Crisis Reinforces a ‘Doing Things Right’ Philosophy

June 10, 2020

by Bruce Derksen

Bob and Jami Goble with their sons Max, Grant and Nolan of Ridgeview Farm, Alto, Mich., consistently try to do things the right way for their purebred and commercial cattle. They treat them right, feed them right and are confident this philosophy will take care of their family right. The Gobles raise purebred Herefords and breed some of their bulls with Black Angus cows to produce baldy cattle. Both the Herefords and the baldy animals are marketed as Ridgeview Farm Freezer Beef in local farmer’s markets and a store in the Gobles’ yard.

“Our cattle are out on pasture and we don’t do any type of confinement. The grain we grow is what they eat,” said Jami. She believes the distinct and different ration of not just corn but added small grains gives their beef an amazing flavor. “We want people to know it tastes good on the plate plus I think the quality is so much better than what they can get in the grocery store.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck North America, the family pressed on doing the right thing. Jami had locked in harvest dates well in advance and a mobile unit continued to visit the farm to collect halves and to deliver them to the local butcher. The United States Department of Agriculture-inspected beef hangs for three weeks and then is cut and wrapped.

She says new customers are quickly realizing the superior quality and taste of Ridgeview’s beef.

“This virus has almost forced people to come to someone smaller like Ridgeview. Many are afraid to go into the supermarkets where they would normally get their beef, plus most of them don’t have any meat right now. Our big packing places are shut down too. It’s not a problem for us. We are selling as we always sell but more than normal.”

Jami says they set up a web-based service for preordering, and payment can be made online. Ridgeview now offers delivery or will place packages directly into the customer’s vehicle should the individual prefer to visit the store.

“Word of mouth is probably our best advertising right now. The high-end cuts are in hot demand, but I’m honestly having a hard time keeping anything in the store.”

When the threat of COVID-19 passes, Jami believes their freezer beef will continue to do well with new customers added to their already loyal base. Doing things the right way will remain the mantra of Ridgeview Farm and its direct-market products.