"We believe we live in the best grass-fed beef producing area in the country. The cold summer nights and high soil mineral levels of our mountain pastures grows grass like nowhere else, and results in a uniquely flavorful beef."I'd thought, of course, about the effects of different feed inputs on the taste of beef, but I hadn't quite thought before about the effects of different soil and weather inputs on the flavor of grass, and how those in turn might subtly influence the meat's ultimate flavor.
Not only that, says rancher Glenn Elzinga, but "there are slight seasonal variations in the flavor balance due to a dynamic sward of grass and the various plant stages that define it at a particular point in the growing season."
The site has particularly good discussions of routine antibiotic use in the livestock industry, translating labels on meat, and how to cook grass-fed steaks.
From their page on environmental benefits, the Elzingas briefly describe their own efforts to improve the ecological working of their ranch:
"Water pollution from feedlot-raised beef is a growing concern. At Alderspring Ranch, we are careful about keeping the water that flows through our ranch clean. We have fenced cattle away from streams and riparian areas. We do everything we can to keep the valuable nutrients in cattle manure on our pastures rather than allowing it to escape and become water pollutants. We use a permaculture system of pasture maintenance. We do not plow and seed annual forages. We improve pastures through grazing management and hand seeding. This approach eliminates soil erosion, and works to build the organic matter and fertility of soil.You can read more about their production protocols here.
Finally, we avoid monocultures. We rejoice in our brushy fenced breaks that are home to deer, nesting birds and small mammals. We try to encourage the growth of cottonwoods along our ditches to supply shade for our cattle, and habitat for raptors that then reduce our rodent populations. We allow the wetter areas of our ranch to grow native sedge meadows, and graze these carefully to avoid hummocking."