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Sustainable Agriculture – What Is It and How Does It Work?

Sustainable agriculture is a biologically supported production system based on natural principles that demonstrate a very high degree of system resilience. Sustainable agriculture seeks to establish and maintain agriculture production and distribution systems that are economically viable, ecologically sound and socially just. For beef production to be environmentally and financially sustainable, they must of necessity be based on the most renewable resource available to the stock grower: grasses, legumes, and other edible plants and the ecological system that supports them.
Texas Heritage Beef Company relies on this natural system where feed costs are reduced, animal health is maximized and a wholesome, grass-fed product is provided to the public. Consumers are becoming more demanding that agricultural products are carefully produced, with concern for soil and water, crops and animals, and the people who work in production and processing.
The demand for natural meat outstrips supply in most US markets. Meat comprises 21% of the overall US retail food market. Pasture-finished, natural and organic meat share of the market is 5%. Continued demand for these meat products is expected, including direct local sales and retail cuts to families via mail order.

Our Approach – True Sustainability

Texas Heritage Beef Company utilizes a holistic approach to sustainable agriculture/ranching through concise management that encompasses all of the environmental facets of ranching with the future of the earth and humanity as the big picture. Since THBC has been in the farming and ranching business for over 100 years, and on this particular land for over 80 years, we know our land, which is the key to truly being successful at sustainability. We have an intimate relationship with our land; it is more than a business to us. It is a viable living organism that is unique unto itself. This true sustainability is only understood by careful observation, continued education and a holistic approach.

Texas Heritage Beef Company reflects the trend in progressive ranching that believes that pasture based cattle production is more ecologically sustainable than the profit based, industrialized, confinement oriented beef process today.

The positive aspects of pasture based beef production have an inherent ability to support, stabilize and maintain ecological systems for increased, sustained, efficient food productivity. Some of the ecological benefits of pasture based cattle production are as follows:

  1. Development and maintenance of soil organic matter and effective nutrient cycling

  2. Maintenance of efficient water cycle with perennial grass and forage ground cover and subsequent soil structure stability and increased organic matter

  3. Reduced animal confinement, which reduces nutrient problems and allows manure to become natural fertilizer instead of pollutant

  4. Reduced animal cropping, which lessens the amount of fossil fuel energy required to produce and transport feed for confined cattle. There is an unnecessary amount of energy used to produce a unit of beef protein whereas it is much more energy efficient for the animal to harvest food itself.

  5. Reliance on compost and manures for nitrogen fertility, which results in reduced synthetic fertilizer applications and use of fossil fuel energy for manufacture and application.  

  6. Grass-fed, grain-supplemented animals are also raised on pasture, but are given FREE access to grain and do not encounter the health problems that animals fed a pure grain diet can face.

Finally, this sustainability reaches to communities, connecting them with the earth, forming a social sustainability that closes the circle.

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