Rain Crow Ranch Harvesting
One of the most frequently asked questions on our website is, ‘How do you harvest your animals?”. We are pleased to present to you a brief insight into our harvest and processing facility.
Rain Crow Ranch Processing Facility
Cattle produced by Rain Crow Ranch are processed in the family owned and operated processing facility, located within two hours of the ranch in Jackson, Missouri. The plant is solely dedicated to processing grassfed beef from Rain Crow Ranch. This assures that our grassfed beef is treated with respect for the animals, is of the highest quality and is handled with upmost attention to details of food safety. The Whisnant family oversees every aspect of production from their pastures to your plate. No one cares more about the quality and safety of the protein on your plate.
The Rain Crow processing facility has been in operation for over 30 years. It is here that the art and science of beef production merge. The art involves the craftsmanship of our butchers passed down from generation to generation.
This group of butchers have a combined experience exceeding 120 years. Unlike the industrial style beef plants, the turnover is extremely low. Most of the 65 employees have been with us an average of 12 years.
The beef is processed individually, one side of beef at a time by these skilled craftsman in contrast to assembly line processing incumbent in large plants. Our plant handles 250 in a week where some large factory facilities handle 400 in an hour. That allows us to pay attention to the details and a chance to take pride in the art.
Tour our facility
We provided you with the slideshow above to take you on a short tour of our facility and meet the folks that take such pride in a product raised on an American family farm. Quality comes from the genetics used at Rain Crow Ranch, it involves the management protocol based on a quality chain or forages, it involves the easy handling of the animals and it is all about how that protein is processed. At RCR our butchers are experts of the art of meat cutting.
Our Number One Priority is High Welfare
Caring about the welfare of our animals starts at the ranch with the birth of our calves and continues through to harvest. At the processing facility high animal welfare is the number one priority of our family and team of employees.
Deeply compassionate about the quality of animal life, Dr. Whisnant as a veterinarian has led the plant to high consideration of humane care. Attention to all the details, start to finish, has led to improvement of the whole animal experience from the pastures, through transportation and at the processing facility. The treatment of farm animals with compassion and respect is a core value of the Whisnant family.
Careful attention to the care of the animals while at the ranch has always been a hallmark but when dropped off at the processing plant it was under the control of others. Upon acquisition of a processing facility in 2004 this value was put entirely in the hands of Rain Crow as the Whisnants were able to oversee the treatment of their animals all the way to harvest.
Upon becoming the “new owners” of this older facility the Whisnants brought with them the passion that low stress handling of animals all the way to harvest was not only the right way to manage cattle but contributed to the quality of the beef and pork produced. Banned were the electric prods of the conventional beef and pork world, replaced with rattle paddles that coax with a gentle touch. All employees are trained in humane animal handling.
This includes a manual and watching of videos and a test to make sure all is understood. This training is renewed at least yearly for each employee. In-house audits of humane treatment are verified monthly by the management. In addition, 3rd party audits by two different organizations (AWA and Steritech) verify the humane treatment. These audits are conducted at least once a year.
In the commitment to animal welfare one of the first remodeling projects was the redesign of the cattle pens. Designed by Dr. Temple Grandin’s team, the leading authority on animal welfare in the US, the old square pens were transformed to a circular design which compliments animal flow without getting the cattle excited. The challenge was to take the circular design used in the large facilities and adapt it to our small space.
It has worked beautifully. We are grateful to Whole Foods Market for their award of a farmer loan and AWA (Animal Welfare Approved) award of a grant to help make this remodeling possible. Partnerships with organizations and customers with an appreciation of how we differ from conventional production help to make possible what we do.
We verify our high welfare standards through some of the most rigorous 3rd party audits available in the United States. Rain Crow Ranch and its processing facility are proud to be certified for animal welfare through AWA (Animal Welfare Approved) which follows the operation from the ranch, through transportation, and continuing through the processing facility. Additionally, audits are conducted by Steritech for humane handling as well as food safety.
Global Animal Partnership conducts 3rd party farm audits of our farm concerning animal welfare. Under this 5 step program Rain Crow Ranch rates 4.
Food Safety is Our Other Top Priority
Our processing plant is USDA inspected Est. #2316. We have a USDA team of two full time inspectors and one Veterinarian inspector which continually oversee our food safety and quality of performance. Food safety is a prime concern and to assure not only Federal standards but those of Rain Crow Ranch we conduct daily inspections, have yearly audits of Good Manufacturing Practices and Food Safety, practice a test and hold system, and have our own quality team to verify the practices.
In our last assessment by Steritech we scored in the excellent category; only one in a thousand plants our size can claim this. We care about the safety of the food on our family table and we consider our customers who support our farm as co-producers to be a part of our extended family.
Our Pride Shines Through
With the years of hard work and dedication put forth by the Whisnant family and our family of employees the pride we take shines through in every package of beef and pork we deliver. This allows us to provide our valued customers with the highest quality, purest, “Healthiest Protein on The Planet”.
We invite you to come and visit us in Jackson, Missouri where we sell our beef, pork and chicken in the country store at the plant.