|Pure Montana Angus, LLC||Contact Us|
Pure Montana Angus, LLC (PMA) is owned and operated by Tom and Gaye McInerney. We also own and operate Tom McInerney Angus, a registered Black Angus seed stock operation. Tom and Gaye live near Fairfield, Montana, where they raise malting barley and wheat, in addition to the cattle operations.
Pure Montana Angus, LLC is in business to sell the very highest quality Angus meat we are able to raise to our market of buyers. We sell fine quality retail beef in several outlets, and wholesale beef both to individuals and an upscale restaurant. Wholesale beef can be purchased by the whole animal, in halves, or by the quarter. Our marketing aim is to continue to expand our feeding program and select group of buyers over time.
As cattlemen, the McInerneys are first cattle breeders of registered seed stock. We must sell superior seed stock that other ranchers will want to buy to improve their own breeding programs. This requires a relentless pursuit of excellence in our own breeding program. One never reaches perfection. It's really the pursuit of excellence that matters and our own continual core herd improvement. We breed for important economic traits in our cattle that include structural soundness and conformation, maternal quality, progeny weaning and feedlot performance and, of course, progeny carcass quality. We follow a disciplined breeding program and critically assess the relative merits of each animal that's retained in our core breeding herd. We've learned in over 25 years of breeding cattle that progeny carcass quality doesn't just happen, and that all cattle are not created equal. One must work hard at improving the carcass quality in his cattle, or it's almost certain that one won't have good carcass quality in his herd. Carcass quality is a highly heritable genetic quality. Cows known to be endowed with high carcass quality, mated with bulls known to have those same qualities, are much more likely to consistently produce calves with high carcass quality. Like begets like. Black Angus cattle are widely known for their relatively high carcass quality. The American Angus Association has extensive data on carcass quality available on animals within its large gene pool. Tools we use to assist in our own breeding decisions include highly proven Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) and DNA technology that's now available that offers genomically enhanced EPDs. We also use some live animal ultrasound carcass evaluation to help in our core herd selection process. Carcass qualities we consider include degree of marbling, size of rib-eye, fat thickness, yield, and tenderness. Genetics are certainly the most important factor when it comes to consistent high quality carcasses in calves to be butchered.
Eight distinct quality grades of beef are recognized by the USDA. In order of descending quality they include Prime, Choice, Select and down to Canner. Only about two to three percent of the beef produced in the United States is truly Prime grade quality. Most of that is gobbled up by fine meat purveyors and never sees a supermarket shelf. Our goal at Pure Montana Angus is to sell only beef that would grade on the upper end of the scale as Prime and Choice grade quality. Factors most important that affect the quality grade include degree of marbling and texture. Marbling is the flecks of intermuscular fat interspersed throughout the lean in a piece of meat. It's most visible in a ribeye. Generally the more abundant the marbling, the higher the grade of meat. Marbling is critical to eating quality, as it's associated with juiciness and flavor. The highest quality steak is firm to touch, fine in texture, abundantly marbled, and with an evenly hued cherry red lean and creamy white fat. As a steer matures, the characteristics of its muscle changes. Color becomes darker and texture becomes coarser. The optimum age of slaughter for beef is from nine to 30 months of age for the highest quality beef.
Every steer that's used in our Pure Montana Angus program is a ranch-raised purebred Black Angus steer that comes right out of our registered Angus herd. The exact parentage of each steer is known for multiple generations. Calves are born in late January and February. They are raised on their mother's milk and nearby native and improved grass pastures. Calves are weaned at about eight months of age. At this point, male calves are sorted. Some are selected to develop and sell as breeding bulls. The other males are steered. After considering our anticipated market needs, the best steers then enter our Pure Montana Angus feeding program.
These steers are fed together in large pens, with adequate shelter and straw for bedding. They start on a small amount of course-ground high quality barley and free-choice grassy, long-stem hay. They also receive small amounts vitamin and mineral supplement, salt, and have access to clean running water. As time goes on, the amount of ground barley they are fed increases, but never to exceed 50 percent of the ration. The hay and barley are raised here on the farm. Our Pure Montana Angus steers are handfed daily, buckets to troughs. This really helps to calm the animals and reduce stress. Stress-induced adrenalin secretions can ultimately lower the carcass quality in slaughtered steers. No cattle within any of the McInerney operations are ever administered synthetic growth hormones. If we must administer an antibiotic to a steer post-weaning, that steer will be pulled from the PMA program and sold elsewhere. Most of our steers will finish on feed and be ready for slaughter at 16 to 18 months of age. They never exceed 21 months. This ensures the best meat texture and ultimate carcass quality. As steers finish, we deliver them ourselves to the butcher for processing. PMA is licensed with the State of Montana as a meat vendor, and all of our operations are monitored by State Health Department officials.
We've searched high and low for the right butcher to partner with in our Pure Montana Angus program. We think that we've found that in Clark Fork Custom Meats (CFCM). CFCM is a family-owned and operated custom slaughterhouse and meat processor located in Plains, Montana. CFCM is licensed by the State of Montana and each animal that's butchered is examined by State inspectors to determine that it's safe for human consumption. The kill process at CFCM is humane, extremely clean, and minimizes animal stress in a state-of-the-art custom facility. Dressed PMA carcasses are then hung in CFCM coolers and aged for 21 days. At this point, CFCM cuts the carcass according to customer specifications. CFCM vacuum packages the individual cuts, freezes the packages and the meat is now available for delivery. PMA beef is 100 percent beef, with absolutely no additives. Meat from one PMA steer is never commingled with meat from another.
Pure Montana Angus sells only steers that we've raised and maintained operational control on from birth to the butcher. We run a closed herd and never purchase other animals to fill our market needs. Our steers are 100 percent purebred Black Angus steers that come right from our registered cows. Our steers are raised naturally on the farm with feed we raise ourselves. CFCM has an impeccable local reputation and processes all of our beef.
We firmly believe that high quality beef starts with the related genetics. A strong beef quality genetic foundation takes years to develop, following a disciplined breeding program, and generations of cattle to find consistency. Beyond genetics, it's what the steers eat, how they are handled throughout their life, how old they are at the time of slaughter, and how the meat is processed that affect quality. Our customers tell us that we have a great product now. Our aim is to continue to improve and to craft an even better product. So give our beef a try. We think that you'll find that it's distinctively better, and you'll likely be back for more.
Thank you for your interest in Pure Montana Angus, LLC.
Tom & Gaye McInerney