SEAGULL BAY BEEF

Greg Andersen, right, poses with his daughter, Lydia.

AMERICAN FALLS — Beef lovers are in luck with the recent opening of Falls Town Beef, a family-owned business that offers both large and small orders to households around the area.

The business, which was jumpstarted by the same owners of Seagull Bay Dairy, focuses on selling locally grown beef in smaller quantities, allowing people with small freezers to be selective in the amount they purchase.

“A lot of people in the past, if they wanted to buy local beef, they’d need a big freezer to do so and it’s quite a bit of money up front,” said Greg Andersen, owner of both Seagull Bay Dairy and Falls Town Beef. “And that’s the challenge. Some people love to buy a whole cow and we’ve done that too, but we’ll also sell smaller quantities. If that’s what the consumer wants, we can mix and match whatever quantity they ask for.”

Andersen, who has close to 700 beef cattle and hopes to increase that number to 1,000, opened the business with the intent of providing readily available, high-quality beef to locals, something that’s been a challenge for ranchers over the years.

He explained they have their beef processed and prepared in a USDA certified facility in Aberdeen, which opens the opportunity for them to legally sell whatever quantities the consumer asks for.

“That’s why in the past it’s been difficult for people to buy local beef sometimes,” Andersen said. “Because they either would have to buy a whole cow or go find a place that has all the certifications to do that local beef.”

Although it’s still in its early stages, Falls Town Beef is equipped with a freezer than can store up to 5,000 pounds of finished product and currently harvests two steers every week to meet local demand. And while they still do sell to larger scale channels, they are eager to provide beef to local households.

The business is also centered around using local-based services such as farmers and butchers.

“The basics of it is we want to sell high-quality, great tasting beef that’s locally grown,” he said. “We’re feeding (the cattle) locally-grown Idaho corn, Idaho hay, we feed (them) whey that comes from the cheese plants from Idaho Milk (Products). It truly is a local business. Even the animals are harvest and prepared in Aberdeen. … It’s just kind of a cool ecosystem among the people growing the feed, raising the cattle, doing the services, and then you sell it locally.

“And that’s something we weren’t able to do just producing milk on a dairy because that’s more large scale whereas this Falls Town Beef is more of a small adventure.”

Andersen has also included several of his children in the endeavor, teaching them the ropes of running a new business, which includes allowing his oldest daughter Lydia to take the helm as the social media manager.

“I’ve always done the farming stuff and I like the hands-on approach where you can see the progress when you’re feeding and caring for the cows,” said Lydia. “But I do want to get more into the business side of things to test it out.”

“It’s a good opportunity for her to get her hands on the small business aspects and what better way to do that than when we’re first starting out?” Andersen said. “Now that we’re starting Falls Town Beef, she has the opportunity to learn at the beginning of a new adventure.”

In addition to selling the product, they also started to share beef recipes on their social media pages for people to explore the different ways of cooking meat.

“Because when you sell beef, part of it is having a good quality animal, then harvesting and preparing it the right way for storing in the freezer, and then the third part of that is cooking it correctly,” he said. “And we’ve been practicing cooking and preparing the beef and there’s a lot of cool resources online. That’s what we’re trying to do is share with people places to go to learn how to best cook beef.”

For those interested in learning more about Falls Town Beef and the services they provide, visit their Facebook page at Falls Town Beef, shoot them an email at greg@fallstownbeef.farm, or call 208-339-0904 for more information.

“Our Seagull Bay Dairy has been here for 40 years, while our Falls Town Beef has been here for 40 days,” he said. “So we’re just so early into it, but we’re having fun and people have loved the beef so far.