Natural Beef

By Madeline Novey Reporter-Herald Staff Writer
Posted: 08/06/2011 03:23:59 PM MDT
reposted from the Reporter-Herald article

susan-jessup-watches-her-steers

Susan Jessup, co-owner of Sylvan Dale Ranch west of Loveland, rests upon a fence and watches as her steers lunch on pasture grasses Thursday afternoon. Unlike many, Jessup has not felt the burden of increased feed costs because the ranch grows its own hay to doll out to the grass-fed, grass-finished cattle.
( Madeline Novey )

The air was cool and gray clouds moved above a herd of black and brown steers as they munched on pasture grasses Thursday afternoon at Sylvan Dale Ranch.

Susan Jessup, whose family has owned the ranch west of Loveland since 1946, rested her elbows on the splintered fence and watched the 23 animals as they not only ate but also saved money.

Unlike some ranches, Sylvan Dale grows its own hay for the almost 100 cattle to eat maybe 60 days of the year when they are not out grazing natural grasses across the 3,000-acre ranch.

But not all cattle operations — or those with poultry, pigs or sheep for that matter — are so lucky. Over the past decade at least, the price of feed has gone up significantly.

On the other side, Jessup said her beef prices have not changed.

Read more on Sylvan Dale Ranch’s Grass-fed Cattle Battle Rising Feed Costs…

  The following article was recently published in the June issue of The Stockman Grassfarmer.
git-along-little-microbes-stockman-grassfarmer-article

Grassfed Critics Are Ignoring Methane Eating Soil Microbes

LOVELAND, Colorado: Beef cattle belch out tons of methane. Some studies claim cows account for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

  And, it turns out that grassfed cows belch more than their grainfed cousins, a fact that gladdens the hearts of feedlot owners seeking a patch of moral high ground on which to plant a green flag.

  Now along comes Bill McKibben to snatch the flag back for the grass-feeders. (“The Only Way to Have a Cow” by Bill McKibben. Orion Magazine, March/April 20I0).

  How is it, he asks, that vast herds of wild ruminants never burped the skies full of methane in days of old? The answer, he claims, is methane eating soil microbes.
Read more on Git Along Little Microbes…