Valley rancher aims to put healthy beef on America's table

Published: Nov. 2, 2016 at 1:40 PM CDT
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A North Dakota rancher is betting he can put beef back on the menu of health-conscious Americans.

Ed Jonas is raising his own registered breed of cattle that he says, offers something the others don’t, low fat and cholesterol.

It’s dinner time at the Blacktail Mountain Ranch near Walhalla, North Dakota.

Ed Jonas is raising what he says are very special cattle. They’re a cross between Italian Piedmontese bulls and Scottish Highland cows.

Jonas has his own, federally trademarked brand of beef called, “Highmont Beef”.

Ed Jonas, Blacktail Mountain Ranch: “The folks that have tasted our beef, 5-star restaurants to mom and pops that we ship to all over the United States love the flavor. I spoke to somebody from California last night. He just loves our beef.”

Now here’s the exciting part if your someone who like to eat healthy, but you’re getting tired of chicken. Jonas says his beef cattle have only one-third the amount of cholesterol and fat, as other breeds of beef cattle.

Jonas says he hauls his cattle to a U.S.D.A., federally approved beef processing plant in Fairmont, North Dakota where it’s packaged and officially labeled.

Ed Jonas, Blacktail Mountain Ranch: “So if a little lady from Tucson on Saturday says, “Can I have a 3 pound roast?”, I say it will be a 3 pound roast. Last night somebody wanted an inch and a half steak. We’ll cut it for them. Then, we bring it back and put it in our freezers and ship it out by FedEx.”

Jonas says this is not organic ranching, but he tries to keep it as natural as possible. And while the cattle are a bit smaller than other breeds, so are the fat and cholesterol numbers.

Ed Jonas, Blacktail Mountain Ranch: “The reason is that I don’t give them corn. I don’t give them growth hormones. What I’m trying to do is have an all natural animal. No chemicals, no growth hormones. The only thing they get is what the veterinarians tell us we have to give them for vaccines.”

Jonas says he recently moved his operation from Montana to Walhalla, because it’s less expensive to do business here. In the meantime, he’s building up his herd of 40 cattle, he calls heart healthy beef.