In the high country above Neumgna in the yarraman state forest, Glenn and Skye Douglass are raising grass-fed black angus crossed with shorthorn herefords.

The cattle are descendents of the first herds brought to the area by Glenn’s grandfather nearly 100 years ago. “The cattle here really have a happy life,” Skye said, looking across the vivid green hills with a contented smile. “It’s like a salad bowl for animals with a real variety of herbs and pasture. They’re relaxed, well fed, and well looked after.”

Although the cattle station has been in Glenn’s family since the 1930s, when his grandfather used it to fatten bullocks for the forestry, it has only been four years since Skye started HighBrit Beef, a Farmer Direct beef operation that supplies grass-fed beef to customers throughout Queensland. She came upon the idea in 2013 when cattle prices were low and she wanted a way to both connect consumers with the food they eat and supplement the family income. “We

thought that people would like a connection to their food, particularly with meat products,” Skye said. “People want to know that animals are being well treated. I think it’s beautiful and I thought that other people would think it was beautiful too.”

Glenn thought it was an excellent way to ensure that Australians had top quality beef available to them. “Our best beef ends up being exported,” he said. “I saw it as a way of supplying a high grade beef to the public.”

Highbrit Beef cattle do not receive any antibiotics or growth hormone and are fed solely on pasture with no grain input. “Grass fed meat is a lot tastier,” Skye said. “I love it when a family says to us that their kids love our meat.”

While many cattle require grains to marble the meat, the breed of cattle the Douglasses raise do not. “British cattle will put a bit of fat on with the grass,” Glenn said. “But it requires good grasses with high protein. You

grow grass, not cattle. The cattle are a by-product of good grass.”

Transparency is at the heart of Highbrit. Rather than selling hung weight (pre-cut) beef, they sell their 10 to 60 kilogram packages at fridge weight so when customers pay for 10 kilos of beef, they are getting 10 kilos. “It’s a lot more management for us, but we think it’s important,” Skye said. “We feel like we’re being straight with people.”

The Douglasses are planning Open Days where customers can have a farm tour, barbecue, and ask questions. “We’re very transparent,” Skye said. “There’s nothing to hide.”

Providing a great life for their cattle and their family means everything to Skye and Glenn. They love seeing their four children ¬ Maye, George, Audrey, and Isla – connected to the land through good times and hard. “We had rain and my children were out dancing in it,” Skye said with a laugh. “I never grew up valuing things so much. They are in tune with the seasons.”