Rethink The Ranch

Home on the range...and in the pasture, and at the feedyard. Raising beef is a complex process, but throughout the entire journey, one thing remains constant – the shared commitment to raising cattle in a safe, humane and environmentally sustainable way. 

There are more than 9,000 cattle farms and ranches in The Evergreen State, with an average herd size of 40 cattle. Learn more about the people and the process involved in raising beef from the pasture to the plate.

HOW CATTLE CAN HELP

Raising cattle can improve the environment they live in, right down to building the plants and soil under their hooves, where carbon emitted from all sectors of industry can be stored, preventing climate changing gases from warming the atmosphere. 

First generation Ellensburg area rancher Kyler Beard dives into the practices that make this possible. Take this two minute opportunity to learn more about the work that ultimately culminates into the burgers and steaks on our plates and why he believes, "cows are gonna save the planet."

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It's a Cool Job

The stewardship that starts on the ranch, continues where cattle spend that last few months finishing at a feed yard. The care performed by well-equipped crews and the efficiencies captured results in beef that is lighter on resources overall. That means less emissions, water, and land used per pound of beef produced.

Probably the most powerful part of it? The untold tons of byproducts from locally grown and processed foods, drinks and energy for people bypass becoming landfill waste because these safe-for-cattle-consumption feedstuffs are upcycled into protein-rich beef. "You're welcome," - cattle, probably.

CaTTLE AND CLIMATE SCIENCE

According to the researchers at the University of California Davis CLEAR Center, cattle can be climate neutral, and efforts are under way to achieve this. “Animal agriculture is one of the few industries that can pull carbon out of the atmosphere,” Dr. Frank Mitloehner says. “That puts it in a position to help mitigate the effects of other industries once it achieves climate neutrality.”

Read the Geekwire article to learn more about the potential cattle and farming practices have in combatting today's climate problems.

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O.G. Environmentalists

Third generation rancher Jim Rose has been raising cattle on the same land near Bay Center, Washington his entire life. “People don’t understand how much ranchers are already environmentalists, and have always been,” says Jim. “If you don’t take care of your environment, you’ll be out of business — that’s a hell of an incentive to do a good job. Ranchers need to take care of their land, and they know that. Or they don’t have a business.”

Get a deeper understanding of what Jim means by reading about how the family practices land stewardship while raising their cattle and running a business.

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5 facts about beef and the environment

Are cattle the climate change culprits they're often made out to be? Get the answer, and four more facts about raising cattle and what that means for our environment. Explore the lesser known ways beef makes our food supply more sustainable through learning about the practices of real Washington ranchers and cattle feeders.

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Sustainable Beef

Are cattle a leading cause of climate change? Spoiler Alert: They aren't. But the people raising cattle do care a lot about our environmental impact. Allow us to expand on the science behind that while sharing more about how cattle ranchers are always looking to become more efficient and lower impact.

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Pasture To Plate

Have you ever visited a cattle ranch? A feed yard? Did you know that ALL beef cattle spend about half their life with their mothers, eating grass? Get a better understanding of how beef is raised through the stories of a few of the roughly 9,000 family farmers and ranchers who raise beef here in Washington.

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Buy Local

Open Meat Case with kid

There are so many choices of beef and we want to help you find the best option for you and connect you with local purveyors. Use our Local Beef Directory to find independent farmers, ranchers and butcher shops that sell beef directly to the public in your county.

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Beef Counts

The Beef Counts program is a partnership with Washington's Beef Community, Northwest Harvest, Second Harvest and Food Lifeline that provides high-quality, nutritious beef to local food banks to help hungry, local families.

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Meet Your Ranchers

Why We Love what We Do

Welcome to Beef NW just outside of Quincy, Washington. Here you'll find a team of people passionate about what they do, which is to care for cattle, manage natural resources, make the most of upcycling science and ultimately produce high quality beef for their customers.

Meet The Team >

See Jane Ranch

Klickitat County rancher Jane Lee is a force of nature. Whether it's helping a mother cow have a calf or saving a hiker off the side of a mountain, she's up to the task. Her super power is helping others, and this influential woman is passing it down to the next generations at Lee Ranch.

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in Their Genes

Beef cattle aren't cloned, but Clay Schuster and his six year old mini-me Royce might make you believe biotech is behind the next generation of ranchers on this family enterprise that dates back to the 1880s. See how investment in cattle breeding is making beef more sustainable.

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The Ultimate Locavore

The cattle at El Oro Cattle Feeders in Moses Lake are healthy locavores. They enjoy the leftovers from many of Washington's agricultural crops including potatoes, grains, and grasses. The yard's horseback cattle health experts take care of the rest, checking on every animal, every day.

Meet The El Oro Team >

A Farm Inside A Farm

Visionary, or just practical? You decide. At Coulee Flats Dairy, Case has built a dairy farm inside of a crop farm. And they both benefit. The cattle are the key to using the farm's land and water in a way that's sustainable by design.

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Raising Healthy Cattle, And Kids 

At Adrian Cattle Co., they know what it takes to keep 1,000 cattle healthy. Then again, these parents know how to keep 11 kids healthy too. Meet this unique family who works together to care for the cattle on their ranch and feed yard near Soap Lake, Washington.

Meet Mark >