Margot Heard, and her family, raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) beef cattle outdoors on pasture at Lazy A Ranch in Bellville, Texas.
The Heards are committed to the sustainable management of every aspect of the ranch. Pasture-based management of the cattle is fundamental to this approach, which also includes everything from utilizing recycled and salvaged materials and green construction practices, recycling plastic, glass and paper, to prioritizing solar and wind technology and wood burning fire places. They maintain the natural fertility of their pastures with compost teas and liquid organic fertilizer and follow Holistic Management International principles, including rotational grazing. “Carbon farming is supported with rotational grazing and pasture development, and the ranch is carbon negative,” explains Margot. “Cattle and wildlife are managed to be mutually beneficial, and high-quality compost from green waste and chicken manure is produced in three large concrete bins and used in the gardens.”
As reflected in their Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW certification, the Heards do not administer routine antibiotics or growth hormones to their beef cattle and use low-stress handling techniques: “Our animals are tame, moved gently and live on grassy pasture their entire lives—most were born on the ranch,” says Margot. “As well as grazing lush pastures, our cows eat baled hay, alfalfa, cottonseed meal and molasses. They are given a free-choice supplement with selected vitamins, minerals, kelp and diatomaceous earth, and also get a sea salt block with minerals.” The ranch is a member of the British White Cattle Association of America, the American British White Park Association, the American Wagyu Association and the Texas Wagyu Association.
Connecting with and supporting the local community is another important focus for the ranch, which provides local employment opportunities, supports local business and conducts an outdoor education program. “Groups of any age may come to the ranch to participate in activities,” Margot explains. “We get many teachers who plan activities at the ranch according to their curriculum needs. Fishing, plants, animals, wildlife, wetland, pond, forest, creek, gardening and composting are just some examples of activities they cover.”
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW beef from Lazy A Ranch is available at Whole Foods Market stores, BaBa Yega Café and Saint Nicholas School, as well through the ranch’s website. To order beef, visit lazyatexas.com/shop/shop.htm. For more information on Lazy A Ranch, visit lazyatexas.com or follow the farm on Facebook.