One of the things we’re most proud of about our work at Prather Ranch is that we’ve helped connect so many people to farms run by incredible people. Hard working ranchers like Jim and Mary Rickert up at the Prather Ranch, Mark and Ila Tiensvold from Tiensvold Farms or Reed and Robyn Anderson from Anderson Ranch are producing food the right way. We feel very fortunate to bring these products to your home.
Every single time you shop with us, you are voting with your dollars for the kind of food system you believe in. Take a look at the Non-GMO movement. We have seen very little support from the government and nothing but resistance from the conventional food producers. If you are someone who believes in supporting farmers who believe in Non-GMO foods, the best thing you can do is seek out companies that practice what they preach.
For example, our heritage pork is verified Non-GMO by the Non-GMO Project. Non-GMO Project Verified is the fastest growing label in the natural products industry, representing $16 billion in annual sales and nearly 35,000 verified products. With consumers today, the Non-GMO Project seal is the most trusted sign that a product comes from best practices for GMO avoidance.
Another great reason to support local agriculture is it helps brings back heritage breeds. Not long ago, the only pork you could find on the shelf was “the other white meat.” These pigs had all of the fat and flavor bred out of them. By supporting ranchers who work with heritage pork, you’ve proven it is economically viable and helped real flavor make a comeback.
The knowledge of how to raise and care for these breeds has almost completely slipped away. The actual genetic stock has also become dangerously close to disappearing. It’s very important to us to make sure this way of farming and biodiversity continues. If you have shopped with us for a while you know each Thanksgiving we offer heritage turkeys from Frank Reese of Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch. He has done more to bring back traditional turkey breeds, like the Standard Bronze and Bourbon Red, than any farmer alive. We sell his birds each holiday for two reasons: they are the best tasting and we love his mission.
Good ranching also helps repair the land. Prather Ranch practices rotational grazing as well as salmon run restoration. Even though we don’t sell seafood, we know that restoring waterways is vitally important to the future. By taking this on, we are building a more robust ecosystem and protecting wildlife. It’s not the cheapest thing to do, but it’s the right thing to do.
We also like supporting local organic farms like Full Belly Farm. They’re located in the Capay Valley and have been certified organic since 1985. They are a true success story and really represent the heart of their community. They have not only grown some of the most beautiful produce in Northern California, they have shown others that how they farm is both vital and viable. It would be almost impossible to quantify the influence they’ve had on the new generation of farmers coming up.
Each time you eat, you can nudge the food system in a positive direction. We appreciate your support and encourage you to ask questions. Our aim is to be completely transparent about the work we do. Prathertarians are some of the most knowledgeable and powerful food activists around. We are thankful for your passion and hope to see you at the markets.