To regenerate is to regrow, restore, renew: basically to make something better than it was before. In terms of agriculture, it means processes that work with nature, instead of against it. And this can extend beyond the practices on a farm or ranch. How are food producers and food workers being treated within the food system? Does a value chain benefit the earth, producers, and consumers?
Regenerative land practices are proving to improve biodiversity on land, better soil health, sequester carbon, increase producer profits, and produce food that is more nutrient dense. Rather than just sustaining the land, regenerative methods can actually improve it…and that gets us really excited.
From her ranch to your door: Meet Cowgirl Meat Co Founder and Rancher Jaimie Stoltfus
Frequently asked questions
How are the beef bundles shipped?
Orders are packed frozen in insulated boxes and shipped via FedEx overnight. Orders are usually shipped weekly on Mondays or Tuesdays. You will be contacted to ensure you will be home to receive the package.
Are there special instructions for preparing grassfed beef?
There should be no difference in preparation. Just note, grassfed beef will be more lean.
What does it mean to be American Grassfed Association (AGA) Certified?
AGA focuses on four areas:
- 100% Grass Diet: Animals are fed only grass and forage from weaning until harvest.
- Raised on pasture: Animals are raised on pasture without confinement.
- No antibodies or hormones: Animals are never treated with antibiotics or added growth hormones.
- Family farm origin: All animals are born and raised on American family farms.
What does it mean to be Audubon Bird-Friendly Certified?
Program certification is achieved by following a set of program standards in four areas:
1. HABITAT MANAGEMENT---Each farm or ranch must be managed for bird habitat according to a set of protocols, including general habitat protocols that apply to all sites, regional protocols, and ranch-specific management requirements. Each rancher adopts a Habitat Management Plan that is uniquely developed to address site-specific habitat goals and bird conservation opportunities.
2. FORAGE AND FEEDING---Livestock must be able to freely graze open grasslands. The protocols prohibit the use of antibiotics and animal byproducts and seek to minimize grain-based feed supplementation. No feedlots are allowed.
3. ANIMAL HEALTH AND WELFARE---Program participants must demonstrate a commitment to properly caring for livestock by adhering to livestock production methods that reflect best practices for animal health and welfare. Any mistreatment of animals is not tolerated in this program.
4. ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY--- Using native grasses and other plants as forage increases the ability for pastures to sequester carbon, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change. Pesticides are restricted, including the complete prohibition of neonicotinoid pesticides. Waterways are protected from contamination to ensure ranching practices result in cleaner water bodies.
The full set of ACR program standards is available at Audubon.org/ranching.
How is the climate impact of regenerative beef different that conventional beef?
Conventional beef production can be water intensive from some types of hay production and from the production of corn and soy grown to feed (finish) cattle.
In regenerative practices, cattle are raised on grass in a way that reduces or eliminates the need for hay production (the cows eat more fresh grass), and are not eating feedlot soy and corn, but are finished on grass or on regenerative crops.
And on methane:
"Healthy, well-aerated soils - a characteristic under Holistic Planned Grazing - harbor bacteria called methantrophs, which break down methane. Soil-based decomposition of methane may be equal to or greater than ruminant methane production, depending on animal density, soil type, and soil health." - An Exploration of Methane and Properly Managed Livestock through Holistic Management, Savory Institute