Alexandria, VA—Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) farmer Dan Gibson of Grazin’ Angus Acres in Ghent, New York, first heard the rumor on Sunday morning—the short ribs he had been accumulating and subsequently supplied to a mysterious buyer had been served at the reception following Chelsea Clinton’s wedding to Marc Mezvinsky on Saturday, July 31 in Rhinebeck. The rumors abounded that Grazin’ Angus Acres had been named on the menu. Unable to confirm this, AWA approached the caterer who had purchased the ribs. AWA spoke with Rob Cano at RCano Events to confirm that Grazin’ Angus Acres short ribs were the short ribs being written about by gossip columns and blogs. “I was first approached at the Union Square farmer’s market,” Gibson says of the New York City farmer's market where he sells his 100% AWA grassfed beef and prominently displays his “Proud to be Animal Welfare Approved” sign. “A customer I hadn’t worked with in the past said he was looking for humane, local, grassfed beef for a large event. He asked me if I could supply short ribs for 350 people. At first I said no, but I went back and crunched the numbers and said yes. There are so many events in New York—from charity galas to company dinners—that I really didn’t think anything about it.”
Mack Brook Farm is owned and run by Kevin Jablonski and Karen Christensen. The farm covers over 300 acres in Argyle, NY, situated between the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains of Vermont. In this quiet corner of upstate New York, their Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle roams over their pastures. “Their diet is our grass and, in winter, hay from our fields,” says Karen.
Kevin and Karen have made a comprehensive effort to preserve the land as well as its Scottish heritage. Argyle, New York was originally a Scotch land grant which attracted many immigrants from Argyll, Scotland who found the land very similar to their Scottish homeland. Angus cattle, native to Scotland and bred from indigenous wild species, find the area a natural home and consequently Kevin and Karen chose to raise this breed on their farm. “However, grassfed genetics have been weakened and almost bred out of commercial Angus,” says Kevin. “My interest in genetics led us to a closed herd of Aberdeen Angus brought over in the 50’s. We were fortunate to acquire a bull that was a great-great-grandson of one of the original herd Sires from Scotland. His daughters make up the majority of our brood cows and are the foundation of our herd. Our emphasis on good genetics is what gives Mack Brook Farm beef the superior flavor and marbling our customers enjoy.”
“We are proud that all the meat that we sell is from animals that are born and raised on our farm,” Karen explains. “We decided to apply for certification because we felt that the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW label was in line with our own ideals, and that we already used the practices required.”
Mack Brook Farm beef is sold at their on-farm store and at select local stores. In the early days, their product was transported to New York City and sold to Gramercy Tavern restaurant and others. Now, they have realized their goal of selling all their product in a more local area.
To learn more about the Mack Brook Farm, visit www.mackbrookfarm.com or reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 638-6187. You can also follow Mack Brook Farm on Facebook to stay up to date on farm news, photos, and events.