GRASS-FED GRASS-FINISHED BEEF
OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU
OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU
We focus on the vegetables at Rainshadow Organics a lot, but did you know that we are a Full Diet farm? That means that we grow it all: grains, dairy, eggs, flowers, vegetables, and meat! Our beef is exclusively grass-fed, grass-finished. It is never grained or confined in a feed lot. We have our own breeding program with a momma-cow herd and bulls that produce our butcher steers each year as well as replacement heifers. Our cattle start as calves, spend their full yearling year with us and are butchered in their second year. Because we keep our cattle from birth to finish, we have a large herd at different ages with different stewardship needs, which requires a lot of land and intensive management to produce the best beef while caring for the land.
PITCHFORK T BEEF
In order to raise a sustainable grass-fed grass-finished beef, it isn’t farmed, it is ranched. When Ashanti and Sarahlee added beef to the Rainshadow full diet, they started with a small herd, and leased land to raise it. As demand for the beef grew, it became a priority to acquire more property to give the cattle what they needed to be sustainably run.
In the fall of 2020, Ashanti and Sarahlee partnered with Ted and Phyllis Swindells, to purchase the ranch immediately to the north of Rainshadow Organics. They decided to keep the name and brand of the ranch, The Pitchfork-T, where the cattle can have their own place and their own story. Having a vertically integrated business, we always partner with ourselves. Rainshadow Organics’s beef is run on the Pitchfork-T ranch and branded with the Pitchfork-T brand.
HOW DO WE FEED OUR BEEF?
The Pitchfork-T headquarters are immediately north of Rainshadow Organics. These 130 irrigated acres are where we raise our hay in the summer for the herd to eat in the winter. The herd spends the spring out the back gate on 17,000 acres around Alder Springs along the Wychuse Creek. In June they head to the cool high country of Mount Hood in the 54,000 acre White River unit. When the snow flies, they come home to graze down the hay fields and then eat hay until the grass returns in the spring.
We use intensive management practices that require a cowboy to shepherd the cattle every day of their lives. The cowboy ensures that the cattle are well and stay where the grass needs them most. Ranching in the high desert only sustainably supports the cattle for a little while before they need to go to high country with more water and a more diverse forage.
HOW IS PITCHFORK T BEEF REGENERATIVE?
We don’t raise grass to feed beef. We graze beef to raise grass. Our cowboys are horseback with the cattle daily to guide their grazing in a way that prunes and grooms the landscape in a stimulating way to encourage and promote plant growth, thus supporting the maximum soil community with is our carbon sequestration team.
The new ranchland is in organic transition and our rangeland is historically and currently chemical free. We are slowly replanting our pastures and hay fields with a more diverse array of species and we are using our cattle herds exclusively for the fertility of the fields. We feed our cattle the hay that we produced back across the hay fields in the winter, where their manure, urine, and waste hay, add organic matter and nutrients back to the soil.
Regenerative beef means giving more than you take to the land and environment and the multiple species that inhabit the same lands. Such as migratory mammals, birds, insects, and microbiota.
WHY GRASS FED AND GRASS FINISHED?
It’s the natural way. The momma cow’s milk producing ability off of grass is unsurpassable and finishing a beef on grass gives the cattle the same freedom they had when they were born.
But the grass finish isn’t just about the cow. It’s about the land the cows are on. It’s about the work the cow does before it hits the table. Finishing on grass in the same environment as they were born, gives them their life’s work. They get to live in a symbiotic relationship with as landscape that has evolved to support grazing herds. The cattle get to nourish the land they live on, as well as receiving the nourishment, minerals, space and variety of grasses they need to live a happy, full life.