Doc and Connie Hatfield were passionate ranchers, whose personal values were rooted in community, the fellow rancher, and the health and quality of the livestock they raised. It’s those values that led them to the question that is the foundation of our cooperative, “Why not sell naturally raised beef to local customers?” Better yet, “Let’s do so while allowing ranchers to be economically stable.”
With that in mind, they set out with a plan to turn these ideas into a reality. In 1986, it all came into fruition with the help of some equally committed rancher friends. This group of forward-thinking ranchers founded the cooperative we know today. Since then, the Co-op has grown to over 90 family-owned ranches across the West.
“IT IS IMPORTANT TO US THAT THE PRODUCTS WE SELL TO OUR CONSUMERS HAVE THE SAME QUALITY AS WHAT WE WOULD EXPECT FOR OUR OWN FAMILIES.”
Today, our communities and our consumers still hold a special place in our hearts. We keep them in mind throughout the entire process from raising the livestock to marketing beef in stores. It is important to us that the products we sell to our consumers have the same quality as what we would expect for our own families. Giving them access into the ranching and food production experience is important to us.
Our production systems are set in a way that connects our consumers to the source of their food. We want them to know who produced their products and how the products were produced. Our ranchers are part of the community and they are often present in the local stores to answer consumer questions, educating them on our operations and philosophies, while carefully addressing their pressing concerns about the quality and safety of the products.
As we work to further grow and evolve in our sustainable practices, we promise to stay true to the values and ideas set in place by our founding members. Read on to get an in depth look into our community roots and the Co-op values that shape the way we work.
We strongly believe that the future of ranching is heavily dependent on how we approach ranching today. Each of our ranchers have environmental goals for their ranch that are consistent with the co-op’s standards that support environmental sustainability for every aspect of our daily operations. There is no compromise to these values as they are permanently etched into our work ethic and the ways we regard the cattle, lands, and water supply.
Our ranchers manage their land to support responsible grazing by simply allowing our cattle to feed in an ecologically healthy manner, compatible to the patterns of the environment. This allows the land to be nourished and thrive with a continued abundance of forage. The intention behind our commitment is to leave the land in a better condition than we first found it. Our future generations will depend on it.
Generational sustainability is an intention we practice everyday in our cooperative. Many of our ranches are multi-generational family ranches, with the hopes of keeping the ranch operating for many generations to come. From the very beginning, we have set out to provide a top quality product to local customers while supporting ranchers to be economically sustainable. The co-op is 100% owned by the rancher-members, with all profits going directly back to the ranchers. This distribution of profits not only supports financial health for ranchers, but also gives back to the rural communities we live in that depend on local agriculture.
Rural & Urban Divide
Our co-op was founded on the idea that food can help us find the common ground between divergent groups, to create an experience we can all enjoy together. We strive to bring urban consumers together with rural ranchers by providing a clean, wholesome beef eating experience for all families that transcend the boundaries of city and country. We build relationships with our consumers, opening the doors of our cooperative so everyone can better understand where their food comes from. Our ranchers are often seen making frequent store visits and hosting yearly events to support the growth of consumer knowledge about our supply chain.