Butcher raises his own beef

March 30, 1997


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - So his customers don't have a cow, Waynesboro butcher Eugene Horst beefs up his business with some home-grown information.

Determined to put people's minds to rest about eating beef, the 38-year-old owner of the Country Corner Meat Market at 10586 Buchanan Trail East sells only what he's raised and fed himself.

"I'm concerned with consumers' health," Horst said. "We stand by everything sold here as far as quality and customer satisfaction."

Horst keeps between 30 and 40 Hereford/Black Angus-mix steers at a time on his Marsh Road farm. He gets up every morning at 5:30 and heads out to the barn to feed the herd their steady diet of ear corn and feed supplements.


The animals get the same ration every evening.

"It's about as naturally fed as you can get," Horst said, adding that the animals receive no hormones or growth stimulators.

The steers are raised on pasture until they weigh between 700 and 800 pounds. Horst then "finishes them up" on the grain diet until they reach the 1,200-pound mark.

That's when Horst's steers are handed over to his brother, who owns Horst Meats in Hagerstown, for slaughter.

From there Horst breaks down the sides of beef, dividing the portions and separating the different cuts to be sold at the butcher shop.

"Since I raise the beef, I know what they're fed," Horst said. "If you're concerned about the kind of beef you're eating, ask your butcher."

Whether they're buying beef in a butcher shop or a supermarket, consumers should be able to find out where the meat comes from and who raised it, he said.

"If they can't answer those questions, how do you know it's not shot full of steroids?" Horst said. "How do you know what you're buying?"

Horst said he doesn't want to be perceived as knocking the beef industry. Instead, he said, he wants to educate people to feel comfortable about buying beef.

A Hagerstown native, Horst learned his trade from his father, a dairy farmer who did custom butchering on the side. Horst then did his own butchering and sold meat at the Hagerstown Farmers Market for 10 years before moving to Waynesboro eight years ago.

Before he began raising his own cattle two years ago, Horst bought beef from his wife's uncle.

"It seems to click with customers when I tell them I raise my own beef," Horst said. "That's what's different about us."

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