I am grateful for many things in my life. One of the things that I am most thankful for is a long list of influential teachers and mentors that I have had throughout my time on this rock. A good teacher is hard to find and even harder to forget. So I salute each of you who have made it your life’s work to inspire minds in our communities both young and old.
And as I was drinking my coffee this fine Saturday morning, my mind drifted back to my high school history teacher, Rob Williams. Besides being a history buff, Rob was a very talented guitar player. One of his songs that always used to make me laugh (and think) was about a herd of cows taking over the farm. He called it Bovine Revolution.
I honestly had not thought about that song in a long time, but today the Bovine Revolution made perfect sense. Why? Well because cows are pretty amazing creatures, but they get a bad rap in the food and environmental world. Let me explain.
Cows are happy out on the range. They are not finicky barn dwellers like some other animals. They are great at being mothers to their young as the feed and protect them. This is not common with all animals. Pigs for example are terrible parents and the piglet mortality rate is high. Just remember that if you every find yourself on Jeopardy. “I’ll take Farm Animals for $400 please Alex.”
Furthermore, cows actually do an incredible job of building a grassland ecosystem that can turn high desert hill country into the Serengeti of grasslands. Think about what cows do as they graze…eat seed heads off of numerous grasses and then “plant” those seeds in compost with a huge cow pie. So when cows are not over-grazed in a spot, they will help a ranch flourish and plant more grasses not destroying them.
Lastly, and I have written about this before so stick with me, grass-fed beef is actually healthy for you. It is full of protein, nutrients (from the grasses), and Omega-3 fatty acids. But now you’re like, “Farmer Mont, if cows are so healthy, then why isn’t McDonald’s a health retreat? Huh Mr. Smarty Pants??”
That is a great question. And the answer you might remember from your First-Grade teacher telling you that “You are what you eat.” I think I was eating glue though when she told me that.
But folks, it is true. Cows do not produce saturated fats. Grasses do not produce saturated fats. Corn does. So when we raise our animals on corn, we get animals full of saturated fats. The meat from those animals are full of saturated fats. But when cows are allowed to graze and be raised the way Mother Nature intended, they are leaner and have a healthier fat content that is similar to a salmon and not a potato chip.
We are what we eat; Our animals are what they eat. There is no magic that goes on here folks, healthy diets lead to health.
The poor cattle in our country get this bad rap not from anything that they do, but rather how our industrial agriculture raises them. Corn gets animals big and strong quickly, but the downside is you have unhealthy meat. Grass-fed animals take longer to raise, but you have a healthy meat. Again, no magic.
So about a year ago I made a promise to you. 2019 was going to be a year that we devoted to helping New Mexican ranchers. To help a local rancher the best you need to find a home for their meats locally. Connect the dots between rancher and consumer so that all the ranchers hard work does not leave the state. Local families feeding local families. A dream come true.
Not to brag, but we did a really great job making this happen in 2019. So much so that my phone started to ring with ranchers looking for us, rather than me cold-calling ranchers telling them about our food model. It is awesome. This is what I had hoped would happen. What does this mean for you?
You will see the variety of the Local Meats increase and the price decrease. As we can offer the ranchers more support, they can lower the price to you. Simple economics. This week, for example, look for a New Mexico Rancher Pack with 2 lbs of Ground and 2 lbs of Steaks. Save $10 on this pack! And thank you for all your support of our ranching families.
Enjoy, Farmer Monte