The ranching members of the Oregon Country Beef cooperative believe in living up to high standards. We believe we must do our part to ensure healthy land, healthy animals, and healthy people in the places that we live and for the people we serve. We believe in growing beef that we would be proud to feed our own families.
Non-GMO Project Verified Beef
Oregon Country Beef is Non-GMO Project Verified. To achieve this verification each cooperative rancher providing Oregon Country beef is required to follow rigorous standards to feed cattle consistent to the standards of the Non-GMO Project. Each stage in the beef production including finishing facilities and packing plants are also required to comply with the standard. It has been a lot of work but we are happy to be able to present our customers with a product with this high standard.
Quality Natural Beef
Our beef never receives antibiotics or added hormones of any kind. Animals that get sick are treated with antibiotics if necessary and are removed from the OCB program.
To ensure animal welfare each ranch in Oregon Country Beef is audited by The Global Animal Partnership. The Global Animal Partnership is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and recognize good animal welfare practices. Each of our ranches are certified as at least Global Animal Partnership Step 1 compliant.
We believe in what we call GrazeWell principles: principles of livestock management that lead to healthy land, livestock, and people. These principles are listed below and are an affirmation of what the members of Oregon Country Beef strive for in the management of our resources.
- We believe good management is goal driven. Each member ranch in Oregon Country Beef has a written set of goals that describes the desired health and appearance of the land they manage and live on; the desired products they hope to derive from the land, their livestock and themselves; and the type of lives they wish to lead. In addition the members describe the actions they are taking to achieve these goals.
- Water is our most limiting natural resource. We manage the land to get the precipitation we receive into the soil that it falls upon and make it available for plant growth for as long as possible. To achieve this we strive for a dense stand of perennial plants with the spaces between plants occupied by decaying litter. When water enters streams we want the streams to flow year-round and have a minimum of sediment in them. We want the streams to be lined with shrubby vegetation.
- Grazing by our livestock during the times of year when grass plants are growing is done in a manner that minimized the re-biting of plants after they have been grazed and maximizes the time of rest between grazing. On our non-irrigated rangelands we minimize the amount of time we are in a particular area when plants are growing. Once cattle leave an area they have grazed we maximize the period of time before they return. In areas where re-biting of growing plants does occur, we defer those areas from grazing during the next growing season. When plants are growing we leave enough vegetation behind that the plant has photosynthetic area with which to re-grow.
- We recognize that truly healthy and productive land is biologically diverse. We prefer a diversity of grasses, forbs shrubs and trees over a monoculture. Rodents, insects, birds, predators and other grazing animals all have their role in a healthy ecosystem. We adapt our management to fit our individual environments rather than fitting the environment to our management. Grazing is planned in advance to coordinate livestock presence and forage removal with watershed, wildlife and human needs.
- Our land management decisions are based on the long-term health and productivity of the land rather than the maximization of short-term gain. In order to make sound decisions we make sure our decisions are in accord with our long-term ranch plans and that they are economically, ecologically and socially sound.
- By grazing livestock on land that is ecologically healthy and in a manner that is compatible with the environment, we rarely have the need for antibiotic treatment and eliminate the use of growth hormones and feed additive antibiotics. Routine immunizations and sound management are all our cattle require to flourish.
- By grazing well we hope to benefit not only the land and our families but our society as well. We want our final product to be good food at a reasonable price that is an integral part of a healthy diet. We want our customers to know that their purchases are helping the land as well as people.