What to Expect from Gibralter Farms Beef

We are John and Sarah Gilbert, fifth generation farmers on Gibralter Farms, located in North Central Iowa. We are excited to raise high quality beef to nourish you and your family.

With so many sources of information and misinformation out there today, it can be challenging to feel confident about the food you choose to feed your family. We provide food you can know everything about, from how it was raised and processed to the qualities that can improve your eating experience and well-being.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our farm and our beef.

Below are answers to a number of questions about our beef. Have other questions you want answered? Send us an email or contact us through social media:

What makes Gibralter Farms Beef different from conventional beef in the store?

When you purchase beef from Gibralter Farms, you receive beef raised and processed locally with the specific goal of providing high quality beef for your family to eat.

With our use of high forage diet and dairy genetics, our beef has a more pronounced and complex flavor than beef found in the grocery store.

We put our love and care into raising healthy and happy animals. It is our inherent responsibility as stewards of nature, and we also believe the love and care translates into a higher quality product for you and your family.

Is the beef frozen?

Yes, the beef is frozen shortly after being cut into steaks and roasts or ground into hamburger to lock in the quality. As a small farm, this is the best way to preserve freshness and allow for distribution to you the customer.

Learn everything you would want to know about frozen meat in this blog post.

What percentage fat is the Ground Beef?

The ground beef you receive from Gibralter Farms comes from individual animals and therefore is not standardized. The fat content of the individual animal determines the composition of the ground beef and will vary. Because we are raising steers from dairy breeds, the fat content of our meat is leaner and will provide ground beef in the 90/10 to 85/15 range.

Where is your meat processed?

One of the biggest hurdles in providing meat to a local community is the lack of available processing. We have been blessed with the opportunity to partner with Nimrod Meats in nearby Iowa Falls, which constructed and opened a new butchering facility in 2022.

With a focus on traditional butchery and honoring the animal, we are excited to provide high quality meat for you from a local processor.

How are the steers raised?

Gibralter Farms has been a dairy farm for most of its 120+ years in existence and we continue that tradition by milking a handful of cows. Their milk is fed to dairy steers purchased from farms that we trust to provide us healthy calves.

Once on our farm, the calves are housed in groups to maximize socialization and herd behaviors. They are fed milk for the first few months of their lives and then transitioned to a forage and grain diet. During the growing season, steers are raised on pasture and supplemented with ground corn and oats grown on our farm. When pasture is not available, our homegrown hay and corn silage is fed to provide the forage portion of the diet.

Is your beef Grass fed? Organic?

The meat we offer is not 100% grass fed or certified organic. The dairy steers are on pasture during the growing season and fed a high forage diet, but are also fed some grain to achieve optimal growth and finish, resulting in a high quality eating experience. All grains fed are grown on our farm and are non-GMO.

While we believe and follow a number of the ideals and practices of organic farming, we are not certified organic. We use minimal rates of herbicides on our crops and occasionally use antibiotics to treat calves that have become sick. We do not use any sub-therapeutic antibiotics or growth hormones in the raising of our cattle.

What breed of cow do you raise?

As we are purchasing calves from other dairies, we have a variety of breeds in our beef herd. Our dairy has been primarily Brown Swiss cows and we are focusing on Brown Swiss steers, but we also have some Holstein, Jersey, Normande, and Angus crosses in the herd.

While the quality and flavor of the meat will remain consistent between breeds, steak sizes may vary some. You will always receive steaks in an amount equal to or greater than the minimum weight listed in our bundles.