Heritage Meats & More – About Us
OKB is a dream come true for two Basque brothers Yon and Robert Egusquiza that grew up in Boise Idaho and now will be returning to the Gem state to bring this wonderful product market.
That story will come shortly, for now here is the Story of Robert Egusquiza and Hull Hog Farms who is a Partner in OKB.
Hull Hog Farms
We started Hull Hog Farms with the goal of producing the best pork possible. We started with two pigs and have grown from there. As we grow, the idea is to keep the farm as sustainable, and green as possible.
Our animals are bred from select stock, and raised naturally. No farrowing crates or high concentration of animals are allowed on the farm. All animals have names and get attention on a daily basis. The sows are brought into stalls that have plenty if room for movement. After birth, the babies are left with their mothers for 7-8 weeks. This extra time gives them an extra boost, and is a lot easier on the sows than a 3 week turn-around. After the wieners are separated, they go into a pasture with others their age. The sows return to the communal pasture. We keep no more than 20-30 animals in each pasture. This low concentration, in conjunction with the superior feed used results in extremely healthy animals. No antibiotics or other medicines have been used on the farm for at least two years. Part of naturally raised, is the fact that no growth enhancers are used, ever. All the animals on the farm live a content life.
Originally the feed was a GMO free blend of grains and legumes that were hauled to the farm. These raw materials were then ground and mixed, then fed to the hogs. To help offset some of the costs related to feeding our hogs, this feed was bagged and sold all over the northwest. The hogs raised on this feed produced an amazing pork. But! there was still room for improvement. As we learned about different types of feed, the idea that always came to the top was, producing fodder.
Fodder is made by sprouting a seed grain for a short amount of time. The system that seemed to produce the best, and most end product, is Fodder Solutions. We sold the feed business that we had built up, and purchased a T84 system. This would make around 750 pounds of fodder with only 130 pounds of seed barley. We fed fodder to the pigs we had, and they do very well on it. This has been the only feed used for about a year and a half now. After a test run of six months or so, we decided to upscale the feed production. To do this we converted part of an existing shop to a “grow” room. It is a very well insulated and waterproof room that can be held at a constant temperature. This should allow us to make three times the amount of feed daily. The conversion of seed to feed allows us to make a large volume of feed here on the farm without hauling an immense about if raw materials. Not only is this better in an expense value, but cuts down on the carbon footprint of the farm.
The waste that remains is all composted for re-use here on the farm. As we progress, other goals include installing solar panels to bring the energy drain on the farm to zero. We get an amazing amount of days with sunlight, so we should take advantage of this renewable resource. We believe that our goal of a sustainable farm, producing the best pork available is almost achieved.
Content Written and Provided By MARC STEWART – Director of Sponsored Content
Black Angus graze in a mountain pasture near Brewster, Wash.
Alex Hoover, store manager of Heritage Meats & More shows off some locally sourced steaks.
More consumers are demanding all natural meat – meaning no hormones, no steroids and no antibiotics.
By MARC STEWART
Director of Sponsored Content
The package of red marbled ribeye steaks at the grocery store looks so inviting, but what do you really know about those steaks?
Where did they come from? Did a large conglomerate cattle ranch raise the cow?
Were steroids or antibiotics used to increase the size of the animal?
And what were the conditions of the farm? What did the cow eat?
A growing number of consumers are demanding to know those answers before they put a bite in their mouths.
“Our customers are saying, ‘No GMOs, no steroids, no antibiotics,” said Michelle Egusquiza, who co-owns Heritage Meats & More with her husband, Yon and longtime family friend David Howard. “They want clean, all-natural products. People are very concerned about what they are feeding their families. We get a lot of mothers who want the meat they buy for their children to be healthy.”
Hayden-based Heritage Meats & More launched in April 2015 and is a locally sourced operation. In addition to allnatural beef, pork and lamb products, the business sells local beer and wine, barbecue and a bevy of hot sauces to North Idaho customers.
Heritage provides meat to local restaurants, including the popular Capone’s Pub and Grill. The Egusquizas and Howard also operate the Boar’s Nest in Spirit Lake.
“We provide the meat for all of Capone’s hamburgers and Philly Cheesesteaks,” said Heritage Meats Store Manager Alex Hoover. “There is a difference from what you would normally get in the grocery store. Our meats taste really good because they’re raised really different!”
Gebbers Cattle, located in Brewster, Wash., supplies beef to Heritage Meats. The fifth-generation family-owned ranch has about 1,200 head of Black Angus cattle. Their cows are born on the ranch and they graze in the mountain pastures and prairie lands of Okanogan and Douglas counties, never traveling more than 30 miles from the ranch.
“They graze by their mother’s side on open range lands until weaning after which we put them in our own backgrounding lot,” said Cass Gebbers, owner of Gebbers Cattle. “They are fed chopped hay, chopped wheat straw and corn silage grown here on our own ranch along with steam rolled corn and dry distiller grains from the Yakima Valley.”
Gebbers’ methods meet consumer demands for high quality, hormone-free beef.
“Our cattle are naturally raised and minimally processed, meeting USDA standards for natural products,” said Gebbers. “We also guarantee that all cattle are antibioticfree for at least 120 days prior to processing and do not receive hormones or feed growth additives for improved performance. If cattle receive an antibiotic, it is on a per-animal basis, not mass distribution. For example, if a baby calf gets sick, we will give it a shot to save its life. By the time that calf is finished in the feedlot, it has had months or years to flush the antibiotic out of its system.”
A commitment to meet consumer demands for natural products has shaped Heritage Meat’s business model. It works with five local farms to provide its products, including pork and lamb, said Robert Egusquiza, Yon’s brother.
“I knew there was a better way and a better product out there,” he said. “It’s why we started the business.”
Originally, Heritage got its pork from Robert and David Howard’s own pig farm. Today Heritage contracts with a local source to provide pork for its customers. It’s all processed locally in Post Falls.
“Everything is all natural,” he said. “We’ve been conditioned by national marketing to believe that pork should be white. Healthy pork has color. Ours has a reddish tint to it. Not only can you taste
the difference, you can see it.”
Robert and David have an extensive knowledge of pork. He said their pork is a result of raising hogs differently than giant commercial operations.
“It’s not uncommon on a commercial pig farm to have 75 pigs on a 100 by 150 concrete platform,” he said. “They don’t move and they go to the bathroom in the same place they eat. It’s not natural. Our pigs are able to graze and move around. If you give pigs a choice, they will go to the bathroom someplace other than where they eat.”
Heritage’s pig farm also employs strict quarantine procedures to prevent diseases, meaning access to the pigs is restricted and farm hands must change from street clothes to work clothes before interacting with the animals.
“We don’t use antibiotics and that means pigs can be very susceptible to diseases carried by people,” he said. “We have a strict system in place to protect our pigs.”
That care and attention to detail symbolizes what Heritage offers consumers who want a healthy alternative.
“We’re not a huge corporation,” said Michelle Egusquiza. “We’re a family-run business whose philosophy is from the farm to the table.”
For more information call (208) 449-6150
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With two locations to choose from, what are you waiting for?