Courtney Schuur and Ethan O’Brien are first generation ranchers raising Certified Animal Welfare Approved by…
Steve and Marci Jacobs, along with their twin sons and daughter, raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) and Certified Grassfed by AGW registered Angus and Angus cross cattle in Healdsburg, CA. Both Steve and Marci have worked in agriculture most of their lives and are graduates of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, so it was a natural fit for them to start their own farm using animals from their family’s old-line lineage cattle herd, which has been in the family for generations.
In 2000, the Jacobs began with only five or six cows and increased numbers slowly over the years. “It’s now really growing into a viable business,” says Steve. The Jacobs are proud that they let their business grow slowly and naturally, while at the same time carefully managing their growth to keep up with retailer demand.
The ability to manage the welfare of their cattle from birth right through to slaughter is important for the Jacobs. Steve takes a lot of satisfaction in having his own bulls, calves and replacement heifers. “We do everything we can to give our cattle the best life possible and we see the results in the health of our animals and the quality of our beef. We’re really proud to be a sustainable ranch that doesn’t breed the heifers until they’re 24 months,” he explains.
On applying for certification, Steve says, “When I read the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW guidelines it was an easy decision for us to apply. The program’s philosophy is how I to do everything anyway. It is very animal-welfare oriented, but is also based on common sense farming. It’s a good marriage between the two.”
J Brand Cattle Company has been Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW since 2011, and recently decided to become Certified Grassfed by AGW, which is the only certification and logo in the U.S. and Canada that guarantees food products come from animals fed a 100 percent grass and forage diet, raised outdoors on pasture or range for their entire lives, and managed according to the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW leading welfare and environmental standards on an independent farm.
Steve and Marci are also active in giving back to the community. Marci is former president of the Healdsburg Future Farmers County Fair and remains involved today. Steve is on the board of the directors for the California Cattlemen’s Association – Sonoma Marin Chapter, while Marci is on the board of directors for the California Cattlewomen’s Association – Sonoma Marin Chapter.
In their spare time, the Jacobs enjoy riding horses and skiing. Of course, most of their time is spent with their three children: “It’s really rewarding to work on the ranch with our kids,” Steve explains. “I can see as our family grows that the ranch will always be something we can come back to as a family, to farm and ranch together.”
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Grassfed by AGW beef from J Brand Cattle Company is available at local retail locations. For more information, contact Steve at email@example.com or 707-838-4266.