With the food industry as embroiled in massive, corrupt juggernauts as it is, it’s not exactly a surprise that we’re going to encourage everyone we know to buy from local cattle ranchers. There are lots of rules and regulations that farmers and ranchers have to fight every day in order to survive in this economy and with a government that isn’t always on their side. Which is all the more reason for We the People to use our voices in the form of our dollars to vote for the local ranchers. But if you need more convincing, here are 6 reasons to buy from local cattle ranchers.
- Families. Above all, shopping locally anywhere and in any business supports a family. Shopping at most stores supports families in some way, but a local family-run business very directly benefits from your patronage. Even more than that, you benefit from the family. Meeting the people who are feeding you gifts you with a connection to your food source that we have become so unaccustomed to. We see the smiling faces of the children who help with farm chores, we chat with the mother who’s up at the crack of dawn, and the dad who works tirelessly for every single dollar and dime. These are real people working really hard jobs that keep the country running and bellies full. When you get that close to it all, it’s hard to see why we ever separated from it in the first place.
- The Environment. We’re not here to hug trees, but even the least eco-conscious of us can see the clear benefit of shopping around the corner as opposed to shipping around the world. Wastefulness is a horrible habit that people around the world will probably never kick. But shopping locally, just driving down the road, is a great place to start. Not only do we support an industry that is leaps and bounds more beneficial for the environment than any big warehouse, but we are eliminating the need for lengthy trips across the country with big trucks, plastic packaging, and so much more.
- Community. This goes hand-in-hand with families because by sourcing your meat from a cattle rancher, you are helping build community. This connection to the people and the food source starts a relationship that only builds over time. Once you get to know the people, a world opens up that allows you to become a small part of their community and them a part of yours. Keeping local businesses in business is an absolute necessity when it comes to creating a community that supports itself and flourishes. Hint: when you become best friends with your local cattle rancher, invite them to dinner!
- Tradition. The art of raising cattle is as old as time. Even in the Bible we see examples of men and women raising livestock, doing the hard work it takes to protect, feed, house, and generally care for animals. It is a way of life as well as a source of income, and with America’s swaths of land, it’s become a huge part of the American landscape. This tradition of hard work, family-owned ranches, protecting land, and connecting to the land and animals has inspired genres of music, has built entire towns, and is the bedrock of the American meat industry. When you shop locally for your meat, you are helping keep a vital part of American tradition alive. You’re preserving a way of life that most Americans know nothing about.
- Better Food. Let’s be honest with ourselves, there’s only so much freshness left in food that has gone through lengthy processing, packaging, and travel just to get to grocery store shelves. While there is certainly nothing wrong with shopping at the grocery store, you just can’t beat the freshness and realness of locally fed, grown, and butchered beef, chicken, and pork. Free of hormones and additives, the food you eat will finally be fresh and whole! It will taste better and you’ll feel better.
- Money. Believe it or not, it’s typically cheaper to buy from a local rancher. A lot of meat comes from a single cow, which means you’re often buying a share of a cow as opposed to the whole thing, cutting the costs by a lot. Additionally, fewer people are involved in the whole process, meaning you’re not paying for the dozens of people involved in the slaughtering, packaging, shipping, and selling system. On a per cut-of-meat basis, it’s cheaper to buy meat this way.
Local Cattle Ranchers
No matter where you live, odds are there’s a local cattle ranch not too far away, or even a local butcher shop, making it easy to support these all-American businesses. Here are a few of our favorites!
- Post 5 Cattle Co.
- Heartstone Farm
- Keystone Cattle Company
- Salt River Ranch
- Weekes Family Farm
- Snowden Meats
- Seven Pines Farm
- Beauty and the Beef
- Widnor Farms