Mississippi Beef Selling farm-fresh beef from cattle raised at Remington-Lott Farms, near Canton, is a multifamily affair, as three generations of the Lott and Rowell families are involved in the operation. A growing demand for local beef caught the farm’s attention. “Like everybody, we were looking at ways to try to increase farm revenue. And we knew the market for locally grown was increasing,” says Greg Lott, a business partner with Jim Rowell in the farm’s 750- cow herd. Cattle farmers across Mississippi are meeting the local demand. “From one end of the state to the other, there has been an increase in the number of people offering local beef,” says Andy Berry, executive vice president, Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association. “This makes sense as cattlemen seek to add more value to their production.”

Planning for the Local Market

It takes time and planning for a cattle farm to deliver beef locally. “We spent over a year getting everything ready,” Lott says.
Like other Mississippi cattle farms, the farm sold most of its cattle as lighter-weight feeder cattle. They now harvest two or three fed cattle per week, at weights over 1,000 pounds. “You have to plan a long time ahead to have the right number of cattle ready at the right times,” Lott says. Remington-Lott Farms sells its beef at the Mississippi Farmers Market in nearby Jackson, as well as farmers markets and restaurants in Livingston and Madison. Beef is prepared for sale at a local processor, and meat is harvested and handled according to state and federal guidelines. “There are samples taken for [food safety] testing from every animal that we sell,” Lott says. “There are a multitude of rules and regulations you have to follow to sell meat like we’re doing – but we don’t think that’s a bad thing because it helps protect everybody, the farmer and the customer.” Mississippi Beef

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High-Quality Feeding

Will Lott, Greg and Doris Ann’s son, is in charge of herd feeding. The farm maintains high-quality pastures and hay, supplemented by minerals essential to cow and calf health. Will and Greg worked with a beef nutritionist from Mississippi State University to make adjustments for the nutritional needs of the heavier cattle. “We chose to use a feed ration with grain to produce our beef,” Lott says. “The cattle gain weight a little faster, and in our opinion, the grain makes for a tastier end- product.” Mississippi farms are positioned to produce beef for any taste. “We have the ability to grow grain and feed grain byproducts to cattle,” Berry says. “Cattle farms here can also decide to feed cattle to harvest on an all-grass diet. We can grow grass year round in Mississippi.” Cattle are allowed free range on pasture at Remington-Lott Farms. Cattle fed for harvest eat supplemental feed at a feed bunk, or trough, at pasture’s edge. “We do everything that’s the best for our cattle,” Lott says. Mississippi Beef

A Family Affair

Delivering beef to farmers market customers is a family affair. “Both of our families are so willing to pitch in when we need them, even the ones who hold down other demanding, full-time jobs,” says Christy Eaves, farm sales director and daughter of Remington-Lott co-founders Libby and Jim Rowell. Christy’s oldest daughter, Kelsey Eaves, is the marketing director, maintaining the farm’s websites and extensive animal record-keeping system. Doris Ann Lott, Greg’s wife, helps man the farmers market booths – as does Will’s wife, Alicia Lott, and Christy’s youngest daughter, Kadey Eaves.

“Our customers like the product coming locally, and we deliver beef that is as fresh, tasty and tender as possible. It’s very flavorful,” Lott says. “Customers tell us there is a difference, and it’s great for us to be able to produce beef they love.” “The market for local beef is there,” Berry says. “It gives our Mississippi producers a chance to add more value to the cattle that they have already been raising.”

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