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THE HERD
Organic Grass Fed Beef
THE HERD
Scott River Ranch Organic Beef
THE HERD
100% grass fed Organic Meat

Our job is to raise the highest quality beef for you and your family. We know that the finest beef comes from cows that live in their natural environment, and eat their natural food source. At our ranch you’ll see our cows grazing in their natural habitat—acres upon acres of lush, green pasture.

For this reason and many others, our ranch is Animal Welfare Approved —the organization with “the most rigorous standards for farm animal welfare currently in use by any United States organization”. Their website explains that “the basic premise of all the standards is that animals must be able to behave naturally and be in a state of physical and psychological well-being.”

In essence, it means that our cows are skipping through our pastures and smiling ear to ear as they eat only the best organic grass every day of their lives. Come see for yourself; we’re also here every day, and we’d love to show you around How is our beef different from meat in most local supermarkets?

Questions & Answers

How is our beef different from meat in most local supermarkets?

Most meat in your local supermarket comes from facilities called “Confined/Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations” or CAFOs. The purpose of a CAFO is to produce large quantities of inexpensive meat. While the meat is available year-around at a low price, we are starting to recognize many of the consequences directly linked to factory farming, such as:
- Stressful and abusive environments for animals
- Detrimental environmental effects and pollution
- Decreased nutritional value in the beef
- Local family farm decline
- Unethical farm labor and work conditions
- Hormone, antibiotic, and other unnecessary drug use on livestock 
While in the CAFOs, cows are typically fed a diet of grain, soy, and corn. This is an unnatural food source for cows who are supposed to eat fibrous grass and plants. Switching to high starch, low-fiber diets commonly causes disorders, including a condition called “subacute acidosis” where cows develop diarrhea, stop eating their feed, kick at their bellies, and eat dirt.
As with everything, there are some upstanding and honest feedlots and there are others that abuse and mistreat their cattle. There are extreme examples where cows have been fed “byproduct feedstuffs” and repeatedly shocked with electricity.
In contrast, our cows spend their entire lives in wide open pastures. They eat organic grass—the food that they were naturally intended to eat, in the environment where they are naturally found. Because of their low-stress lifestyle, our cows are rarely sick, and grow at a natural rate. The result is the most nutritious, best tasting beef for you and your family.

 

How are pasture living conditions different from feedlot living conditions?

When cows are at home on the range, they live in their natural environment—wide open green pastures, plenty of room to enjoy, and fresh grass to eat all day long. They naturally spread their manure across the pasture as they walk and nature keeps everything in balance.

At the feedlot, cows live in dirt, manure, and mud and are fed an unnatural diet of corn, soy, and grain twice daily. Here are some of the detriments to the cow’s health that often result.

- Dust Pneumonia: the deadly condition developed when cows are confined in dirt feedlots.

- Shipping Fever: The most common cattle killer in the industry. The onset of this disease is about one week after their arrival on the feedlot. The shipping process causes so much stress that the cow’s immune system is severely weakened upon arrival. Being thrown in with other cows exposes her to a multitude of foreign viruses that attack the weak immune system and kill the cow. This disease costs the US and Canada an estimated $1,000,000,000 annually.

- Subacute Acidosis: the painful condition that results after cows shift from a grass to a grain diet where cows develop diarrhea, stop eating their feed, kick at their bellies, and eat dirt.

- Rumenitis: the inflammation of the rumen wall which is caused by a lack of roughage in the feedlot diet. Ulcers follow and the rumen fails to absorb nutrients as it should.

- Feedlot Polio: a direct consequence of the foreign diet of grain. The imbalance of acid in the rumen causes the release of “thiaminase” which causes paralysis in the cow.

All of these conditions and diseases are virtually absent in pasture cows. While feedlot managers treat these conditions with many different drugs and antibiotics, we choose instead to keep our cattle on the range, in their natural environment and allow our cows to live healthy, “drug free” lives.

What happens if a cow gets really sick?

Antibiotics are used to treat a variety of diseases and conditions that easily develop when cows are removed from their natural environment and placed in CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations). The very fact that our cattle enjoy life in the pasture eliminates our need for antibiotics almost entirely.

On the rare occasion that a cow becomes seriously ill and needs antibiotics, we remove that cow from the herd, treat it according to best medical practices, and sell that cow as non-organic beef.

Why don’t we use growth hormones?

Growth hormones are used to stimulate growth and expedite the weight gaining process. We simply choose to let cows gain weight at a natural pace in a low-stress natural environment. We never use growth hormones.

Why don’t we wean our cows from their mothers?

There are many different ways to wean calves from their mothers. We choose to allow the mothers and calves to decide when to wean. In our rural setting we see many different animals walk across our ranch with their young. Just as we do not instruct the baby fawn to wean from the mother deer, or the bear cub to wean from the sow, we choose not to interfere with nature’s way of weaning our calves.

Why don’t we brand or rope our cows?

We are always trying to decrease stress levels in our cows. Lower stress is better for the cow, and it makes the meat tender. One simple way to lower stress is by eliminating the practice of branding and roping. We tag our cows instead of branding them, which is much less stressful and surprisingly more fashionable. The females seem to view them as “accessories” and they like to show them off to the bulls.

How do our cows meet the end of the road?

After a natural, healthy life of enjoying the warm sun and green pastures on our ranch, we take our cows to an Animal Welfare Approved abattoir BelcampoThe close proximity and short drive to the facility provides a low stress commute for the cows. We personally transport them just seven at a time in a clean trailer that leaves early in the morning. This is comforting to the cow, it lowers stress, and in our opinion, it is the most decent way to bid our friends farewell.

 

 

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