The goal is to be agriculturally productive while maintaining or improving the long term fertility of land (i.e. capacity for water capture, hosting of robust microbial, vegetative and wildlife communities). Ranches monitor changes in key indicators for these objectives, working to discern the degree to which management is responsible and to improve that management over time. The idea is to work with and learn from nature rather than fighting it.
Role of Livestock
Livestock are the central tool in responsible agriculture. Ruminants convert grass from rangeland that is otherwise unsuitable for farming into nourishing and useful products, mimicking the grazing impacts of native ruminant herds such as bison, elk and deer with which such ecosystems evolved. Livestock make valuable use of grain byproducts (e.g. hulls, screenings, brewers grain, etc) unfit for human consumption. Meantime, farms need livestock for fertilizing soil and terminating crops naturally rather than via synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and fungicides that damage land.
Livestock deserve to be treated with respect throughout their lives. Old Salt espouses husbandry that relies on developing handling skills and techniques to work primarily with an animal’s mind and perception rather than by force. Injecting growth hormones into animals unnecessarily risks detracting from overall well-being in the same way anabolic steroids would in humans. Consistent access to open space and adequate shelter is important for quality of life. We eschew sub therapeutic antibiotics (i.e. for disease prevention v. treatment) that can encourage antibiotic resistance.
Meat Production & Customer Relationships
Skillful balancing of genetics, feeding and management is key for raising livestock that produce an exceptional eating experience at a good value. In order to continually improve, Old Salt is initiating a tradition for ongoing dialogue with its customers and community. Each year, it will hold a public annual meeting and celebration where ranches share their successes, challenges and questions and encourage feedback ... and of course there will be good food, live music, and plenty of socializing.
Please explore the map below to learn about our local supply chain.