The environmental impacts of beef production and consumption are hard to argue with, and mass production, oftentimes sourced overseas, can have grave consequences for environmental protections on many scales. It seems we have lost our way when it comes to best practice for both raising beef and tending to our land. At 1875 Beef, we believe in a method of beef production that prioritizes the land we graze our cattle on, coined regenerative ranching.
Regenerative ranching is the process of maintaining grasslands and preventing desertification, in simpler terms, the ending of the lifecycle of grass. Ruminants, such as cattle, stimulate the growth of grass by eating down a portion of the plant. If ranchers prevent excess consumption of grass in pastures or paddocks by graze-rotating their herd, the grass is then given the opportunity to respond with vigor, growing back lush and stronger than before. In addition, ruminant hooves break up the soil creating more porous ground that is better at retaining water. They crush plant matter into the ground stimulating decay, while manure and urine enhance the quality of the grass. Over time, these effects create more vibrant and healthier grasses with greater nutrient profiles and a higher quality feed option for cattle.
It can be stated, "That's the soil-building magic, regenerative farmers and scientists agree: those grasses have grown by capturing carbon dioxide from the air, keeping the carbon molecule to build their cell structure and returning the free oxygen to the atmosphere for us to breathe. When cattle are given a chance to nibble only part of the greenery, they encourage the plant to regrow and spread its roots farther. Those roots contribute organic matter to the soil and exude liquid carbon into the soil, where it feeds the microorganisms underground." (Kauffman, 2021).
I've heard it described before that the best ranchers are actually grass growers, creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly practice that provides for years to come. The photo below captures regenerative ranching in it's entirety. On the right is land that is regularly exposed to cattle with a graze rotation practice in place, meaning with each passing day to week, careful observation is implemented to identify when it is time to move the herd to the next pasture, enabling the previous one to grow and flourish. On the left is ground un-exposed to regular use by ruminants, taking longer to flourish each spring.
We like to tell those who question the beef industry that they ought to get to know their local, sustainable rancher - it is easy to see the difference between conventionally raised beef and hard earned, local operations such as ours. Interested in learning more about how we raise our beef and tend to our land? Send us a message on our site, or shoot us an email at email@example.com!