The 100 acre Nehalem River Ranch is home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna and good land stewardship principals are central to our ranch operations. We raise all of our livestock humanely on pasture at our farm where paddocks are buffered from riparian areas and are managed using intensive, multi-species, rotational grazing techniques.
The food we produce is not only healthier, but better for the environment as natural, grass-based farming uses less fossil fuels, does not introduce chemicals or hormones into the environment, decreases tillage and returns natural fertility to the soil.
Many of our customers buy our meats because they care about:
- health benefits of pastured, hormone and antibiotic-free, humanely raised meats
- exceptional taste
- animal welfare
- less wasteful nose-to-tail eating
- learning new skills related to food preparation (raising/butchery/cooking/preservation)
- knowing and sharing the story of where their food comes from
- supporting local farmers and our rural economy
In our farming philosophy….
“Pastured” means our cows, poultry and pigs have year-round access to ample pasture and the freedom to move and engage in behaviors and activities natural to the species. Pigs are able to frolic and root. Chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys scratch and forage. Cows meander and graze together.
“All Natural” means no hormones, vaccines or antibiotics. Calves and piglets are allowed to wean naturally in their own (or mama’s) good time resulting in healthier, stronger animals. With appropriate breed selection, nutritious diet and a clean, peaceful environment, our animals thrive without needing help from any artificial products.
“Whole Cycle” means our cattle and pigs spend their whole lives on-farm. Our beef is seasonal and corresponds to pasture cycles to maximize health, quality and flavor. Our calving season is timed with the full flush of the late spring grass growth and beef sales occur the three months around the fall equinox as grass growth starts to slow and the cattle reach their optimal natural weight gain.
“Humane” treatment of animals means that we have selected appropriate breeds to our climate, know our animals well and care for them responsibly. Natural behaviors and kinship bonds are supported by the peaceful environment we provide. Ample space is provided to discourage competition among animals. We never brand, de-horn, use nose rings, de-beak or clip wings. We spend time daily working physically with the animals so we are able to immediately identify any potential health concerns and the animals are familiar and comfortable with us which makes all other interactions easier and low-stress – from assisting births to harvest day.
We love answering questions about our practices and pasture management plan. Feel free to contact us with questions, or better yet – come visit us and tour our facilities!
A few books that have informed our philosophy:
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
- Cows save the planet
- Grass, Soil, Hope
Photos from around the farm: