Beef raffle for Keuka Comfort Care Home

Staff reports
The Chronicle Express

The Keuka Comfort Care Home and beef producers John and Anita Kriese have recently joined together to help make a difference in the lives of others.

Donna Payne and Emily Swann of Keuka Comfort Care Home visit John Kriese and his beef cattle at Spring Pond Farm.

The idea began when KCCH Board member Emily Swann, contacted John Kriese to brainstorm about fund raising opportunities for Keuka Comfort Home. 

 “Many of our traditional fund-raising activities had to be cancelled or postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Swann “and we needed to think of something creative which the community would embrace.”

After several phone calls and brainstorming sessions, Kriese and Swann created a proposal which would focus on the raffling off of locally-produced Finger Lakes beef. John and Anita Kriese have been raising high-quality signature beef for over three decades in Branchport, and have earned a reputation for producing well-marbled, beef which has a predictable and enjoyable eating experience.

John and Anita Kriese of Spring Pond Farm.

The beef which is being raffled off is truly a product of the Finger Lakes region. The cattle which Kriese merchandises as beef are born in the region, consume feeds which are raised in the region, and are processed all within the Finger Lakes. 

Cattle are born in late March, and go to pasture with their mothers beginning in May. Throughout the summer, the cattle primarily consume grass, clover, and free-choice minerals. At seven months of age, the calves are weaned from their mothers, and are fed high quality Finger Lakes forages, and begin to sample the corn, soybeans, and oats which all come from the region as well.

Once the cattle reach about 900 lbs., the steers are then transported to Shoff Farms in Benton. Gary and Jay Shoff operate a large cash-crop farm, and also feed several hundred steers per year for a variety of markets and distribution outlets. According to Kriese, “cattle continue to consume feeds which were produced right here, which really helps to reduce the carbon footprint associated with feed transportation”. In addition, high quality management from the Shoffs, high quality feeds from the area, and high-quality genetics all combine to make an outstanding product.

The final key to success is the processing of the animals. Steers are safely transported to Finger Lakes Meats in Romulus for harvest. The cattle are humanely harvested under the watchful eye of Federal inspectors, and the carcasses then go through the aging process.

“The aging of beef is almost a lost art and science,” insists Kriese. Finger Lakes Meats allows our carcasses to hang in a controlled-atmosphere cooler for up to 14 days. Aging allows the meat to tenderize, and also allows the flavors to enhance and to become unparalleled when compared to commodity beef from stores and retail outlets.

“The three winners of the Spring Pond beef are really in for a culinary treat,” explains Kriese. “There is a wonderful array of beef cuts for each winner, and the quality will be awesome.” The first place winner will receive a quarter of beef (approx. 160 lbs. of edible product), and the other two winners will each receive approximately 80 lbs. of high quality, local beef. All steaks have been cut to 1” in thickness, and will include rib eye, T-bone, Delmonico, Porterhouse, sirloin, and chuck steaks. Roasts are approximately three lbs. in weight, and include top round, sirloin tip, tottom round, and chuck Roasts. Burger is packaged in one lb. packages. 

Keuka Comfort Care Home has received a grant from the Joseph E. Brown Fund of the Rochester Area Community Foundation. The grant will be used to offset the cost of the fundraiser. All proceeds of the raffle will be used to support the ongoing mission of the Keuka Comfort Care Home. 

Tickets can be purchased by visiting Keuka Comfort Care Home at 35 Rte. 54 E. Lake Road Penn Yan, NY 14525’ or call 315-536-1690. The drawing will be held on a Facebook Live Event Aug. 29 and arrangements will be made for the winners to pick up their prizes.

Keuka Comfort Care Home is a two bed palliative care home providing free, compassionate end of life care in a homelike setting to terminally ill residents of Yates County and surrounding communities. To learn more about KCCH, visit our website at