Three generations of farmers offer up fresh, local beef

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RAPID RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - Just a few miles north of Rapid River is the century-old Gustafson Farm where three generations of the family currently work.

Operating under the business name of Superior Angus, the farm is home to around 200 head of cattle and about 25 targhee sheep. All of these animals have tons of room to roam around the acres of fields and have constant access to fresh water and grasses.

You won’t find any hormones or antibiotics on this farm, but what you will find is animals that seem genuinely happy.

Dawn Gustafson and her husband Brian do the lion’s share of the work, but they can’t imagine doing anything else at this point in their lives.

"Being a part of raising them in an awesome environment has been very fulfilling for me. It's a stress release. It's being able to go out and bond with the animals,” Dawn Gustafson said.

For Brian, this job seems to be a piece of cake compared to his former day job.

“I recently retired from a stressful occupation and this is a lot less stressful,” Brian Gustafson said. “It's very gratifying to be out here with the animals."

If you think you see a theme of happiness and low stress then you are right. The farm keeps the 6 members of the family who work it very busy, but they have a 115 years of family experience to draw on.

Brian points out the good life that the cattle are living.

“These animals have access to green grass during the summer. They have plenty of room to roam. Very low-stress environment and as my mother said, ‘we like to raise happy cows,’” Brian Gustafson said.

Superior Angus products can be found in the Marquette Food Co-op and several area restaurants, but there is one partnership that they are particularly proud of.

"We are excited to join Northern Michigan University in a partnership in their initiative for supplying local product to their students" Dawn Gustafson said.

Nathan Mileski is the Executive Chef at NMU and told TV6 what motivated bringing in the high quality product.

“It's really student driven. The sustainability aspect of it. They want to know where there food is coming from,” Mileski said. “Superior Angus beef, I can tell you from cooking it and serving it, that it has superior flavor and quality. Our guests truly enjoy it."

But before I left, there was one question I had to ask a man who raises beef for a living. Brian’s answer was short and sweet.

"I would strongly recommend a ribeye. Lightly seasoned even with salt and pepper. That'll give you a great steak,” Brian Gustafson said.

That's all I needed to know. Now I'm headed for the store.

For more information, visit the websites in the Related Links section of this story.

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