What a remarkable time in our history we’re living this very moment.
For many people, it’s brought a radical change in daily routines that mean taking on lots of additional responsibilities that they don’t feel adequately equipped to handle for
days weeks on end. There’s certainly an air of fear around us – fear of the virus itself, but also fear, for maybe the first time in our lives, that the food (and sanitizer and TP) will literally run out. That our jobs will never be quite the same. That our comfortable existence on this beautiful planet might always feel tenuous.
If this note finds you in any of those circumstances, please know I’m praying for you. Our NNB community is always on our minds right now. And we pray for your health and well-being.
Gary and I are doing fine. Our family is doing well, and for that we are highly grateful. Ranch life continues almost seamlessly… It’s easy to practice social distance when your nearest neighbor is a good mile away.
One of the really good things to come out of all of this, I’m hearing from you, is a greater awareness of where our food comes from and if it really feeds our bodies as well as our immune system needs it to. Protein plays a huge role in fueling that vital system and, as you know, pasture-raised meat is super nutrient-dense protein. Animals that graze on a salad bar of pasture forages are able to select the plants that provide the nutrition they need that day to optimize their health. They have truly amazing instincts that we humans often seem lacking in!
Some cattle instinct observations to ponder from right here at the Circle N:
Unassisted birth, clean up and nursing know-how, even the first time mamas, aka heifers.
Newborn calves standing on their own within an hour of being born and then knowing they need to find nourishment immediately. And finding it!
Yep, it’s calving season and I’m getting a healthy dose of this miraculous scenario daily!
Mama cows teaching their babies how to graze and which plants are good for their growing bodies. No need to ask, “Why aren’t they eating this lush, knee-high perennial rye grass and instead choosing that scruffy-looking plant?” Well, that scruffy “old weed” has exactly the nutrients they know they need right this minute.
Social ordering: Mamas organizing the herd into leaders, followers, babysitters and protectors
True story: Easter Sunday Gary and I were moving a group of mama cows and their new calves to an adjacent pasture as part of our rotational grazing system. Most moved right along with their babies, but 6 refused to go. Later, we discovered there were 7 calves with them, not 6. One of the mamas that went on had left her calf in the tall grass with these 6 nursery minders. An older cow knew the left behind calf’s mama would come back for it, but that it wouldn’t follow any cow other than its own mama. She flat out refused to move on and leave it unprotected from predators. Isn’t that amazing? As soon as the calf’s mama found her way back to the group, they reunited and all was well again.
There are plenty of other examples I could share, but I bet by now you get the point.
Now consider the life and diet of the VAST majority of calves, which are born into much different circumstances – separated early (3-4 months old) from their mamas, forcibly weaned, loaded into a trailer and shipped off to a new home consisting of highly fertilized and sprayed monoculture wheat pasture. No ability to select forages for their nutritional needs, no protecting nursery minders and, likely, a heavy dose of antibiotics and growth hormones administered. Then, at a certain weight, the whole group of them is loaded back up and sent into the industrial cattle finishing system we know as feed lots. No pasture, no diet selecting (grains and various industrial food waste) and a very short, over-crowded life awaits them there.
That’s not the meat I want to eat. If I’m going to spend money on meat, I want the highest nutritional bang for my buck and I know you do, too. This is not the time for inferior quality protein, am I right?!
When you add in the fact that several giant meat packers have closed their doors due to a large number of workers testing positive for COVID-19, industrial meat is in trouble right now. And we’re getting a first-hand look at how fragile our whole food system really is. I never thought I’d see the day when commercial meat would become scarce and expensive, but that’s now a very possible scenario.
I’m so thankful I can offer you the alternative of a safe, family-owned and -managed local ranch – we’re real people who’ve been committed to raising the most delicious, nutrient-dense beef anywhere for over 15 years. I’m so thankful for YOU, who make what we continue to do possible. I’m thankful to be part of the solution to a broken industrial food system that we now know can rapidly fail us.
Please leave a comment and tell me how you’re doing, how you’re coping and how I can serve you better in the coming years.
I have just a few openings remaining for our October NNBeef delivery. If you’re running low, or just concerned about the alternatives coming out of this situation, I encourage you to get on my Order list today. Just like those intuitive mama cows in our pastures, chose well for your family. Teach your children and grandchildren how to select what their bodies truly need to thrive.
There’s never been a more important time than right now to vote with your wallet for optimal nutrition and small family farms.
Click here now to place your order for our next delivery in October.
Also, if you’re in the plan-ahead mode (like most of us are all the sudden), please take a minute and let me know what your 2021 ordering needs are to help me start now to plan delivery dates and quantities. We anticipate better availability next year, but that’s also dependent on our wonderful, small, family-owned processor’s capacity to accommodate our needs. They’re swamped, as you can probably imagine, with no end in sight. Your help right now is really appreciated! Leave a comment, email or text me, and let me know. I certainly want to do my very best to make sure your family’s needs are met going forward in these very unsure times.