COUNTRY NATURAL BEEF: FARMING IN THE MIDDLE
On June 10 ranchers from across Oregon, Idaho and Washington descended upon downtown Portland for a country food fair sponsored by Oregon Natural Beef. This event provided an opportunity for these ranchers to meet the city folks who eat the meat that they raise, and for city eaters to get a glimpse of cowboy life. Oregon is fortunate to have a ranch co-op like Oregon Natural Beef that provides organic, hormone-free, grassfed sustainably-raised beef to a wide range of eaters—from the fancy diners at Higgins in downtown Portland, to Cleveland High School students grabbing a burger at the Burgerville across the street from their school, as well as shoppers at New Seasons and Whole Foods Markets. This morning on Locus Focus we talk with Connie and Doc Hatfield, co-founders of Oregon Natural Beef. We'll learn what it means to be farming in the middle.
WHAT IS COUNTRY NATURAL BEEF?
In 1986 fourteen family ranches formed a consumer driven beef marketing cooperative with a vision to protect open spaces by preserving the rural culture and families that nurture them.
Country Natural Beef is a conduit allowing individual family ranches to own, control and finance our beef from birth of the calf to our retail customer. This conduit serves as a two way bridge - providing value to our urban customer's meal and meaning to our rancher's work. Country Natural Beef is third party certified for humane animal practices and environmentally sensitive land management by Food Alliance. In February of this year, the Country Natural Beef Animal Welfare Standards were endorsed by Temple Grandin, a well known animal behaviorist and industry expert.
Country Natural Beef is a unique cooperative, each family rancher owns, and controls management of their beef from birth to the retail cooler.
....it's the smell of sage after a summer thunderstorm,
the cool shade of a Ponderosa Pine forest.
It's 80 year old weathered hands saddling a horse in the Blue mountains,
The future of a 6-year old in a one room school on the high desert.
It's a trout in a beaver built pond, haystacks on an Aspen framed meadow.
It's the hardy quail running to join the cattle for a meal,
the welcome ring of a dinner bell at dusk.
Doc Hatfield and Becky Hatfield Hyde