Behind Gila River Cattle
Who We Are
Our family grew up on a small farm with my dad working in town and us kids making memories hand-milking cows, learning about hard work, and basking in the freedom farm-life provided. After modern careers in various fields, we decided it was time to pass on the experiences we had to our kids. In 2014, we jointly purchased a farm not far from where our ancestors farmed in Duncan, Arizona.
This beautiful farm is nestled along the Gila River near historical Duncan. Formerly used to raise forage for a local dairy, the farm was ideally set up to convert to a grass-fed cattle operation.
Living up to Our Legacy
Our family has been involved in the cattle business in southern Arizona dating back to the 1800's. Our ancestors were some of the first American settlers in the Gila Valley, coming as Mormon pioneers to farm the land in the 1800's. Our grandparents on both sides were ranchers and dairymen in this part of the state in the mid-1900's. We are happy to be getting back to our roots.
How the Farm Started
We originally purchased a few cattle with the idea of raising our own meat. Around that time, my sons and I went into a grocery store and bought some New York Strips. We cooked the meat at home and when we tasted the it, the rubbery, dead, flavorless experience stuck with us. It was a defining moment. We knew we could do better.
Family and close friends took an interest in our hobby and were instrumental in providing feedback on the quality of meat that we were producing. We introduced high quality cattle from reputable growers in the area, selecting for animals that produce the most tender, flavorful meat. Our herd has expanded as interest in our meat continues to grow. We now provide custom, locally-raised beef to loyal clients across the state that share our interest in healthy, quality meat.
If you really care about what you eat, then you need to care about how it's grown. And the only way to know how it's grown is to know your grower. We welcome conversations and visits. It's been a lot of fun for us to get know our customers, many of which have visited the farm.
There are plenty of documentaries out there outlining the wide-spread problems of the meat industry. If you find this concerning
–as we did- then it's worth spending a little extra effort to understand exactly what you are eating.
We know everything that has ever happened to our animals. We know the mothers, the calves, we know what they've eaten – what has (and more importantly hasn't) – gone into them. We raise these animals as naturally as possible, without hormones, or chemicals. Cows fatten very nicely on grass and it turns out that when cows have plenty of space to roam and graze, they stay healthy. We take the health of the herd very seriously, after all -this is the meat we feed our own children.