Column: They’ve got the beef

Published 10:18 am Sunday, July 18, 2021

I’m sure you all have noticed just how much our Downtown Farmer’s Market has grown this season.

From fresh vegetables to farm-raised beef to crafts and canned goods, it has become a one-stop shop for many locals looking to spice up their dinner menus at home and enjoy something locally grown at the same time.

One vendor that stands out among the rest each Saturday is Rockin’ M’s pasture-raised beef and products. Owners Melanie and Bryant Murray took some time to help me learn a little more about their venture.

“Rockin’ M started raising cattle over 40 years ago. We believe that cattle should be raised in open pastures,” they shared. “While the majority of their diet consists of grass, we supplement with grain to complete their diet. We believe in sustainable farming, so we ensure that we are following sustainable practices including producing our own hay, not overpopulating our land, and even custom watering solutions.”

The Murrays are Natchez natives who understand just how important the community they are helping to feed is.

“We know the rich history of Natchez, and we are proud to call it home. We love this community and cherish the support we have felt when starting to produce farm-to-table beef,” Melanie said.

“Bryant is the face of Rockin’ M where he has raised cattle for years. When not working with the cattle, he can be found on a tractor harvesting grain. I am a court reporter in Adams and the surrounding counties. Our son, Bryce, his wife, Kate, and our daughter, Merritt, also assist in social networking and marketing aspects.”

So, why grass fed? Why pasture raised? What is all of the fuss about?

Melanie believes, “It’s becoming more obvious with each person we talk to. People want to know where their food is coming from. They want to buy local. They want to support their community. We are thrilled we can provide a place for people to know where their food comes from – Mississippi.”

Sharing their bounty at the market each Saturday is a rewarding experience for the Murrays. From ground beef to brisket, ribeyes to hangar steaks, and chuck roast to eye of the round, Rockin’ M offers a wide variety of options at the market and through monthly deliveries known as “Rockin’ Box.”

“The Natchez Downtown Farmers Market has been instrumental in getting our name out in the community and also gives us an opportunity to talk to our customers on a one-to-one basis and share about our product,” she added. “Eddie Burkes does an outstanding job of organizing and making sure everything runs smoothly. He works hard to ensure the atmosphere is that where all the vendors feel like family, and it truly does!  We look forward to being there each Saturday morning.”

If you’d like to have a sneak peek inside Rockin’ M and what they have to offer each week, find them on Facebook, give them a like, and get out on Saturday morning for a visit.