So why is everyone talking about Grass Fed Beef?
We talk a lot about our grass fed and grass finished beef. It’s the entire reason we created Flying B Bar Ranch 17 years ago: to provide quality beef raised in harmony with nature, to restore the natural ecosystem of the eastern plains of Colorado, and to use innovative regenerative practices that reduce our carbon footprint while improving animal and soil health.
But what does grass fed and finished mean?
Today, most beef and pork comes from industrial agricultural operations that rely on confined feeding in feedlots. Feeding animals that way requires antibiotics, steroids, and added hormones to accelerate the pace of weight gain on the animals and puts addressing climate change, animal welfare, and creating nutrient dense protein at the very bottom of the list. These industrial systems focus on getting cows to their finish weight as fast as possible. Just because it’s the quickest way doesn’t mean it’s the best way to raise our cattle and feed families across the world; we can and should do better.
At Flying B Bar Ranch, our cattle are 100% grass fed and finished. This means no grains, corn, or soy, ever, during their entire lives, and we never use hormones, antibiotics, or steroids. They get nothing but grass and sunshine, while roaming on thousands of acres of natural prairie grasses. We “rotationally graze” our cattle, which means that we move them from pasture to pasture throughout the year. This gives our cattle plenty of nutrition, exercise, and grass, while protecting the natural ecosystem from overgrazing and losing nutrients and moisture in the soil. Our cattle walk the land and churn the earth with their hooves, breaking down debris and fertilizing the soil. It’s a cycle that’s been around since cattle showed up on the planet, 10,000 years ago.
Before we were cattle ranchers, we were soil farmers.
We couldn’t raise our cattle in Colorado without a strong natural ecosystem that protects our soil and gives the native prairies of eastern Colorado the nutrients they need to thrive. We guard our soil and its nutrients by planting cover crops, encouraging native wildlife and birds, and working with the land, rather than against it. That’s why we ranch the way we do; to create a natural balance that nourishes the earth, the cattle, and our customers. The natural prairie grasses of eastern Colorado have evolved over millions of years to be efficient at storing water and carbon in the soil, and our entire operation revolves around giving those grasses every opportunity to succeed. We do this not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s good business too: every year that our pastures can store more water, carbon, and nutrients means that the next year the prairie will be stronger, grow better, and support more of our natural ecosystem. This means we can support more cattle, who can then support more pasture and prairie. It’s a cycle, and we work hard to take care of it.
Be wary of “Grass fed – grain finished.”
We proudly proclaim that we never use antibiotics, hormones, or steroids, but the secret is that we don’t need them. Giving our cattle plenty of room to move around, plenty of nutrition from the grasses they eat, and plenty of time to be cows means our herds don’t need the chemical and medical intervention required by so many other operations.
Our cows are fed and finished on grass. That’s all they’ll eat their entire lives. In the 17 years since we started Flying B Bar Ranch, more and more consumers have been looking for good beef raised the right way, and the competition has noticed. Now there’s more and more operations offering “grass fed” beef, with a little asterisk that they finish with grain. What does this mean? Sure, their cows ate grass at some point in their lives, but in the last half of it, they were shipped to one of those feedlots and fed grain or corn or soy. They lived in cramped conditions, requiring those operations to mix Chlortetracycline (CTC) into their daily ration to keep the cows from getting sick from diseases that our Flying B Bar herds don’t experience. Truly grass-fed beef doesn’t need feedlots, and it doesn’t need CTC, and isn’t the same as “grass fed, grain finished”. Just make sure you’re getting what you are looking for.
Plus finishing is the most important part of cattle ranching! The last few months of a cow’s life determine the flavor, tenderness, and nutrition of the beef that you purchase and feed your family. By finishing on grain, these other operations are throwing away all that hard work they did of starting their cattle on grass. Good things take time, and that’s why we take our time to raise our beef in a way that builds soil, sequesters carbon and produces the most tender and best tasting beef, and that lets cattle live a natural life for their entire time on the ranch.
Certified Grass fed
We are certified by the American Grassfed Association as 100% grass fed and finished. Their certification is the gold standard in regenerative ranching, and it means you can buy our beef with confidence that we raised our cattle the right way, rather than the fastest way. We give our cattle plenty of room to roam and graze, and plenty of time to be themselves. We stand by our practices, and unlike the Wizard of Oz, we are happy to pull back the curtain and show our customers exactly how we do what we do, and why we do it the way we do it. There’s no secret, it’s just using the methods our ancestors used for thousands of years to raise livestock. Sometimes the best way to move forward is by going back to our roots.
What are the benefits of grass fed?
We raise our beef the grass fed way because it’s the right way, but our approach to ranching means better products on your dinner table. Not only is our beef more tender, with better flavor, but it’s also better nutritionally than grain fed beef. You can serve Flying B Bar beef with confidence that your family is getting better nutrition and gut health!