Happy Cows Make Happy Hamburgers!

 At Squatter’s, whether you are enjoying a piece of beef with your weekend eggs, or nestled between our custom made buns in one of our delicious, cooked to order burgers, you can be sure your meat has never contained  antibiotics or hormones, and came from free range cattle.  This weekend, Joe Lambert (Squatter’s Operating Partner) and I had the pleasure of attending the annual Niman Ranch Partners meeting in Denver, Colorado.
On Friday, Niman arranged a visit to CulverRanch,where we spent an hour touring the well-kept facility, and learning more about their “100% never, ever program.” Niman field agent, Mark Gahart, explained the differences between cattle raised on Niman ranches and those raised at “commodity facilities,” and answered all our questions. Niman ranchers operate on a “closed loop” system, which means they retain heifers for breeding from the calves birthed on the ranch. They are able to track parentage and breed for quality meat, while employing good genetic practices (read: no inbreeding between daddies and daughters!).  The result?  Niman cattle produce about 50% prime beef (versus the typical 2.5% yield from commodity beef).
Steve (another Niman representative) visits the ranches about every two weeks, to test feed rations and ensure that the cattle are never given antibiotics or hormones.  Additionally, Niman has the strongest humane animal care handling protocols in the industry.  I, along with Joe, have had the opportunity to witness these practices in action.  They work.   U.S. family ranches employing the Niman system can increase profits by 15% while maintaining the welfare of the animals and the land.  Interested in knowing more about how cattle can be so happy? Ask away! I always encourage open dialogue around our green business practices.
Let me finish with a wicked big thanks to Niman for sharing part of your family with part of our family.  We are proud to partner with you, and I invite our Squatters patrons to try what Niman has to offer; their quality products are well integrated into our menu and hard to beat, no matter how you like your meat cooked.

James Soares
Director of Environmental and Social Responsibility

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