Great Plains Beef

Raising & Husbandry

The Red Deer Ranch sits in rural Cherry County, Neb., not far from Valentine, the county seat. A sprawling expanse of some 23,000 acres, the ranch is typical of the family ranch environment in which Certified Piedmontese® beef is raised: Miles of open rangeland, with natural prairie grasses and animals both nourished by nature’s purest, freshest water, the gift of the almost limitless Ogallala aquifer over which the ranch—and much of the Great Plains themselves—sit.

On this land, and on other land much like it elsewhere in the Great Plains, are raised Piedmontese cattle for Certified Piedmontese beef. But they’re not raised in the fashion typical of many beef-producing cattle ranches, nor is the land itself necessarily treated in the same way as it might be in other circumstances.

Old-Fashioned Family Ranching At Its Best

Certified Piedmontese cattle are raised on select family ranches in the United States where they thrive in natural environments. They roam about freely on land managed in a sustainable manner. Raising cattle for market in an efficient fashion is important, but it’s not the only goal here: The other goal, perhaps just as important, is to raise the cattle in a way that ensures that future generations of people and animals will also be able enjoy these great rangelands. The land is important, so Certified Piedmontese treats it kindly: As stewards of the land, the company feels responsible for ensuring that it’s used in a sensible, sustainable manner.

RanchNot surprisingly, Certified Piedmontese treats the animals themselves with the same consideration. “We use humane and low-stress handling techniques at all levels of production,” says Shane Peed, manager of Lone Creek Cattle Company, which raises and acquires Piedmontese cattle for Certified Piedmontese. “We feel that family ranches are a perfect fit for this breed. Piedmontese cattle have not been bred to fit the mold of factory farms and feedlots, and would not do well in those conditions. Family ranchers are the only way we can guarantee an all-natural product that has been raised in a humane and low-stress environment.”

In other words, Certified Piedmontese feels that raising cattle the natural way is best for all concerned: best for the cattle, best for the land itself, and certainly best for the consumer.

Healthy Cattle, Humanely Treated

What does that mean? From birth to harvest, the cattle never receive antibiotics of any kind, unless they’re actually ill—in which case they are treated, but then do not become Certified Piedmontese. They never receive steroids or supplemental growth hormones. They’re raised on vegetarian feed only, with absolutely no animal byproducts used. Certified Piedmontese ranchers must adhere to strict quality standards, showing that the cattle are humanely raised and handled safely at all times and that the animals’ feed and water meets quality standards. And it’s not enough to agree to adhere to these standards: Certified Piedmontese ranching partners are audited, receiving regular visits from company personnel to examine records and to verify that the protocol requirements are being strictly followed.

Part of that protocol has to do with traceability. Unlike on many industrialized factory farms, Certified Piedmontese beef producers can trace a cut of meat back to a specific ranch and a particular animal.

Billy Swain is a brand manager for Certified Piedmontese. He’s on the road a lot and works directly with customers, so he hears about their concerns. “Customers today are more educated than in years past,” he notes. “They want to know where their food comes from and how their proteins were raised. Certified Piedmontese beef really sets itself apart from the industry by providing a product consumers can trust, with true source verification and birth-to-harvest traceability.”

Because of the way these cattle are raised, there’s never any question about where the beef originated. The source of origin is always on record, and Certified Piedmontese beef can be traced all the way through the process, “from farm to fork.”

Raising Nutritious Food, Naturally

Today’s consumers are looking for meat products that adhere to a strict protocol regarding the use of hormones, antibiotics, and source of origin. At the same time, they’re seeking lean, healthful food. Certified Piedmontese beef satisfies both demands while providing growth opportunities for family ranchers who wish to raise a natural product in a humane, low-stress environment. Certified Piedmontese and the family ranchers who raise it work together, exemplifying the values and heritage of the traditional working family ranch.

The result is an impressive list of benefits for health-conscious customers, including the simple but all-important fact that Certified Piedmontese beef is both nutritious and delicious. It’s not just better for you: Certified Piedmontese beef is the lean, gourmet beef that also tastes great.