Country Natural Beef was founded for the purpose of providing customers with a healthy and wholesome product for their families at a price that supports sustainable ranching. In doing so, CNB created more than a quality product for its retail customers; it created a unique relationship based on shared values.
Country Natural Beef ranchers are dedicated to sound agricultural practices and graze their livestock in a sustainable manner which is compatible with the environment of their specific region, as certified by Food Alliance. CNB ranches are scattered throughout the west and range in size from as small as 800 acres to as large as 500,000 acres. The ecological setting of these ranches is as varied as their size. This diversity prompts CNB ranchers to select cattle that are genetically well suited for the particular environment of their ranch. These cattle are rotated through pastures on the ranch and graze as long as weather and range conditions permit doing so in a sustainable manner.
Because of our diversity in ranch size and location, the ranchers of CNB work continually to ensure that each of our ranches meet the strict standards required of our group. These standards reflect the fundamental values of CNB members--how we treat the land, our employees, and our animals. We have always been committed to compassionate care of our cattle. This document, written in collaboration with our retail partners, further defines that standard of compassionate care.
Philosophy: Country Natural Beef calves are born on our member ranches. They are under the ownership of CNB ranchers from birth to retail market. This allows us to monitor and control all aspects of animal welfare and animal handling during the entire life of the calf.
CNB Ranchers take responsibility for the compassionate care of their cattle throughout their entire lives
Philosophy: Country Natural Beef ranchers show preference for breeds adapted to local conditions and production systems. Breeding programs are developed to promote the welfare of the animal and careful consideration is placed on the environment in which the cattle will live. This includes considerations for heat, cold, humidity, rainfall, likelihood of drought, prevalence of dust, types of predators, travel distance, and stocking rate.
Calving – With the philosophy that animals will take care of themselves if given the right conditions to do so, Country Natural Beef cattle are born and raised on member ranches in as natural conditions as possible.
Philosophy: Low stress animal handling techniques are very important for our animal's well being. CNB’s practices are based on the work of and personal instruction from the nation’s leaders on low stress handling. Producers realize that it is fear that stresses the animal more than the production practice and take into consideration the animal’s natural response to stimuli. The highest quality beef is produced when cattle are handled quietly and calmly; so the quality of CNB beef is the final audit.
Philosophy: Members design and construct new (or renovate existing facilities) to take advantage of cattle's natural instincts (including flight zone), thus enhancing cattle movement. However, facilities on member ranches often predate our most recent animal handling knowledge and skill. Country Natural Beef ranchers recognize that the handler’s expertise and education is more critical and has more influence on the stress levels and correct handling of the animals than the design of facilities.
HEALTH AND WELFARE
Nutrition – Producing cattle in a naturally raised program is dependent on proper nutrition during the life of the animal.
Philosophy: Understanding of the loading and transportation process is critical in assuring the safety and comfort of cattle and protection of ranchers. Properly designed and maintained trucks, loading facilities and chutes are important for easy and safe animal movement.
Philosophy: In order to provide a 365 day supply of beef to our customers, a variety of programs are used for calves transitioning from cow- calf to final feedlot. Calves may go directly to pasture, to supplemental feed on pasture or rangeland, or to bunker programs where full feed is supplied. A combination of options may also be used.
Philosophy: The CNB cattle gathering program is unique for its short fed, low corn diet. Any feedlot that feeds CNB cattle is third party verified and audits are conducted under a quality control program for humane handling that is approved by CNB and its retail partners
Philosophy: Humane processing is a priority and is carried out with great respect. It is sudden, immediate and complete without generating fear or pain in the animal’s final moments.