“He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate- bringing forth food from the earth” Psalm 104:14
Here at Ciardullo Ranch our focus is animal and environmental welfare. Grass-fed, pasture-raised meat is significantly healthier (and tastier) than grain-fed, factory-farmed meat. We go against the grain and raise our cattle on quality pastures their entire lives, with plenty of room, fresh air, clean water, sunlight and, most importantly, lots and lots of love! They’re never given any hormones, antibiotics or GMOs and our grass is never ever treated with pesticides, herbicides or fungicides.
Grass is much more than just food for ruminants like cattle and sheep. Grass is, in fact, the most important aspect in raising livestock. It’s the grass, not your local buying and selling market, that should dictate when you calve, breed and wean. Spring, summer, fall and winter present very different nutritional challenges to these animals which is why in nature they breed and calve when they do. Aligning the natural birthing and life cycle seasonally allows calves to be introduced to grass at the right time and helps ease the transition from their mothers milk.
Equally important is what this means to you and your health. Grass-fed beef contains omega-3 fats (the good kind) and much lower levels of omega-6 fats (the bad kind). Grass-fed meat is nutritionally exceptional to factory raised meat.
Sustainable Pasture Management & Regenerative Agriculture
“Regenerative Agriculture” describes farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle.”
Sustainable land management methods are a win- win for the environment and the animals. The livestock and land need one another in order to thrive. Pasture raised livestock naturally improve the fertility of the soil with the animals manure and urine which they work into the soil along with seeds as they graze. The soil microbes rely on this manure as do the plants who benefit from increased nutrients and minerals for their own health. The end result is happy healthy animals that provide you with the highest possible nutrient dense protein while enhancing the environment they call home.
Here at Ciardullo Ranch we practice regenerative agriculture-methods used to restore the ecosystem-to leave it better than how we found it. What does that look like for us? Well, we abide by a no till method in our pastures and practice rotational grazing methods-this means we move our livestock to different sections or paddocks of the pasture based on grass height along with other factors to promote improved plant growth and soil carbon while allowing time for the grazed areas to rest and regrow. This regrowth is key to managing our herd’s impact on the land and mimics the natural migration pattern of ruminants (think bison) who moved constantly, grazing as they went covering thousands of miles. Interestingly, cattle love the routine of pasture rotation and become excited and eager to mooove to their new pasture often standing in line waiting for us to open a gate. Josh regularly works with the National Resource Conservation Service (NRSC) and National Forest Service to ensure the land is being managed to the highest standards.
Ruechel, Julius. Grass-Fed Cattle: How to Produce and Market Natural Beef. Storey Pub., 2006.
Hyman, Mark. Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? Little, Brown and Company, 2018.