August 2022

Posted by Connor McCauley on

TriTails Phase Two

August Newsletter

A Brand New Phase of Tritails.

Before I make this statement, I want to point out that I'm not degrading the importance of those who work behind a computer. In fact, working behind a computer is what I'm doing right at this moment. I could go on about the importance of honorable accountants, truth-speaking media creators, and coders who protect us from cyber-attacks. However, there is still a not-so-admirable fact evolving in our society. Farmers and ranchers seem to be losing their recognition as front-line providers. Those who feed (quite literally) the needs of every human alive are no longer considered admirable people. It is ever becoming more degrading how the crucial occupation is losing its honorability amongst everyday citizens. Look at the E.U., where cow herds are to be cut in half because the media says farmers destroy the planet. Look how Bill Gates is buying farmland and promoting that we should eat things like mealworms. Look at how hard it is for small farmers and ranchers to make even the smallest profit because of corrupt politics and markets. We live in a world where working behind a screen gives you more honor and profit than feeding the population. We have entered a phase of doing or dying for small farmers and ranchers. It is sad to see.

TriTails has now entered a phase of doing and not dying. We are combining the computer with the ranching industry. We have had some fantastic people behind screen pushing sales so our cowboys and farmers can do what they do best. It has been an uphill battle to turn a profit. There have been more David and Goliath moments that I can count on my fingers and toes, but we were finally able to push ahead to profound watershed moments. Moments where the little guy has won.

Sam has been at the helm of a new vessel, and we have been navigating some rough seas with admirable success. The ship is called the S.S. Unity, and the sails are made by ranchers all over this country. Ranchers who are looking for a chance against the big guy. It is time for the rancher to start an uphill battle of coming together to fight unfair processing and markets. We want them to use their cattle to power a more honorable enterprise than the current cattle business. They will be able to put wind in sails that work for them, not some corporate powerhouse. 

If Sam is at the helm as our captain, then his first mate has been Helen. She has navigated us through problem after problem. Helen has created solutions to issues that would have cost us thousands of dollars. Her genius has been showing, and she has become a tech wiz in the ranching world. We are all so proud of her.

However, my friend, the beautiful part of this is you're along for the ride. You get to the destination, a tropical island paradise called know your beef. We can't give away too many details about TriTails phase two, but imagine having a TriTails experience with ranchers all over America. Imagine buying beef and knowing who specifical grew and harvested that beef. Imagine getting to see their face and hear their story. Imagine all that with TriTail's quality meat. Imagine a country where we respected farmers and ranchers again because we know who they are. We see their name on the product rather than some large out-of-control cooperation.

With all of this said, I can still assure you one thing, TriTails will only be getting better. You can still be able to buy beef from your favorite Texas Panhandle family at The best part is from here on out, we will likely have more in stock as we gain even better control of our processing. We hope to keep you in the loop in the upcoming year. Keep on doing what you do best as our customers. Enjoying quality beef and spreading the delicious news of where it came from with your friends and family.

Why do you Wear that?

When I first arrived on the Texas ranching scene, I was impacted by the culture, especially how people dressed. To me, cowboys were something out of an old John Wayne movie. It was foreign to me, and I imagine it is how people feel when they see the Amish from my hometown. On top of that, the non-Amish farmers from Pennsylvania do not dress as cowboys. The cultural difference was something that I was unaware of, and I didn't realize at first that there were practical and cultural reasons for the cowboy dress attire.

Where I'm from in the northeast, the weather is often cooler and wetter. The farms are also smaller and tamer. These factors mean several things as far as attire. For instance, there are no cowboy boots. Muck boots work much better for the wet mud and barns filled with dairy cattle. There is no need for horseback riding attire as ATVs can get most jobs done. Even the Amish use wagons or buggies for almost all tasks instead of riding horses. Smaller hats are appropriate due to the shade and being close to sea level(fewer UV rays). There are also more foresters in the mix. Almost all farmers have to cut and remove unwanted vegetation from their fields. Think more of mountain men in thick flannels and beanies. This culture is what I'm used to growing up near the Appalachians. 

The attire all changes in Texas. The ranches here are massive, the weather is hot and dry, and the horse is put to work. The horse is the perfect tool for traversing large terrain and herding beef cattle. A pony can quickly become a cowboy's best friend or worst enemy. Like the movies, these majestic beauties can save one from sure danger or buck em off into a thicket of thorns. Regardless of how well the friendship forms between man and beast, the horse is an absolute necessity on the Harrell Ranch. ATVs are too large and unreliable for the canyon landscape and not agile enough to herd cattle. Only a horse can accomplish the tasks that a cowboy needs to accomplish.

The spur is also a part of a cowboy's attire that sets him aside from the rest. This tool does not hurt a horse but puts the horse in better communication with the rider. Many horses will turn with foot commands rather than directing with the reins. Without spurs, a cowboy has to give a lot more kick to say, hey, go left or right. With spurs, it's simply adding some pressure rather than a kick.

Another large part of riding attire for the cowboy is their chaps. Chaps are another layer on top of the denim jeans that most cowboys wear and are used to prevent rubbing with the saddle. They also help prevent rope burn from lassoing. However, I have noticed that in the Palo Duro canyon, they help particularly with low-lying vegetation such as cacti or thorny mesquite trees. Without chaps, one would come home with cut legs filled with nasty thorns and prickles. 

