We work directly with local USDA-inspected slaughterhouses to ensure the best treatment and handling of our animals throughout the process. Not only is this important for ethical and humane treatment of the animals, but also for the quality of the meat. When animals are distressed – from lack of food and water, noise, or other agitation – the stress breaks down and uses up the glycogen in the muscle fibers, which affects the meat tenderness and quality. We make sure the animals are as calm and comfortable as possible, and work only with slaughterhouse operations who have successfully demonstrated a priority on animal care and quality. Our individual butchering means we have unique traceability by each package of meat all the way to the animal’s date of birth and before. This attention in the cutting room allows us to accommodate special processing requests for retail customers purchasing a side of beef, or chefs who want a particular cut prepared in a special manner.