- Where does your beef come from?
- What makes Country Natural Beef different from other products in the marketplace today?
- Are Country Natural Beef cows happy?
- What about the land where you operate?
- What breed of cattle are used to produce Country Natural Beef?
- Is Country Natural Beef grass fed?
- How do you slaughter your cattle and is it humane?
- How do you ensure all of the beef you produce comes from Country Natural Beef ranchers?
- How do you verify your production and marketing processes?
- What about hormones and antibiotics?
- With all this documentation, why don’t you go an additional step and obtain organic certification?
Where does your beef come from?
Country Natural Beef is raised by ranching families across the western United States. Many of these families have ranched for more than a century, and most want to see their ranches continue to the next generation. Their ranches are located in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming.Back to Index
What makes Country Natural Beef different from other products in the marketplace today?
We are respectful stewards of the land. We are focused on the sustainability of our families and communities. And our goal is to produce a product that allows us to remain on the land, that protects the open, natural spaces of the West, and that embraces the values and aspirations of people who purchase our product.
We never use antibiotics or hormones in cattle produced for Country Natural Beef. We produce our product by grazing the natural forages of the West’s native grasslands, pastures and forests. And, we ensure all of our practices reflect our commitment to humane animal-handling practices.Back to Index
Are Country Natural Beef cows happy?
Absolutely. In fact, one of the requirements of membership in Country Natural Beef is that each ranch must practice humane, compassionate handling of their livestock. Our commitment to animal husbandry is so great, that we even have third-party auditors visit our ranches to verify that our cattle are properly managed and handled according to the Global Animal Partnership standards. IMI Global, INC., a trusted third-party auditor, performs these audits at each ranch. Learn more about IMI Global, Inc. at http://wherefoodcomesfrom.com/division/imi-global/.Back to Index
What about the land where you operate?
At Country Natural Beef, we are comprised only of ranchers who are committed to environmental sustainability and possess an extraordinary land ethic. Perhaps better than anyone else, we understand our future depends on healthy rangelands, streams, rivers and open spaces.
Most of our ranches operate in big country, with lots and lots of space for grazing. Our average ranch requires 70 acres of land to produce one cow and her calf per year, although acres per individual cow/calf unit can vary greatly, depending on the ranch and the unique environment in which they operate.Back to Index
What breed of cattle are used to produce Country Natural Beef?
Our ranches use a variety of breeds of cattle. Most of our ranchers have selected specific breeds of cattle that work best in their own, individual environment. These cattle include British breeds, such as Angus, Hereford or Shorthorn, which are crossbred to Charolais, Simmental or Tarentaise. Crossbreeding improves hybrid vigor in calves, nature’s way of improving health and growth.Back to Index
Is Country Natural Beef grass fed?
Country Natural Beef is not considered fully grass fed. Cattle produced for Country Natural Beef are raised on pastures and rangeland for most of their first 14 to 18 months. To ensure a consistent, year-round supply, however, all of our cattle go through a finishing period of about 120 days at a finishing facility. At this finishing facility cattle receive a nutritionally balanced ration of grain, alfalfa and potatoes. Below is a visual of the production timeline of a typical CNB cow.
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How do you slaughter your cattle and is it humane?
Respect for all life is a core value of all Country Natural Beef ranchers.
Not only is it critical that each of our ranchers practices humane animal-handling, but we also require that everyone involved in our production system possess the same animal ethic.
All of our cattle are processed at either AB Foods in Toppenish, Washington, or Brush Meat Processors in Brush, Colorado. Both locations are a short, hour ride from the finishing lot. The animals arrive at the plant the night before they are harvested, where they find fresh water and pens that are covered to protect them from the elements. After they are fully rested, they are processed the next morning quietly, respectfully and with as little stress as possible. Most USDA inspected plants follow a very similar processing procedure. For an honest look at this process, take a look at this video by Dr. Temple Grandin (the processing plan depicted in the video is not actually the location we use and we were not involved in the production of the video). Both of our plants have been visited by Temple Grandin and received her stamp of approval aside from being third party audited to additional animal compassion standards.Back to Index
How do you ensure all of the beef you produce comes from Country Natural Beef ranchers?
Our program is under the direct supervision of USDA inspectors and third-party auditors.
Country Natural Beef has worked with AB Foods for well over a decade and has an excellent and trusted business relationship. If there were some type of error in the processing, it would mean our beef would flow into their regular beef, there is no risk of regular beef mixing with CNB beef as we are the first beef on the line to process each day.Back to Index
How do you verify your production and marketing processes?
All of the ranches that are part of Country Natural Beef are third-party certified by Global Animal Partnership (www.globalanimalpartnership.org) every 14 months to ensure our ranching practices are environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. Both packing houses, besides being USDA inspected, are third-party audited to ensure ongoing commitment to humane animal-handling and sanitation practices.Back to Index
What about hormones and antibiotics?
Our ranchers never use hormones or antibiotics on cattle intended for the Country Natural Beef program.
As part of this commitment, our ranchers feed an all vegetarian ration and never use feed-additive antibiotics or ionophores.
In the rare event when one of our rancher’s animals requires antibiotic treatment, it is identified, separated and marketed outside of the Country Natural Beef program.Back to Index
With all this documentation, why don’t you go an additional step and obtain organic certification?
Combined, Country Natural Beef’s ranchers operate on millions of acres. It is virtually impossible to verify that much acreage for organic certification, particularly when many of our ranchers cattle spend part of the year on a public lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management.
While these agencies no longer do widespread spraying, they will occasionally spray noxious weeds along the unfenced roadways in the grazing allotments.
Additionally, it is sometimes a necessary animal-husbandry practice to control ‘sticker weeds’ on our hayfields, to prevent weeds like cockleburs from being fed to cattle in the winter. These are just a couple of examples that make it an impractical goal for most of our ranches.Back to Index