Regenerative agriculture is an amazing, healing practice that works to revive the land at the same time as providing delicious, high quality food. At first glance, many of our customers consider us to be cattle farmers, but the reality is, at Grassfield Farm in Hondo, TX, we're grass farmers.
The foundation of every successful farming enterprise begins with healthy, luscious land. In conventional farming systems, the land is often destroyed at the expense of maximum profit. Animals are kept indoors and are unable to naturally fertilize the land, large infrastructures are built to withstand the animals, pollutants fill the land and nearby water streams, and the usage of pesticides and fertilizers further poisons the land, the air, and the environments of nearby residents. Unfortunately, this mainstream factory-style of farming has given animal agriculture a bad rep, but the reality is that it just isn't so across the entire board. Farming can be done differently: It can be done regeneratively.
At Grassfield Farm, we believe in this kind of regenerative farming that keeps animals on lush pasture year round, uses little to no infrastructure, uses absolutely no fertilizers, and leaves the land in a better state than when it was found.
Here are the (6) main benefits of regenerative agriculture:
1. BUILD SOCIAL HEALTH
Herbivores like cows, sheep, goats, and omnivores, such as pigs, are amazing workers! They negate the need for industrial fertilizers because they fertilize the land on their own. Part of a regenerative agriculture system involves rotational grazing, which is the process of moving cows to a new acreage of pasture every single day. It's like a fresh salad bar with a shiny, clean plate every day for them! This constant movement allows plenty of time for the soil to repair and new grass to re-grow. By the time the cows complete a full rotation, the previously-grazed sector of land has completely grown back, ready for another graze.
Interestingly, pastured pigs are one of the best helpers. For example, once cow manure builds up in a certain area, you can send pigs, instead of machines, in to do the dirty work (which they LOVE). You can spread corn across the land for the pigs to eat, and as they munch down, they help push the manure into the ground and fertilize the soil.
2. LOWER CARBON EMISSIONS
Did you know that 1 LB of our grass-fed beef potentially saves 33 LBS of harmful carbon from entering the atmosphere?
"How is that even possible?"
To put it simply, regenerative farming requires little to no buildings, machinery, or other assets that result in environment pollution. Sure, we use tools and tractors here and there, but most of the work is done on the pasture by the animals themselves. All one needs to have a grass-fed cow enterprise are (1) cows and (2) fencing to keep them in!
3. HEALTHY, HAPPY COWS
How amazing is it that grass-fed cows get to spend each and every day as nature intended: grazing on lush pasture, soaking in the sunshine, and enjoying plenty of fresh air. 100% grass-fed cows are one of the healthiest farm animals out there, which leads us into the next point: nutritious beef.
4. NUTRITIOUS BEEF
Happy, healthy cows = Nutritious, Delicious Beef
The quality of the meat largely depends upon the health of the animal. In industrial confinement houses where cows are kept inside all day, trapped in their own manure, and fed grains, conditions can become quite unenjoyable.
On the other hand, cows that live naturally and regeneratively are the healthiest. They receive all of the nutrients they need from the grass and the sunshine. Best of all, the quality of their natural lifestyle can be confirmed by our customers in the quality of the delicious meat they produce.
As mentioned previously, the foundation of every successful farm is healthy, diverse land. Diversifying the landscape builds stability and balance in the ecosystem. In Joel Salatin's best-selling book, "You Can Farm", he further elaborates, "The industrial mindset destroys diversity and pushes everything towards standardization. Bulldozing out the woods in order to make perfectly square cornfields...destroys natural balances in the agriculture sector...When the miles and miles of cornfield, unbroken by woodsy or brushy cover, dominate the landscape, birds have no place to live...The farmers proceed to destroy all the birds' nesting places by creating huge monoculture fields rather than small fields broken up by little patches of woods, shrubs, and water."
So, how does regenerative farming provide a solution?
Regenerative farming works to create the three types of environments essential for both plant and animal life: open land, forest, and water. In short, this diversification of thriving plant and animal life enables farmers to have a balanced, stable system throughout the seasons.
6. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FARMER
As a consumer, you have the power to vote in better beef with your dollar.
Choose to support your local farmer by purchasing your meat directly from them. Show the food industry executives that you demand better farming conditions for the animals, the quality of meat, and a healthier environment.
Feel at peace knowing that every LB of grass-fed beef you purchase from your local regenerative farmer goes directly into making the environment a better place and further contributing to the (6) benefits of regenerative agriculture listed above.