- Written by Wayne mcDonald
Our cows, sheep, and pigs are all kept on pasture with access to fresh, clean water and all of grass and legumes that they can eat. None of our animals have ever been exposed to any drugs, they are raised the way Mother Nature intended with no antibiotics, no hormones, no synthetic minerals or vitamins, and no unsanitary housing. This grass-fed philosophy creates meat that is low in calories and saturated fat, rich in taste, and high in Omega 3 fatty acids in balance with Omega 6 fatty acids.
Raising animals on pasture alone has a variety of environmental benefits as well. Because grass is the primary source of nutrition for ruminant animals, grass-based ranchers use little or no grain, eliminating the need for genetically modified grain as well as the pesticides and fertilizers needed to grow the grain.
In a grass based system, animals fertilize the soil naturally as they graze so we have been able to all but abandon artificial sources of fertilizer. We have also stopped using chemical herbicides because our cattle, sheep, and pigs are able to graze a wide variety of native and tame weeds and forages.
Grassfarming also protects our streams and groundwater from agricultural runoff because unlike conventional crops such as wheat and canola, grazing land consists of a continuous carpet of roots year round that absorbs soluble nutrients and protects the soil from water and wind erosion.
A final benefit to grass-based farming is the greatly reduced use of fossil fuels. Our pastures are sown with perennial grasses, so we rarely use tractors or other machinery; our sheep and cows harvest the grass themselves without the need for any of our help! Pasture-based farming is an excellent example of "low-input" sustainable agriculture.
Most grassfarmers, including ourselves, are dedicated environmentalists who look for additional ways to steward their land. We have taken steps to preserve native prairie grasses and found effective fencing techniques to protect our fragile wetlands and other riparian areas. Because of these efforts we enjoy a safe, natural environment without being exposed to toxic chemicals. Pasture-based farming is a healthy way to raise great tasting meat and a healthy addition to the ecosystem.