In a major move for the Obama administration, the US Department of Justice (Antitrust Division) and the US Department of Agriculture have opened an investigation into whether any illegal monopolies exist among the dominant agricultural companies. The focus is primarily on three sectors: seed companies, beef packing and dairy. With a history of exemption from antitrust regulation the industry as a whole has become extremely concentrated. For instance, the the top four beefpacking companies currently control 83.5% of the market. As part of this investigation, a series of public workshops will be held across the country. Read on for dates and locations, as well as information about submitting comments online or by mail.
The Plank family raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW), Certified Grassfed by AGW beef cattle on Scott River Ranch near the Russian Peak Wilderness area in northern California. For owners Gareth and Millie, farming has been a life-long commitment. Millie, a daughter of fourth-generation California farmers, swore she would never get into the business until she met Gareth, who persuaded her back into the farming lifestyle. “Family is one of the main reasons we chose to live on a ranch,” say the Planks, who have five children, and live next door to Millie’s parents and across the street from Gareth’s mother—a true family operation indeed!
The Planks are committed to raising their cattle in a low-stress, natural environment to ensure the best tasting and highest quality beef. This means that the cattle are grassfed and grass-finished and never receive routine antibiotics or growth hormones to aid the weight-gaining process. “We simply choose to let our cattle gain weight at a natural pace in a low-stress natural environment,” say Gareth and Millie.
To further reduce stress, the cattle are never branded or roped. “Lower stress is better for the cow, and it makes the meat tender,” explain the Planks. “One simple way to lower stress is by eliminating the practice of branding and roping. We ear tag our cattle instead of branding them, which is much less stressful and surprisingly more fashionable. The females seem to view them as ‘accessories’ and they like to show them off to the bulls!”
In 2015, Scott River Ranch became Certified Grassfed by AGW for their beef cattle. The certification is the first—and only—food label in North America that guarantees food products come from animals fed a 100 percent grass and forage diet, and raised entirely outdoors on pasture or range. “Our job is to raise the highest quality beef for our customers,” say the Planks. “We know that the finest beef comes from cattle that live in their natural environment, and eat their natural food source. At our ranch you’ll see our animals grazing in their natural habitat—acres upon acres of lush, green pasture. For this reason and many others, our ranch is Certified Grassfed by AGW.”
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW beef from Scott River Ranch is available online, as well as at retail locations in northern California and directly from the farm. For more information, call 877-542-1802 or email email@example.com. For pictures of the ranch, online shopping, recipes, FAQs and more, visit scottriverranch.com. You can also follow the farm on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.