The Stahlman Family – Texas Belles Beef
In 1995, the Stahlman family moved their family from the bustle of city life to a sprawling farm in Kaufman in northeast Texas. This is where Texas Belles Beef was born and today it’s still a family affair led by R.K. and Sandy Stahlman, along with help from their three grown children and 10 grandkids.
Over the years, the Stahlman’s experimented with various cattle breeds including Buelingos and Angus before settling on Texas Akaushi cattle to be the best suited for their location and marketing goals. “Today, all our beef is farm-raised and farm-finished,” Jessica elaborates, “and we are constantly looking for humane, safe ways to improve our ranching and farming techniques to provide consumers the best, tastiest, most nutritional beef around.”
Farm and ranch life is tough, but with many rewards. “Oddly enough, calving season is both the most difficult yet most rewarding part of our business,” says Jessica. “The season comes with lots of stresses such as new momma cows, calves that are breech, twins, daily checks in the pastures to tag the newest calves born and more. But, being part of new life and new beginnings is so rewarding. When everything goes right, we rejoice.”
The Stahlmans also believe that the difficult incidents on the ranch and how they respond, usually makes for great stories and life lessons for the future. “I can laugh about a lot of funny things now,” Jessica says, “like calves in our bathroom, raising pigs for FFA, planes crashing in the fields, calves swimming in the water tanks, and never-ending cattle workdays. I might begin to panic in the moment, but staying focused helps to keep all involved, including the cattle, safe and healthy.
Outside of raising cattle, the family enjoys spending time together, whether that be skiing, visiting the beach or just relaxing together on the ranch. Jessica mentions she was an avid runner in her 20s, recalling a half marathon in Moab, Utah as her favorite race. Having spotted our jerseys at various events in the past, Jessica and her family stress how much they appreciate what the Texas Beef Team does for the beef industry. “Keep running and keep eating the king of protein,” Jessica says.
Learn more about Texas Belles Beef and the Stahlman family from daughter, Jessica:
Family Involvement: My dad, R.K. Stahlman, works a full-time job but still puts in an additional 20 to 30 hours per week on the farm. However, total manpower to run the operation is about 80 to 90 hours per week. Within the last few years, he’s agreed to have full-time help to take over the feeding, calving season and other little bits and pieces necessary to run a ranch successfully. My mom, Sandy, stays busy in her vegetable garden and prepares beef orders for local and Houston delivery. I live in Houston and handle the marketing duties such as social media and website sales. Additionally, I head up to the farm, with my family of six, at least four times a year to help out with cattle work days, beef sorting, other ranch duties and just enjoying a slower paced life with family.
Generations in Agriculture: We are 4th generation farmers turned ranchers.
Education: LOTS of on-the-job training. We joke that the Stahlmans are a bunch of city slickers. In high school, I jumped into FFA and showed heifers and we have taken the Beef 706 class offered at Texas A&M and also the Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) program.
Favorite Cut: Filet mignon, of course! Also, we love flat iron steak and bavette (French term for flank steak).
Favorite Beef Recipe: When my mom cooked her “Ranch Steaks” as a kid, we all thought we were in heaven. This dish is always a crowd favorite and today my own kids love it. My mom can also make a mean oven-baked brisket. Personally, I have enjoyed finding new recipes and trying all the different cuts we offer at Texas Belles Beef.
Favorite Beef Cooking Method: Sous Vide is my favorite way to cook any of our steaks.