Hearst Ranch Beef is our signature product – 100% grass-fed and completely hormone and antibiotic free – produced since 1865 on the Hearst Ranches. Our Hearst Ranch Beef cattle are always free-ranging and all-natural, raised on native rangeland and pastures. 

Seasonal Grass-Fed Beef

All Hearst Ranch Beef cattle spend their entire lives on the company’s two ranches – the 83,000-acre Hearst Ranch in San Simeon, California (surrounding Hearst Castle) and the 73,000-acre Jack Ranch, located 60 miles inland in Cholame, California. Hearst Ranch Beef cattle are never procured from other ranches – each and every one is born and spends its life entirely in our care, raised to a finished weight of approximately 1,200 lbs. entirely on grass.

These ranches are spacious and mostly-wild places. We give cows room to be cows – and let them lead largely natural lives. We carefully manage grazing – moving cattle throughout the ranches on a seasonal basis to ensure they have ample nutrition while not depleting native vegetation. Like many other beef cattle producers, we have demonstrated that well-managed grazing enhances the biotic condition of our native grasslands, oak woodlands, and coastal prairies.

The grass at our ranches is seasonal, reaching its apex of nutritive quality in the late spring and summer. Accordingly, the vast majority of our Hearst Ranch Beef cattle are finished within the late spring and summer months. We have partnered with Whole Foods Market to offer fresh locally-produced Hearst Ranch Beef seasonally in up to forty-one Southern California Whole Foods Market locations, and the San Luis Obispo Whole Foods Market location on a year-round basis.

Nutritional Benefits of Grass-Fed Beef 

With a sizable and diverse assemblage of native grassland and over 150 years experience in beef cattle production, the Hearst Ranches are uniquely suited to producing high-quality grass-fed beef. In addition to these animals leading largely natural lives, grass-fed beef has nutritional benefits including the following:

  • Grass-fed beef contains 10 times more beta-carotene than beef not raised entirely on grass.
  • Grass-fed beef contains three times more vitamin E than beef not raised entirely on grass.
  • Grass-fed beef contains three times more omega 3 fatty acids than beef not raised entirely on grass.
  • Grass-fed beef contains three times more CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, a healthy fat shown to  lower LDL cholesterol (the so-called “bad” cholesterol) and reducing risks of diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

Go Slow, Get There Faster…

There’s an old cowboy saying we abide by at the Hearst Ranches: “go slow, get there faster.”

Gathering and moving cattle between pastures is an essential, even daily, responsibility for our cowboys. Pushing to get this job done quickly often results in stressed and uncooperative cattle. Allowing cattle to find their natural way at a more relaxed, natural pace takes more time but results in greater success, which also reduces the effort made by not only the cattle but also the cowboy, his horse, and dogs.


Global Animal Partnership (GAP) – Step 4 – Pasture Centered 100% Grass-fed

Our commitments to animal care and welfare allow Hearst Ranches to be certified as a top-rated producer by the Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating program. Regular training, compliance checks and audits are conducted to continuously improve animal welfare on the ranches.

We are a GAP Step-4 producer, meaning our cattle exist entirely on pasture and are removed from pasture or range only when weather conditions put them at risk. For more information about the Global Animal Partnership, visit their website.