silos for winter feeding. When you drive past our farm you will see over 150 belties living on grassland that has been free of agrichemicals for three years or more. This is one of the requirements to be a certified organic farm.

About our Beef Products

Our Belted Galloway grass-fed beef is flavorful and lean, yet moist and well-marbled. Because grass-fed beef is leaner than grain-fed, it needs about 30 percent less cooking time that most common beef. Grass-fed steaks are best if cooked medium-rare to medium. If the Meat Thermometer (in thickest part of steak) registers 135 degrees F, it means the meat is still rare. You want a temperature between 145 and 155 degrees F for medium-rare to medium. Anything above that will cause your steak to lose moisture and tenderness.

Our Goal

Our goal - combine the right animal, our God-given talents, and a healthful environment to produce the best grass-fed beef possible for our customers. We feel privileged to produce this product. We hope you enjoy it.

Why do we raise "Certified Organic" beef?

There continues to be a growing interest in the U.S. in the safety of our food products. As more health problems are linked to the use of practices of the food industry that place the quality of food products in jeopardy, customers have begun to seek products that assure healthy food production and the avoidance of harmful production practices. In 2003, the USDA formalized this process with published national standards for organic beef production. These standards assure that the animals are raised humanely and in an environment that is free of agrichemicals, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. They also require documentation of the life history of the animal from birth to slaughter. These practices should provide the safest, healthiest beef product for the consumer.

To produce our certified organic beef there are several important steps:
  • The land used to produce the feed for the animal must be free of herbicides, pesticides and other hazardous agrichemicals for 3 years prior to producing the feed for these animals. The animal must spend the last 3 months of its gestation and all of its life on certified organic land.
  • The animal cannot receive any antibiotics or hormones throughout its entire life. As an example, if a new calf receives just an antibiotic drop in an eye for treatment of pinkeye, it cannot be certified as organic even if it receives no hormones, or other antibiotics and is raised on completely organic feed the rest of its life.
  • The animal's entire life history must be carefully documented and those records are inspected along with the farm and its operating principals annually or intermittently, by unannounced inspections.
  • The animal must be processed at a certified organic processor. Pete's Meat Service LLC in Rudolph, Wisconsin, is our USDA inspected and certified organic processor.

Our certified organic beef carries our Beltie Beef brand label.

Why do we also raise "Natural" beef?

National Certified Organic Beef standards assure that the animals are raised humanely and in an environment that is free of agrichemicals, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. They also require documentation of the life history of the animal from birth to slaughter.

The humane treatment of animals requires that injury or illness be treated to relieve the animal of pain and suffering and restore it to health. While we feel this treatment is appropriate and we wouldn't want to raise animals any other way, it does exclude a number of our animals each year from our Certified Organic brand, Beltie Beef.

Caldwell Farms sells the meat from these animals as "Natural" beef. These animals are otherwise raised by organic standards and fed organic feed, but the chance administration of therapeutic antibiotics, even for a brief interval, usually early in their life, eliminates them as certified organic Beltie Beef.

Our "natural" beef carries our Caldwell Farms label.
Please contact Lorna or Michael Caldwell at (715) 457-6765 or toll-free at (877) 846-5721 for availability of beef and breeding stock or with any questions you may have concerning our operation. Our current email address is: belties@caldwellfarms.com


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