Shipley Farms Signature Beef #GotToBeNC

Last Spring I was invited by the N.C. Department of Agriculture to attend a Butcher Social at Shipley Farms in Vilas, N.C. a 10-minute drive from Boone. A handful of local chefs, butchers and restaurant professionals gathered at the 145-year old family farm to spend the afternoon being immersed in beef.

Shipley Farms Beef is in the N.C. mountains where they raise Appalachian grown, pasture-raised beef.  They are raise specially bred steers from English breed stock, mostly Angus and Hereford – the family brought Hereford farming to N.C. in the late 1800’s –The cattle are raised on pasture with “no shortcuts”: dry aged with no steroids, antibiotics, feedlots, etc. The farm is incredibly photogenic and picturesque. Rolling hills, sweeping views of mountains and cows dot the land.

We were treated to live demonstrations and samples of cutting and cooking a variety of beef cuts, led by Chef Danny Bock of Coyote Kitchen. Below, watch a 1 minute video of Chef Danny butchering ribeye steaks.

Restaurant chefs spoke and asked questions about value cuts and how to get the most out of primal cuts of meat.

A little snack of housemade beef jerky made from Shipley Farms beef

PRO TIP: For restaurants and home cooks alike, it’s more economical to purchase primal cuts of meat and butcher them yourself in the kitchen. Excess waste is eliminated and you’re able to control the outcome.

Grilled Eye of Roast

We met Bob and Gray Shipley, stewards and owners of the farm as well as others on the agricultural team that gave us an insiders’ look on what goes in to raising Shipley Farms' signature beef. The Social was sponsored by a grant provided by Tobacco Trust Fund and support from the state’s Got To Be NC program that helps farmers and producers provide quality products to consumers.

Gray Shipley, a 5th generation farmer, greeting us with signage

We were also treated to a little social lubrication provided by one of Boone's local breweries, Booneshine Brewing Company, opened in 2015.

Not only is Shipley Farms beef available in the High County and the entire state of North Carolina, they ship meat packages anywhere in the Eastern and Central Time Zones. Check out their online store and make their passion for beef yours. Today! 

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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  1. This is an incredibly beautiful farm and Bob Shipley is the embodiment of gracious charm. My daughter and I tried their mail order beef this Christmas. They did not disappoint. To talk to the Shipley’s about how they raise their cattle is to gain an appreciation for their efforts and want to try their beef. You will be glad you did

  2. Sounds like an incredible time--what a gorgeous farm, and what an amazing event!

  3. I love local farms like this! It sounds wonderful!


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