Graze Well: Our commitment to healthy land
Each of the ranching members of Country Natural Beef recognizes that healthy and productive land is also biologically diverse.
The goal of CNB is to secure a wide array of animal and plant life‚ and that diversity is a direct reflection of a healthy ecosystem.
We adapt our management to fit our individual environments rather than fitting the environment to our management.
Each ranching member of Country Natural Beef has a written set of goals that describes the desired health and appearance of their land‚ and the desired products they hope to derive from the land.
“What we’ve become is a community of shared values‚ rather than a community of place. We embrace values that are built on healthy animals‚ healthy food‚healthy communities and healthy land‚” says CNB founder Doc Hatfield. “We’re not hurting the land; we’re working with it‚” adds Connie Hatfield.
Southworth Bros. Ranch, Seneca‚ Ore.‚ is an original member of Country Natural Beef. “We’re long-term producers‚” said Jack Southworth‚ owner and operator of Southworth Bros. Ranch‚ which was founded in 1885. “We’re not guys who started a year ago‚ and because of that it comes natural to us that we want to make the land better. We want to use and retain the land for the long-term.”
Jack and his family are totally devoted to adhering to the Graze Well Principles. This ranch‚ along with all other CNB members have their grazing management reviewed by an independent third party (Food Alliance) to ensure their practices strengthen the environment‚ not weaken it. “We review the principles and make sure our [sustainability] plans are in accordance with those principles.” Southworth said. “We manage for the health of the plant before we manage for the health of the cattle.”
Jack Crews, a rancher who owns and operates Ute Creek Cattle Company, adds “We believe it is important for people to know what ranchers are doing in the way of land stewardship‚ in the way of raising healthy cattle‚ in the way of developing water and restoring riparian areas‚ and we feel it is important to share that information with others. Our adherence to Graze Well Principle allows us to do that.”