Our Animas Valley ranch - where our cattle eat like royalty.
Our beef is 100% grass fed and finished—no grain or feedlots. Our beef marketed to you is grown naturally and receives no hormones, or antibiotics. Our cattle are kept together and rotated often to simulate the grazing patterns of ancient herds maintaining natural balance in grasslands.
Joe & Jennifer Wheeling
The beef animals are finished for market on our irrigated pastures in the Animas Valley where they eat highly nutritious, low lignin grasses and clovers. And eat it they do! We use a system called "quick rotational grazing" where the market animals are rotated every one to three days, depending on the size of the pasture, onto a fresh salad bar mix of nutritious greens.
Not only do the market cattle gain 2-3 pounds per day on this natural ration, but as they move quickly from one pasture to another they clip all the plants thereby promoting biodiversity in the meadow mix grass growing in our pastures. It also invigorates the root systems of the grass by biting it once and moving on, and naturally fertilizes the pasture with their chemical free manure.
This natural process is not compromised by the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, or insecticides. Thus as the market animals come into their bloom producing unsurpassed, quality beef, they naturally stimulate the growth of plants and microorganisms that enrich the soil, water, and air.
What makes James Ranch "grass-finished" beef special?
Our beef is 100% grass fed—eating only mother’s milk, plants and grasses from grazing or hay, all of its life. Our beef animals do not receive any form of growth stimulants or antibiotics. They feed and live in areas free from insecticides and herbicides.
Our cattle come from a base of the Red Angus breed and are of moderate size and grow fast on grass. We process our beef at an age of 18-30 months of age, striving for maximum marbling, tenderness and flavor. We only process our beef when it is eating fresh, green grasses therefore making our split halves, halves, and whole beef available only from July through November. All our beef is frozen. Individual cuts are available year around at our Ranch Market or at Markets and Restaurants listed here.
About the James Ranch steak on your grill...
Our beef is processed in a locally owned USDA processing plant just 40 minutes from our ranch. Here they are humanely and efficiently processed into a product we are proud to deliver to our customers. Our beef is dry aged for 21 days, then cut and wrapped.
Our beef is a nutritious, clean, and a safe conscientiously produced product that we are proud to offer to our community for their enjoyment. With your purchase of James Ranch beef, you enjoy the healthy benefits of grass-fed beef with its CLA and Omega-3 as nature intended, while you become a partner in open space preservation of the North Animas Valley with it spectacular western vistas.
The case for grass-fed beef and finished beef
There is a growing body of scientific research pointing to the benefits of grass-fed beef over conventional beef. These benefits are most evident in "purer" grass-fed systems, especially those using regenerative grazing methods (as we do at the James Ranch). The benefits include:
- Grass-fed beef is more healthful for people because of its significantly better omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio, higher concentration of conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs), higher levels of antioxidants and lower risk of E.coli infection and antibiotic–resistant bacteria.
- Cattle are healthier and require little drug treatment when they are not confined, have constant access to pasture and eat a predominately grass diet.
- The concentration of manure in and around feedlots can pollute air and water, whereas well-managed grazing systems can regenerate grasslands, build soil and protect watersheds.
- Intensive grain farming and feedlot cattle production are major sources of greenhouse gases, whereas grasslands managed with regenerative grazing can sequester carbon and act as net carbon sinks, offsetting methane emitted by cattle.
- Grass-fed cattle of the right breed, produced to high standards, result in beef that is tender, well-marbled and, in the opinion of many connoisseurs, better-tasting than grain-fed beef.