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That “idea” is now imbedded in a cooperative with over 100 family ranch’s plus a number of prospective member ranches who together own more than 100,000 mother cows and operate on well over 4 million acres of rangeland. The cooperative which started marketing in 1986 with 35 head per week will in fiscal year 2007 market over 50,000 head of cattle as boxed beef primals, hamburger and hot dogs.
A working partnership with Beef Northwest Feeders in Boardman, OR and ABFoods (formerly Washington Beef) at Toppenish WA allows individual ranchers to maintain ownership and control of our cattle as boxed beef primals until they reach our retail partner’s meat coolers.
Marketing is focused on making a direct connection between the land and the meal ie the rancher and the eater. CNB retail outlets consist of long term working partnerships with selected natural food based retailers in San Francisco, the Seattle area, Oregon, Idaho and a handful of stores in Alaska. In 2004 Whole Foods Market asked Country Natural Beef to expand and supply their meat departments in the Colorado and Texas regions. A fledgling sister organization with working partnerships is presently in place centered at Hereford, Texas with a gathering feedlot, packing house and ranchers from Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and Louisiana as a nucleus. This sister unit is critical to maintain the direct connection between the ranchers and eaters in those regions.