Rafter W Ranch started as a beef company back in 2014. We came up with the name Rafter to represent a house, and W for Wheeler, our family name — The Wheeler House — House of Wheeler.
With a desire to live as sustainably as possible, we had been growing our grass-fed meat and eggs for a few years in Elizabeth, Colorado on our 2 1/2-acre lot, learning the best methods from Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, Virginia.
We loved the lifestyle and benefits of it, and others started inquiring about purchasing our beef farm’s products. As interest in our meat was growing, miraculously we were blessed with 100 acres to start making our dreams come true. We bought more cattle, additional electric fencing, a watering system, a mobile chicken tractor, and started our dream of building a family beef company in Colorado. We saw fantastic results with the mob grazing program encompassing the concepts of Eat, Rest, and Regenerate.
For a couple years, two of our sons lived on the ranch in a “shack” to take care of all the animals.
After two years, another blessing followed. The property adjoining Rafter W became available; we now had a total of 640 acres. WOW! What we can do now! The property came with a house which is now our home, and barn almost 100 years old. We were so excited and could think of nothing other than that we had been gifted more ground to increase the number of animals and increase the quality of the soil. With desertification and drought occurring all over the world, this little bit of land could shine and sing praises that it did not have to be that way — that we could feed many families and at the same time make the earth healthier.
Our children are all involved in one way or another and currently all live here. We all love this place and are excited to see its potential in regeneration.
As each year passes, we expect our soil to increase in nutrition which will then produce healthier animals and grass-fed meat for you! We "grow" soil, which then grows food. We want to have the best beef company, providing the best products you have ever enjoyed.
We are now certified producers for the American Grassfed Association. That means you can be certain that we feed no grain; nothing but quality grass. Even in winter our cows are on pasture with a high-protein alfalfa hay bale, allowing them the benefit of organic material year-round to make the next season's beef even more remarkable.
We believe in being grateful for the animal lives that have been given to us and actively encourage our customers to consider using nose-to-tail cooking as much as possible to better their health.
We are also members of the Weston A Price Foundation, which teaches how to return to the traditional ways of cooking — ways our grandparents and great grandparents ate.
Please know that we are grateful for every grass-fed meat and eggs purchase you make from our family ranch, as it helps us to continue the restoration of the earth here at Rafter W Ranch.