Audra Clemons and her husband, Carlos Abreu, have begun a new venture: Clemons Estate Beef. Some of the beef will come from the Clemons Family Ranch in Okeechobee.
The couple will provide small-batch, dry-aged steaks procured from Florida ranches. Clemons Estate Beef “will come from a variety of Florida ranches, not just our own,” Clemons says.
She adds “Our goal is to sell online by late summer 2019.” The company is based in Okeechobee.
The Clemons family has a ranching heritage that runs deep — four generations’ worth. Since 1961, the family has owned the Okeechobee Livestock Market, north of Lake Okeechobee, as well as the on-site restaurant.
Clemons explains, “All of our (Clemons Estate) steaks are ‘small-batch,’ which means there is quality over quantity when cutting the meat. ‘Dry-aging’ is a process where the meat sits in a climate-controlled room for a month. The naturally present enzymes break down the meat collagen, making it tender and juicier.”
“My family runs the Okeechobee Livestock Market Restaurant, and I’ve always loved the food industry. Carlos loves the dry-aging process, so it just made sense for us to follow the path of least resistance with this project. Plus, we both love a good steak!”, she adds.
Audra Clemons, great-granddaughter of family patriarch Pete Clemons, and Carlos Abreu met at the Okeechobee Livestock Market. “We are ‘the younger generation,’ so to speak. We have newer ideas about herd health and want transparency in the food we eat.”
Though many, if not most, people — Floridians and non-Floridians alike — associate the Sunshine State with tourism, that is only one major industry. “Ag” is another, whether you’re talking produce or meat.
The number of cattle in Florida is decreasing each year. Nevertheless, Clemons notes, “So many people don’t realize that Florida is a big agriculture state. It consists of 3.2 million acres of pastureland and 1.2 million acres of grazed woodland, and cattle producers are stewards of this sacred, undeveloped land.”
For more information on Clemons Estate Beef, visit www.clemonsestatebeef.com.
For information about the Okeechobee Livestock Market, which holds live auctions every Monday and Tuesday, visit (www.OkeechobeeLivestockMarket.com). The twice-weekly auctions begin at noon and are broadcast live on the website.