Face your Food
We thought it would be fun to share with you some of the wright-ups that have been going on this one was found in the Elko Daily Free Press but Originally posted in the Face your Food Magazine written by Suzanne Featherston
CLOVER VALLEY — One spring Saturday afternoon, Kari Brough pulled up to a ranch house in Clover Valley after delivering lunch in the field to the crews at Brough Ranch. Spring is branding season on the fifth-generation cattle ranch, and family and friends had spent the day together to get the work done.
Brough Ranch raises Angus and Wagyu beef in the foothills of the East Humboldt Mountains, where the Brough family members take care of each other and their cattle to produce quality meat. As ranchers who take pride in the quality of their product, close attention to animal welfare begins with rotating night watches during calving season and extends through humane processing and sales. The result, according to Jordan and Kari Brough, is high-quality and delicious food.
“You’re going to be able to taste the quality and the care that my husband and his family has put into raising this animal that we have prepared; whether it’s our Angus or our Wagyu beef, you’re going to notice the difference,” Kari said. “And, hopefully, you feel like you are being taken care of with that same quality and respect that you deserve.”
Jordan and Kari help work the ranch that started in 1947 when Ferris and Marlene Brough and other family members purchased property in the valley south of Wells. They began as a commercial cow-calf operation. Later, son Wilde Brough and wife Sherry joined them and bought more acreage and formed Brough Partnership, turning the ranch into a stock operation. About the same time, they purchased their first Wagyu cattle.
Jordan, one of Wilde and Sherry’s six children, made it a goal to remain on the ranch and continue working it like the generations before him. He and wife Kari moved onto the ranch in 2015 and have three children: Chester, 6, Evalyn, 3, and Ivy, 6 months.
“There is a lot of responsibility,” Jordan said, explaining that the ranch provides a livelihood for his family and the families of their employees. “It’s good though. I’m grateful for the opportunity to do it.”
With family support, the couple put more focus on the Wagyu beef portion of the business under Brough Ranch Beef, which formed in 2020.
“Wilde and Sherry have supported us in this and helped us get this start,” Kari said.
Wagyu beef originated in Japan, where the people noted the horned cattle for their endurance and put them to work as draft animals, according to the American Wagyu Association. The breed’s strength came from intra-muscular fat cells that gave them energy.
“It’s really known for its marbling,” Kari said. “That’s what gives you flavor and tenderness.”
Meat from Wagyu raised on the Brough Ranch is at least 75 percent Wagyu. Some of the offspring come from the friendly breeding female the family calls “Moofin” (like Muffin) instead of using its registered Japanese name.
“Brough Ranch beef is simply amazing,” said Jory Spotts in a Google review. “It’s the best beef I’ve ever had. I never need steak sauce and never need seasoning. The steaks melt in your mouth! My wife and I can’t eat store-bought steaks ever again. We’ve tried and they ended up in the garbage. It’s Brough Ranch beef or nothing!”
Brough Ranch sells the grass-fed and grain-finished beef to customers in the area, the western states and even New York through online sales and farmers markets. Chef Luc Gerber serves Brough Ranch beef in his Elko restaurant, Luciano’s. Burgers feature Brough Ranch Wagyu ground beef year-round, and for special occasions, he offers their New York steak, rib-eye, fillet, flank and tongue.
Gerber’s approach at Luciano’s is to use as many local products as possible to reduce the restaurant’s footprint and show residents how many products are available locally. Brough Beef gets his customers’ attention.
“People comment on it all the time,” he said. “People will taste it at the restaurant and will go buy it at the market or vice versa … [They] are excited that they are having a dish made with beef [when] they just had a conversation with the rancher.”
Commercially, Angus beef remains the mainstay of the stock operation. Angus sold locally also gives customers the option of a lower-fat meat compared to Wagyu.
For processing, the Broughs go to a family-owned and U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified facility in Lewiston, Utah, that uses processing techniques recognized for being more humane.
Jordan and Kari want to continue building on the family heritage at Brough Ranch. One day, they hope to leave a thriving operation to their children.
“It is really a neat opportunity not just for us but our children who get to work beside their grandparents,” Kari said. “It’s a family thing, and I think it’s what a lot of people forget in this world when they go to the store and buy a burger, they’re seeing a corporation’s name on it, but it is really coming from something like this, a family ranch.”
This article first appeared in the June issue of Face Your Food magazine, published by the nonprofit ElkoGrown to promote locally produced food. Magazines are available at farmers markets in Elko and Lamoille