Red Cliffs Ranch
Why Grass Fed?
Here at Red Cliffs our cows eat from a pasture- not from a diet of grains and supplements designed for weight gain. Studies show that grass fed cows are better for everyone. There is less overall fat and more Omega-3's in the meat (better for us), and it's also better for the cows and the environment.
North Dakota State University conducted a study on the nutritional differences between grass-fed and grain-fed bison. The results of that study closely followed that of egg studies. The grass-fed bison had omega 6 to omega 3 ratios of 4:1, and the grain-fed bison had ratios of 21:1. For most people, an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 4:1 is ideal– that's 4 omega 6s for every 1 omega 3. The average American eats a ratio of anywhere from 12:1 to 25:1 omega 6 to omega 3. Read More
Additional studies by others clearly show that the longer cattle are fed grain, the greater the fatty acid imbalance. For instance, after 200 days in the feedlot grain-fed cattle have omega 6 to omega 3 ratios that exceed 20:1. Many cattle are fed grain 200 days or more in the United States.
With the scientific data that has been published concerning omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, we must assume grass-fed beef is far better for human nutrition than grain-fed beef. If so, then having access to grass-fed beef can be very beneficial for one's health. We proudly sell our pasture-raised, grass-fed beef and lamb at our Farm Stand Farmers Market.
Grass Fed Beef
At Red Cliffs Ranch, we believe river valleys are naturally conducive to growing food more efficiently than any other landscape and should be used for this purpose. And the food we do grow is a direct result of our success with, and commitment to, sustainable farming practices. Without the use of fertilizer or outside soil amendments of any kind, we’ve been able to improve our soil with proper irrigation, manual weeding, composting, and the rotational grazing of livestock on grass pastures. We feel this combination of effective farming practices will provide years of healthy crops due to the nutrient-rich soil in which they grow.
Eating is not just about what looks good- it's where the nutrition is. Our culture has been inundated with buying what looks the biggest and brightest. This does not mean it is the most nutritious. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with sugar and lacking vitamins and minerals. Where we once got this nutrition directly from our food sources, the soil has been so depleted that it can no longer enrich the produce and the grasses. Food stores pay high dollar for things that are big and blemish-less, with little regard for depth of flavor and nutritional content. This leaves farmers markets to sell the rest. Check out our Farmstand Farmer's Market
In order to grow healthy vegetables and grass you must first have healthy, nutrient-rich soil. Water and sun alone won’t be enough. There are only two options to enrich soil. The most common is to buy chemical or natural fertilizer that will be trucked from hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away and then spread onto the soil. This fertilizer will not be native to the soil and therefore will have some impact on the biosphere of the soil. The second option is to graze animals on the grass, which will improve the soil by stimulation of hooves and the defecation of the animals. Soil is the foundation of what we eat. When we look at it, we are really growing soil. Like a chain reaction it starts in our river valley and makes its way to your dinner table.
Our pastured animals know where to find nutritionally rich grasses and foods. They are free to roam- to follow their innate wisdom and guidance. In this way they are living in harmony with the land. The meat is truly nutritious, humane, and sustainable.
Sheep pasture grazing. We love giving our animals room to breathe so they can find the nutritional content that's in the land.
Animals that are free to roam have more nutritional value than those that are fed in lots.
And they're happier too!
Our animals have open pasture on our fertile valley soils nourished by the Animas River.
Life on the Ranch
There are many animals and wildlife on the ranch. It is full of surprises. We'd love for you to come check us out! We are located at 8345 County Road 250, Durango, Co 81301.