What makes our beef different from conventional beef? We believe our beef is better for you, better for the environment and better for the animals. We carry three goals in whatever decisions we make:
- To produce food that is natural, safe, nourishing and delicious
- To respect and honor the creatures under our care
- To heal and enrich the land
We try as much as possible to use and imitate natural systems and provide an environment for our cattle that replicates the life that they would have in nature. Our animals are all born and raised on the farm, forming a stable social structure within the herd. In our interactions with them, we also use low stress animal handling techniques. During the grazing season they are moved to fresh pasture each day; in the winter they eat hay and baleage (fermented hay). The only supplements they get are kelp, organically approved minerals and salt.
They don’t receive grains or other concentrated feeds, growth hormones, chemical dewormers or antibiotics, nor do we use chemical fertilizers, insecticides, weed killers or defoliants on the land we graze.
How do our practices differ from those used with conventionally raised cattle?
Although the diet of many conventionally raised beef cattle includes some pasture for at least a part of their lives, most end their lives in CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations). In a CAFO animals from various herds are crowded together creating stress and allowing for the spread of disease. Their diet will now consist primarily of genetically modified grains and soy along with various supplements and additives, a very unnatural diet for animals that have coevolved with grass lands. This diet changes the nutritional profile of the meat and produces an acid condition in the cows’ rumens which leads to numerous health problems. The animals are often given hormones, antibiotics and other drugs to enhance growth and prevent and treat diseases which arise from this combination of a crowded stressful environment and a concentrated grain diet. In a feed lot the dense concentration of animals for an extended period of time leads to a build up of manure and urine. What in a grazing situation is a soil builder becomes an environmental pollutant.
When purchasing grass fed meat, it’s a good practice to ask the farmer if the animals are grass finished as well as grass fed as some providers advertise their product as grass fed even though the animals have been finished on grain.