Country Natural Beef proudly meets all requirements for Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Step 4 Certification. We know you want to make informed choices about what you eat, so we want to take the time to explain exactly what this means, not only in terms of compliance but to our ranchers, personally.

Being GAP Certified is a way of life for us. Our operating principles naturally align with those set forth by GAP. We believe the welfare of the animals we raise matters. And we know our practices, rooted in our traditions, affect the quality of beef we produce. 

When we formed our co-op in 1986, we embarked on a mission to bridge consumers with their food sources. We believe this connection thrives on transparency and authenticity. While we have always felt connected to our land and our animals, we have sadly witnessed “conventional farming” move away from the natural harmony and life enrichment we promote throughout our process. 

There may be more cost-efficient ways to raise cattle than the pasture-centered approach we choose, but we believe the impact on the animal’s health and the people who consume it means more.

When cows live their lives doing what cows are meant to do, wander and graze, chew cud and eat natural forage, the need for artificial intervention is naturally decreased. It’s no surprise that the use of antibiotics rose in conjunction with the growth of overcrowded and unsanitary feedlots. GAP prohibits this practice, and it’s not one we would ever endorse.

However, GAP Step 4 Certification requires more than pasture-raising our cattle and providing them enough space to roam. Animal welfare is the central focus of the GAP rating system, and the principles Country Natural Beef uses as its guide. From breeding to birth, development to processing, our GAP certification is independently audited every 15 months.

Cows in a Pasture

Auditors have access to all co-op member’s animals, records, and operations throughout the year. Visits vary by season to ensure we meet all requirements. Our cattle have protection from the stress caused by heat, cold, and other weather extremes. Anyone involved in the raising of GAP Certified animals has trained accordingly. We welcome this third-party investigation into the animal farming and agricultural industry.

Over the years, some producers have chosen to breed and raise animals to promote practices that may be financially lucrative but often neglect their impact on animals. Genetic modification is not allowed by GAP Certified producers, and we agree. Everyone in our family of ranchers is Non-GMO Project Verified.

Our cooperative supports doing what is best for our animals and the future of our lands. We want to preserve this beauty for generations to come. We only serve your family what we would serve our own. 

Country Natural Beef is grateful GAP encourages ranchers and farmers to do better. While we are proud to be GAP Step 4 Certified, we are motivated by far more than these external standards. We believe in doing what is right for a healthier environment and a sustainable future.

Everyone in the Country Natural Beef cooperative family cares deeply about the integrity of the ranching process. We will continue providing the best quality beef we can produce and encouraging better animal welfare throughout the industry.