He offers a browser a sample of sizzling beef sausage and smiles at the enthusiastic response. He's proud of the meat. His cows never see a commercial feedlot; he mixes their feed — grass and alfalfa hay, sunflower seeds, corn silage, flax seed — himself and will provide pure, grass-fed meat if customers want it. "I learned a lot from the guy who owned the Fort," he explains. "He was a meat connoisseur, and he always said the thicker the hide, the better the meat; the slower the growing time, the better the meat." The animals are two years old at the time they're slaughtered, and they're taken to a local, family-run processor where "they play a radio because music calms animals, and a fan blows lightly on them; it's a real relaxed environment," he says. "The animals do not see the one in front in the knocking box go down. The place is right in town; there's a house next to it, it's that clean." And where inspection in big slaughterhouses is random, in this place every animal is individually inspected. "If the USDA man is not on the floor, they're not open," Frank says. "I've brought my family up showing these cattle; it's in my blood. I like being with animals. But it doesn't always pay so good. And the Boulder farmers' market gave me life."

For a list of area farmers' markets, go to the Cafe Society blog at
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