EDUCATING OUR FUTURE
We Believe in Education
We feel a huge obligation to help educate everyone about agriculture, especially our youth of today. Without the continued desire of the “next generation” to pursue agriculture, our nation’s ability to produce its own food could be in jeopardy. We want to develop a better appreciation for how your food is produced. A strong push for proper education could reshape the beef industry — and unlock the benefits to human health, animal welfare, soil health and carbon sequestration that grassfed beef can provide.
We have created this page for you to check often, as we will have articles, videos, and anything else we feel can help you become more educated in what we, and farmers alike, do.
VIDEO: Colorado Coalition to Enhance Working Lands 2021 Summit | Audubon Rockies
DESCRIPTION: Here are highlights from a presentation at the Colorado Coalition to Enhance Working Lands 2021 Summit from Rafter W Ranch’s Lance Wheeler. Lance is the co-owner of the Rafter W Ranch in Simla, Colorado, certified by Audubon’s Conservation Ranching Initiative.
ARTICLE/VIDEO: Conflict Beef: Supplying Beef to the U.S. Comes at a High Human Cost | Nate Halverson
DESCRIPTION: Do you know where your beef comes from? Walmart? Target? Safeway? … How about Nicaragua?
When outbreaks of COVID-19 at meat processing plants in the U.S. slowed production, American wholesalers turned to foreign beef suppliers.
Beef exporters in the small country of Nicaragua were happy to fill that gap, actually ramping up production amid the pandemic. But this has come at a high cost for Indigenous communities, who are being run off their land to make way for cattle ranches.
WARNING TO VIEWERS: This story contains some upsetting images of violence.
ARTICLE: Armed with New Research, Ranchers Rethink Depredation | Kendra Chamberlain
DESCRIPTION: Today, wolves, coyotes and other predators are still considered public enemy number one in many ranching communities. But a growing body of research indicates that killing predators doesn’t actually help prevent attacks, and may in fact lead to increased conflicts between humans and livestock.
Now, there are hints that the mindset among some ranchers around wolves and other predators is beginning to shift away from lethal management and towards something like coexistence, where preventative management practices are employed to keep livestock losses at a minimum, while keeping the rangeland ecosystem healthy.
ARTICLE: What Really Well-Managed Livestock Means | Lauren Stine
DESCRIPTION: One of the biggest topics in regenerative agriculture is well-managed livestock, but few sources have broken down what that means for the average consumer.
Here’s a crash course.
Consumers are more curious than ever about where their food comes from and how their dietary choices may impact the environment and animal welfare. Regenerative agriculture is gaining momentum as a solution to many of the existing challenges that are facing global food production – how do we produce more food while using fewer resources and regenerating the ecosystems that have largely been depleted over the past century due to harsh, yield-focused farming practices? Is “grass-fed” beef really enough, or is the answer deeper than that?
ARTICLE: Local Ranchers Follow Holistic Approach | Geraldine Smith
DESCRIPTION: Lisa and Lance Wheeler have operated the family-run Rafter W Ranch north of Simla since 2014.
Rafter W Ranch utilizes holistic ranching methods that regenerate the soil, providing the animals with nutrient-dense food, thus producing nutrient-rich meat.
Employing a holistic approach to ranching, they became true stewards of the land, practicing regenerative ranching and Audubon conservation ranching, the latter a certification that guarantees the Wheeler’s commitment to responsible land management.
ARTICLE: How Grassfed Beef Really Could Be Superior | Alan Newport
DESCRIPTION: The science on grass-finished beef nutrition has included one conflicting report after another, with unclear human health benefits, but a new paper sheds light on how beef from ecologically diverse environments may offer those desired health improvements.A recently published paper in Frontiers in Nutrition by Fred Provenza and two other scientists suggests strong ties between secondary and tertiary nutrients in foods and human health. Provenza is professor emeritus at Utah State University and throughout his career pioneered much work on animal nutritional behavior. Their paper, titled “Is Grassfed Meat and Dairy Better for Human and Environmental Health?” has a lengthy bibliography supporting their suppositions.
VIDEO: From the Ground Up – Regenerative Agriculture | Amy Browne
DESCRIPTION: Inspired by Charles Massy’s best-selling book “Call of the Reed Warbler”, filmmaker Amy Browne set out across the dry farming country of South East NSW to meet Massy and the other trailblazing farmers bringing new life to their land. Regenerative agriculture is one of the most promising wide-scale environmental solutions. This short documentary is a comprehensive journey through a variety of landscapes and regenerative farming techniques. ‘From the Ground Up’ is a story of genuine change and inspiration – tracing the steps of individuals who transformed their practices following the life-changing realization — that farmers have a unique opportunity to heal the planet.
VIDEO: Unbroken Ground (Full Film) | Patagonia Provisions
DESCRIPTION: Unbroken Grounds explains the critical role food will play in the next frontier of our efforts to solve the environmental crisis. It explores four areas of agriculture that aim to change our relationship to the land and oceans. Most of our food is produced using methods that reduce biodiversity, decimate soil and contribute to climate change. We believe our food can and should be a part of the solution to the environmental crisis — grown, harvested and produced in ways that restore our land, water and wildlife. The film tells the story of four groups that are pioneers in the fields of regenerative agriculture, regenerative grazing, diversified crop development and restorative fishing.
VIDEO: How to Green the World’s Deserts and Reverse Climate Change | Allan Savory
DESCRIPTION: Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And terrifyingly, it’s happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes — and his work so far shows — that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.
FACT SHEET: The Nutritional Benefits of Pasture-Raised Meat Birds
DESCRIPTION: Studies show the nutritional value of meat from pastured poultry that consume grass and forage is higher than meat from conventionally-raised birds. The majority of chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese that are raised for meat are kept inside in confined conditions and eat a diet consisting primarily of grain. Birds raised outdoors on pasture eat green plants, insects, and small animals, in addition to being fed grit and grain. They are exposed to sunshine and are able to forage, run, jump and peck. This results in healthier animals … and more nutritious food for people as well.
FACT SHEET: The Nutritional Benefits of Pasture-Raised Laying Hens
DESCRIPTION: Studies show the nutritional value of eggs from pastured hens that consume grass and forage is higher than eggs from conventionally-raised hens. Most laying hens that are raised for eggs are kept inside in cages and eat a diet consisting primarily of grain. Birds raised outdoors on pasture eat plants, insects, and small animals, in addition to being fed grit and grain. They are exposed to sunshine and are able to forage, run and peck. This results in healthier animals … and more nutritious food for people as well.
FACT SHEET: The Nutritional Benefits of Pasture-Raised Beef Cattle
DESCRIPTION: Studies show the nutritional value of beef from cattle that consume grass and forage for their entire lives is higher than beef from cattle that are fed grain. Beef cattle are designed to eat plants. And almost all do for the majority of their lives. However, most conventionally-raised cattle are eventually moved to a feedlot for the final four to eight months where they eat a diet high in grain. Cattle that remain on pasture instead of going to a feedlot continue to eat plants. This results in healthier animals … and more nutritious food for people as well.
FACT SHEET: The Nutritional Benefits of Pasture-Raised Sheep & Goats
DESCRIPTION: Studies show the nutritional value of meat and dairy from sheep and goats is higher when the animals consume grass and forage instead of grain. Sheep and goats are designed to eat plants. However, the animals are sometimes raised in confined conditions and fed a diet high in grain for part or most of their lives. Sheep and goats that are raised outdoors on range or pasture instead of in confinement are able to eat plants and exercise freely. This results in healthier animals … and more nutritious food for people as well.