Treatment of Animals
The GFCC farmers hold ethical treatment of animals as one of our basic tenets. We believe that a moral contract exists between animals, farmers, and consumers, with respect being shared between all parties. Our animals are not confined to a pen, feedlot or other area where forages are not grown. Our cattle have access to pasture at all times. Special attention and consideration is given to the animal welfare in handling, transport, and processing.
There are significant environmental benefits to farming grass-fed cattle. With proper management, animals raised on pasture rather than Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO’s) or factory farms represent a net benefit to the environment.
Farming cattle on pasture contribute to a complete ecological cycle. Grazing cattle cyclically do their own harvesting and fertilizing, which create the next cycle of vegetation.
Grazing cattle is the most effective way to reduce erosion and water pollution. The grasses produce solid root structures that help avert erosion, allow for the soil to hold water, refill aquifers, and protect surface water. Managed pasturelands make virtually no contribution to soil erosion, ground water loss, or water pollution.
Raising cattle exclusively on grass is the most energy efficient method beef farming. Grazing cattle produces two calories of energy profit (food, fertilizer, and fiber) for every one calorie of fossil fuel used. By comparison, in order to raise cattle on grains, row crops are required. Cultivating row crops uses between five and ten calories of fossil fuel for each calorie of food harvested (machinery used for tilling, planting, and harvesting). Consequently, it is ten to twenty times more energy efficient to raise cattle wholly on grass than on grains.
Grass Fed Cattle Co. connects consumers with our small cooperative of Minnesota and western Wisconsin farmers. All of the GFCC farms are located within 150 miles of the Twin Cites. Beef that is raised in Minnesota will be marked with the “Minnesota Grown” label.
Buying local simply means to buy food that is raised as close to your home as possible. The average American dinner travels 1,500 miles before reaching the dinner plate. Eating local food greatly reduces the consumption of fossil fuels and wasteful packing materials.