One other thing we have to talk about is those large cowboy hats. These hats are probably the most distinct bit of attire for the cowboy. The origins came from Vaqueros, or Mexican Cowboys, who wore wide-brimmed, high-crowned sombreros while herding cattle. These large hats protect ranchers and cowboys from the sun and add style to the cowboy outfit. It was a new experience for me to go into a boot store to see the cowboy hat fitting section. Watching a hat fitter shape the lid to whatever the cowboy desired was something else.

Cowboys also couldn't resist adding some flare to their style. Leather stamping, embroidery, braiding, and jewelry became part of the style for the cowboy. They enjoy silver and turquoise as well as leather and hide materials. A lot of this developed from the style of William Frederick Cody, aka Buffalo Bill. He and other frontiersmen incorporated many fashions from the Native Americans into the cowboy style.

In the past few years, I went from being a person who knew very little about cowboys and their culture to being immersed in it. I've seen different cultures, having lived in the Appalachians, Rockies, and Southern Plains. I can say each has its practical reason for becoming its own. I truly admire all of them, but the cowboy culture sticks out as a unique one. It is rugged and elegant at the same time. It matches the character of a Cowboy who has a soft heart and rugged hands. If I had to sum it all up in a specific feel; I would tell you to listen to My Rifle, My Pony, And Me by Dean Martin. A song that strikes the heart of an Amarillo cowboy.

Steak Prepping Tips

  1. Defrosting your steak is a crucial step to not eating a raw steak. The easiest way to thaw a steak fast and safely is to use a large bowl of water. However, inspect the steak packaging for flaws, such as holes, before you start. Once you thaw the packaging, it will no longer be airtight. Steaks are packaged frozen and are meant to stay frozen. Heat will expand the packaging. That means the packaging is no longer serving its purpose, and you must cook your steak right after you thaw it. Do not refreeze… In the original packaging, you can submerge your steak in (cool, not warm) water. You can change the water if you find it takes a while to thaw your steak.
  2. Once your steak is thawed, remove it from the packaging. Pat dry with a clean paper towel and salt. This action is to remove moisture from the surface of the steak. It also allows the salt to be pulled into the surface of the steak. There are plenty of juices in your steak, and it will not dry out the steak. Do not worry; this works, I promise. After salting your steak, let it rest on a curing board or plate for 30 minutes to an hour. Do NOT reuse that plate of cutting board until you have washed it with hot (cool enough that you won't burn yourself) soapy water. Drying the surface of your steak and allowing it to come up to room temperature does two things. One) it gives you a better sear on your steak. Less moisture allows the grill's high heat to brown the steak's outer layer. This gives you that fantastic crust without cooking it to well-done temperatures. Two) it lets your steak cook evenly. If your steak is stone cold in the center, it might be raw, while the outside of your steak is well done.
  3. Before you put your steak on the grill, season with other things you like besides salt; make your rub. I strongly believe in this. Not only will you find the perfect seasoning for your taste, but you will also learn all about the spices in your cabinet. You may find that you don't even like the paprika that is in almost every rub or that you want extra garlic powder. Whatever it is, experiment till you find it, then make a big batch for future use. Always grind your pepper fresh, though. It can become stale quite quickly. Need help check this out
  4. Cook that delicious piece of TriTails beef precisely the way you want. You're not in some steakhouse where you have no control over your beef and the way it's cooked. Get that grill nice and hot to get a good sear on that steak, and enjoy! USDA recommends that all beef be cooked to at least 145 Degrees Fahrenheit.

Prayer Requests

You can feel free to disregard this part of the newsletter, but we always need prayers. Please do not think we are asking you to only pray for us but rather just add these things to the things you already pray for. We really appreciate and believe in this.

  • Praise for the 7 inches of rain we received!! Thankyou Lord!
  • TriTails starting their wholesale operation.

Thank You so much, and don’t hesitate to let us know if we can pray for you.


Photos By Faith Harrell

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  • your steaks and roasts, we just had 2nd one, are delicious! you can tell the difference. your recipes are fantastic. ypu and others like you, will be one of the reasons America will survive. GOD will be the main reason. stick together and pray. Thanks for feeeding America while the evil tries to starve us. I will pray for your continued success and please pray for us in Ohio and every state. Lets all pray for each other and support each pther with all our unique God given talents. Use your GOD given talent everyone. There is more of us than them.

    marcia schiffauer on
  • I appreciate this interesting update. Now, I don’t claim to know what you’re talking about with the “S.S.Unity”, but if I took a guess, I would say it sounds like you are on the verge of starting a whole new beef “parallel economy”, as Andrew Torba says, and harnessing the strength of all these salt of the earth ranch families through internet marketing. I wish you the very best! I’m so encouraged to hear about your blessing of rain and actually growing your business in these times of economic pressures from all directions. Be assured that customers like us hold you in the highest regard and are proud to support you by buying your top shelf product. Knowing more about your lives makes it even better.

    Lynda Schwemmer on
  • Love you guys! Joined you in praise for the rain. Praying too for your family and new ventures!

    Shirley Karr on
  • So excited to learn how you are evolving. We travel a lot and always talk to farmers and ranchers where we go. The problems you all face are consistent from Texas to Oregon. God bless.

    Tony Airhart on

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