Sad news from the farm-to-table front: Frank Morgan, whose Q7 Ranch in Marengo, Illinois provides beef to a number of local vendors who deal in naturally-raised meats, died suddenly Tuesday at age 58. Morgan worked and studied cattle ranching in California before taking a job with a futures brokerage in 1974, and later worked for HSBC as a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. During that time he also owned and managed Q7 or Quarter Circle Seven Ranch, and around 2005 devoted himself entirely to operating it as a locally-produced, all-natural and sustainable supplier of beef with his wife Fran, partner Herb Snow and, most recently, former Green City Market farm forager Dave Rand, who signed on as director of sales and partner to help expand Q7’s market among Chicago restaurants. Customers for Q7’s grass-fed beef include The Butcher & Larder, Old Town Social, John Des Rosiers (Inovasi and Wisma), and City Provisions. For more background information, including some ranching photos you’d never think could be so close to Chicago, we recommend this piece by Johnny Auer at Serious Eats Chicago. There’s no word yet from the family or the operation, but we would assume that they will remain committed to Morgan’s work in ranching to produce high quality grass fed beef that has won the respect and business of many fine Chicago restaurants and retailers.