Seasonal Grass-fed Beef:
The grass at our ranches is seasonal, reaching the apex of quality in the late spring and summer months. The vast grasslands of the Hearst ranches host an unusually complex mosaic of vegetation. By rotating the animals through various pastures through the seasons, we sustain that complexity, a practice that:
- Supports biodiversity
- Improves soil fertility
- Eliminates waste-management associated with confinement feeding operations
Most of our beef is sold fresh during the grass season. In general, grass-fed animals seek out the richest and most suitable feed for their growth stage, instinctively customizing their diets to their body’s needs.
By following a natural breeding cycle the animals mature in the spring when forage is bursting with new growth, seeds and nutrients. The nutrients found in those seasonal grasses end up in the meat and result in a healthy and delicious product.
A small percentage of our beef is produced year-round by cattle grazing our permanent pastures. However, it is produced, grass-fed beef has some significant health benefits:
- 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 are present in three times the concentration of thatthe amount in grass-fed beef, and have been shown to:
- Grass-fed beef contains three times more CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, which is another of the healthy fats and has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol (the so-called “bad” cholesterol), lowering the risk of diabetes, lower the risk of heart disease, and lower the risk of many cancers.
Grass-fed Cattle – Raised the way nature intended
Hearst cattle are always grass-fed, free-range and all-natural, meaning that they have:
- Free access to natural forages, fresh air and clean water
- Lower stress levels and are humanely treated
- Never been fed sub-therapeutic antibiotics
- Never been given growth hormones
- Freedom to roam
Go slow, get there faster…
There is an old cowboy saying that we abide by at the Hearst Ranches; “go slow, get there faster.”
This means that if you don’t push cows too hard, but rather allow them to find their natural way at their natural pace you’ll be more successful. Forcing them to go your way and at your pace will sometimes cause fatigue for the cattle and always make more work for the cowboy, his horses, and his dogs.
“We treat our animals humanely because that is the only way to treat animals”
– Steve Hearst
In 2005, an historic agreement between the Hearst Corporation and the State of California preserved the Hearst Ranch Forever in a conservation easement that provides coastal access, ensures the continuing legacy of grass-fed cattle ranching and careful stewardship of the land, and illustrates a deep commitment to “going slow.”