Among our many goals at Timber Ridge Cattle Co, sustainability ranks high on the list. Our number one priority is providing tasty and healthy snacks for our customers, but we also want the process to be as eco- and socially-friendly as possible.
For this reason, we make efforts to feed our livestock with healthy and sustainable practices. As you know, a portion of our cattle and hog feed comes from flax-seed that we ethically source. The flax is our “secret ingredient” that helps make the meat omega-3 rich and super tasty.
But livestock can’t survive on flax-seed alone so we supplement with other practices. Our cattle are free-range whenever conditions allow and get a healthy amount of their diet from grass, for example. We also have partnered with local businesses to acquire human food byproducts that are suitable for livestock consumption.
One such local business partner of ours is Madhouse Brewing Company in Des Moines.
Through the beer brewing process, Madhouse is left with barley mash that it needs to discard. Rather than it ending up in a landfill, we have partnered with the brewery to utilize the mash for our livestock feed. As we move into colder months, grass will become less available. The barley byproduct will help keep our livestock healthy and growing throughout the winter.
Utilizing food byproducts is important to us because we understand the necessities of sustainability both for the planet and the human race. By taking advantage of food that has no nutritional value to humans but is nutritionally sound for livestock we can help reduce the amount of human food that is used to feed animals.
Consider this: some studies claim that it takes up to 12 pounds of grain–– to produce one pound of beef. That’s a lot of agricultural land and farming resources that could be devoted to growing food for people. The majority of livestock operations today feed grains in their diets. The miraculous bovine digestive system, the rumen in particular, has the capability to digest and convert fiberous materials that are inedible to humans into protein. When we feed fibrous products– like grass or the barley mash from Madhouse Brewing Company –we are neutralizing the negative effects of poor cattle feed conversions. Everybody wins.
With a growing world population – and an agricultural system that is struggling to feed it – maximizing food resources is a critical issue. That’s why we take all efforts possible to make sustainable, economical, and eco-friendly choices in how we produce our food.