Grass-Fed & Grass-Finished Beef
Karen & Scott Stone discuss their commitment to production of healthy, nutritious beef
and preservation of the land on their ranch Yolo Land & Cattle Co.
We take great pride in the natural grass-fed and grass-finished Angus beef we produce. We take extra effort to ensure our beef is tender, flavorful, nutritious and safe. All of our grass-finished animals are raised to full maturity.
By allowing our animals to finish to their full growth potential, the marbling that is usually abundant in only certain cuts of beef is visible in all of our cuts. A typical grain fed (feedlot) animal will be finished and ready for harvest at approximately 16-18 months of age. Our Grass-fed animals will not be fully finished until approximately 22-28 months of age. The marbling is what makes the meat tender and flavorful. Our customers tell us that they have never tasted grass-fed beef so flavorful, lean, tender and juicy! At harvest time all the carcasses are individually tested for E-coli bacteria by our processor and then dry aged in the coolers for 14-21 days prior to being cut and wrapped.
We never ever use antibiotics, hormones, artificial supplements of any kind on the animals in our Natural Grassfed Beef program. Any of our animals that become sick and are in need of antibiotics are treated and marked with a special ear tag and removed from our Grass Finishing Program. All of our cattle are rotationally grazed on our 7,500-acre hill ranch from November to May/June eating nothing but native grasses and clovers. In May and June, we take most of the cattle off the ranch to our local irrigated pasture ranches so they can continue to graze on nutritious green grass and clovers during the summer, thus giving our hill ranch a rest period during the hot dry summer months.
When the cattle come back to the hill ranches in the fall we supplement them with grass/clover hay that we grow and harvest on our irrigated pastures. We do this for two reasons; the nutrients found in grass during the fall season are lower, and most of our cows are calving during the fall, which requires them to have adequate amounts of good, quality nutrition so they can provide nutrient rich milk for their calves.
All of our cattle are handled in a low-stress, humane manner. Our working and shipping facilities are based on a Temple Grandin designed system, which allows the cattle to be worked and shipped with a minimum amount of stress on the animals and the cowboys. The slower and easier we work the cattle the faster and smoother the job is done.
When we wean our calves from their Mothers, we utilize an across-the-fence method of weaning which is much easier on the calves than traditional methods. The cows and calves are placed in separate pastures right next to each when the calves are weaned, instead of the traditional method of separating the cows and calves to different locations. During the 3-4 days weaning period the cows and calves can touch noses through the fence, see and communicate with each other, which is much less stressful to the calves. The calves are 500-600 pounds at this time, they are already eating lots of grass so it is an easy transition from Mother’s milk to just grass.
Our delicious, tender beef is a by-product of our true passion to raise healthy well cared for cattle. Our commitment to our cattle is paramount but our commitment to our land conservation is our way of life. We are proud to be recognized as a model ranch for our dedication to environmental stewardship. In 2007 we won the National Environmental Stewardship Award.
Carson, Karen, Scott, & Austin Stone - 2012