QUAPAW, OK.--- The Quapaw Tribe is expanding its agriculture program with about 140 Angus cattle. They'll use the beef within the tribe, but they'll also use it as a profitable resource for Downstream Casino Resort. The tribe has been farming vegetables and herbs for hotel guest for a few months, and now they'll butcher their own steaks and use it for the Red Oak Steakhouse inside the resort.
"That way you'll know you'll have pure beef there," said Marilyn Rogers, Business Committee Member.
Business Committee Member Marilyn Rogers says the excess beef will be given to tribal members who are on low income and can't afford healthy meat.
"This is to help other people, more jobs and things in the area here," said Rogers.
She says most members of the tribe grow and produce their food everyday.
"Quapaws were always agriculture people. They were people from the Earth and they always grew everything, and that's just part of our heritage," said Rogers.
It's also a profitable business.
"It will be a money making profit for us in the long run as we grow, we're just getting self sufficient is what we're trying to be," said Rogers.
The idea of raising and butchering their own cattle started last fall. So after a few months of cattle research, the Quapaw Tribe decided to start a business relationship with Spur Ranch in Vinita.
"I like the vision that John Berry has with where he wants to go with our cattle and we look forward to being a good partner to them in their business endeavor with the cattle," said Clay Hartley, Spur Ranch Owner.
The Quapaw Tribe now owns 70 cows, 70 calves, and 4 breeding bulls. All of which will reside just north of Downstream Casino.
"These young heifers will be moved to another pin, probably in the fall. And then we'll raise them up until they get old enough to breed, and then we'll have another set go," said Rogers.
The tribe is also looking into setting up a bunch of bee hives to process their own honey. These will also be on the Quapaw's property.