Of all the savvy new food terms floating around, ‘sustainable agriculture’ is making a presence on the farmer’s market and alternate food-sourcing scenes. What does it mean? According to the USDA, sustainable agriculture (farming) entails systems that are “capable of maintaining their productivity and usefulness to society indefinitely. Such systems… must be resource-conserving, socially supportive, commercially competitive and environmentally sound.” That’s quite a mouthful!
What does it mean for 4 Corners Ranch? We are raising and harvesting our longhorn cattle on grass & hay, their natural diet. It means that we are not dependent on any resources than those found locally & naturally. It means that in order to sustain the animals’ diet properly, we routinely ‘rotate’ their feeding areas. We move the cattle to leased properties within their local foraging area, typically within the same county. It means we recognize the healthiest animals to harvest for beef production are those that are nutritionally balanced on their usual diet of grasses, hay, brush and trees. We also treat the animals responsibly; we no longer use manufactured worming solutions (which contain harmful chemicals) and rely on time-honored organic methods of treating the animals seasonally for worm and other parasites that occur in nature. We also do not use antibiotics or steroids in our herds designated for beef production. We process our beef animals on demand, and because they are solely grass-fed & finished, seasonal forage can affect the taste of the beef. This allows for some diversity in the flavor of the finished beef product, and enhances the true nature of Better Beef by Divine Design.
What happens if an animal becomes sick? We cull (remove) them from the herd. Depending on the illness type and age of the animal, we immediately process or treat them with as holistic as possible methods in order to sustain a comfort quality of life. Part of the reason we chose the Texas Longhorn rests in the disease resistance of the breed; they are a hardy breed of cattle by design. To date, we’ve not had to cull any animals due to illness. For more information about sustainable farming practices, we encourage folks to visit Polyface Farms’ website or Facebook page. Joel Salatin was a crucial interview in the movie “Food Inc.” and has influenced us and many others in the movement to returning to farming, as it should be. Or sustainable farming, as it’s become.
By 4 Corners Ranch, your source for Better Beef by Divine Design!
"For every beast in the forest is mine and the cattle upon a thousand hills." Psalm 50:10