The Masonic Village at Elizabethtown has the unique benefit of featuring a working farm and orchard among its many campus amenities. While plenty of restaurants boast fresh, local menu ingredients, most do not feature beef raised on their properties.

And Masonic Village’s beef is not just any beef.

Our beef operation is a member of the Pennsylvania Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Program, which ensures beef cattle are raised in a manner that results in a safe and wholesome product. This program is monitored and supported by the Pennsylvania Beef Council, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association and Penn State University.

We feed our cattle only top-rate grains and corn silage grown on Masonic Village’s 700-acre farm, and the cattle receive no hormones. To produce a tender and flavorful beef, it is dry aged for 21 days at a local family-run, USDA-inspected facility. All these efforts helped the Masonic Village Farm earn the national 2016 Cow/Calf BQA award.

Coming to a Plate Near You

The Food Service Department is preparing recipes featuring our beef for restaurants and cafés across campus, including the Three Loaves Café and Village Café which are open to employees and the public. Look for Masonic Village’s logo on the menu indicating our homegrown beef is used.

The Orchard View Café, located at the Masonic Village Farm Market, is serving hamburgers and cheeseburgers made with Masonic Village beef. You can also purchase frozen beef inside the market. Vacuum packing and quick freezing the meat allows you to enjoy juicy meat up to 12 months after purchase.

“We take extreme measures in our cattle care from birth to market,” Frank Stoltzfus, supervisor of agricultural production, said. “It’s not about what happens right before; it’s what happens throughout the life of the animal. We strive to make beef better, not just better beef.”