My family and I raise a variety of crops in many different locations throughout Northern California -- we operate farms/ranches in the Butte Valley (northern Siskiyou), Fall River Valley (eastern Shasta), and our rangeland properties are located in the Sacramento Valley foothills, with ranches in Bella Vista (Shasta), Anderson (Shasta), Paskenta (western Tehama), Newville (western Glenn), Maxwell (Colusa), and Bear Valley (western Colusa).This talk was fascinating to me because I learned about:
Our main product is producing certified organic and natural beef, marketed under our ranch's label, Prather Ranch. We also grow a variety of hay crops (alfalfa, grass, timothy), wild rice, organic strawberry plants, peppermint and barley.
- Cutting edge beef production: The Rickerts know a LOT about each beef, and can trace your steak's geneology.
- The use of animal parts in medicine: A cow hide is worth $1 million at retail. (Reminds me of the value-add difference between opium poppies in Afghanistan and heroin in NYC!)
- Beef Markets: The Prathers reckon that about 75% of cows are sold via video auctions, which reduce damage to the animals and transport costs by moving cows straight from seller to buyer.
Bottom Line: Farmers can and will innovate to create value, and their customers, community and environment all benefit.
photo by Cate Corbitt