Why Supporting Local Ranchers is Crucial: From Pasture to Plate

Why Supporting Local Ranchers is Crucial: From Pasture to Plate

In a world dominated by global supply chains, supporting local farmers and ranchers has never been more important.

Beyond just buying fresh, high-quality meat, supporting local ranchers means contributing to a sustainable and vibrant local food system.

Let's explore why buying local is essential, how it impacts various aspects of the community, and the journey from pasture to plate.

What Does "Local" Mean in the Food System?

When we talk about "local" in the context of the food system, we're referring to food that is produced, processed, and distributed within a specific geographic region. This region can vary but is typically defined by a distance range of 100-250 miles from the consumer's location. The goal is to minimize the distance food travels, ensuring freshness and reducing the carbon footprint.

(For reference, the distance between Seattle and Spokane is 279 miles. Think of all the delicious agricultural products grown in our state and how many local farms and ranches there are between those two cities!)

How Animals are Raised by Local Ranchers

Small family-owned ranchers raise their animals with the utmost care and tend to incorporate sustainable farming practices. Here's how our cattle and pork are raised:

  1. Luscious Treatment: Our cattle are often raised in open pastures with plenty of space to roam, graze, and eat plenty of our luscious Pacific Northwest grass. We also give them a custom feed that is curated by our local feed supplier. 

  2. Sustainable Practices: We, and our partner ranches, employ practices like rotational grazing, which promotes soil health and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. Often referred to as "regenerative agriculture," these methods not only benefit the environment but also enhance the quality of our meat. 

  3. Quality over Quantity: For us, less is more. We focus on producing high-quality meat in smaller quantities. This means premium feed, attentive care, and ultimately, tastier and healthier meat for you, our customer.

Supporting Our Fellow Small Businesses: The Journey from Pasture to Plate

Supporting local ranchers also supports a network of other small businesses and services, creating a ripple effect throughout the community. Here's a look at some of the key players we work with:

  1. Feed Suppliers: Our local feed supplier provides us and our partner ranchers with the necessary resources to maintain healthy livestock. What we feed our animals has a direct impact on the quality of the meat, so prioritizing their diet is key. 

  2. Veterinarians: Local vets play a crucial role in maintaining animal health, providing regular check-ups, vaccinations, and emergency care when needed.

  3. Butchers and Processors: Local butchers and meat processors ensure that the meat is handled safely and ethically, adhering to high standards of hygiene and quality. We don't know what we would do without their expertise!

  4. Our Local Retail Partners: True North Meats is sold and/or served at a few establishments in the Lynden area. We love working with our local retail partners to not only expand their product offering but also to help us our business grow too!

Economic Impact: Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy

One of the most significant benefits of supporting local ranchers is the positive impact on the local economy:

  1. Job Creation: Local farms and the other businesses in the supply chain create jobs within the community, from farmhands and butchers to market vendors and retailers.

  2. Economic Multipliers: Money spent on local products tends to stay within the community, circulating through local businesses and services. This multiplier effect strengthens the local economy, leading to more robust and resilient communities.

  3. Community Development: Supporting local businesses fosters a sense of community pride and cohesion. It encourages other small businesses to thrive, leading to a vibrant local economy that benefits everyone.

Supporting local ranchers is about more than just enjoying fresh, high-quality meat. It's about promoting sustainable farming and ranching practices, supporting a network of local businesses, and strengthening the local economy.

By choosing to buy local, you're not only getting better products but also contributing to a more prosperous community.

So next time you're looking to stock up on meat, consider the journey from pasture to plate and the positive impact your choices can make.

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