Back in 2011, a close friend bought 5 steers from us to process on his own for his family and friends. We asked why would you go through all that instead of just buying store beef. His response was the spark that started a movement. He said, “I know you and I know these cattle. I know there are no chemicals, antibiotics or craziness in them. The beef in the store is terrible. The beef from your ranch is the best I’ve ever had.”
In 2014, Richards Ranch (founded in 1941 just outside Sacramento) started a new venture called Richards Ranch Meats to effectively create our own customer outlet for our cattle and to provide a healthier beef product in the market. We started by getting American Grassfed Certified and selling to friends and neighbors. This really started to grow after we got our Land-to-Market (Regenerative) certification from the Savory Institute.
WHAT IS REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE?
Regenerative agriculture transforms ranching by prioritizing holistic, sustainable practices. It centers on restoring ecosystem health through strategies like rotational grazing and cover cropping. Ranchers minimize soil disruption, recognizing the interconnectedness of soil, biodiversity, and livestock. This approach fosters a healthier ecosystem, prevents overgrazing, and reduces reliance on external feed. Livestock integration contributes to soil fertility, and healthy soils act as carbon sinks, mitigating climate change. Regenerative agriculture in ranching ensures not only the vitality of operations but also actively contributes to building a resilient and sustainable agricultural system for the future.
This way of ranching was highlighted in 2020 in the film "Kiss the Ground" and was further explored in the movie "Common Ground", in theaters in 2023. The same folks who produced these films did a documentary on our ranch - A New (RE) Generation where they explored the transition our ranch made from conventional production to regenerative.
Our cattle only eat grass and forage and graze in beautiful green pastures on our ranches. No gimmicks, feed substitutes or supplements. Today our customers include 24 CA school districts (in partnership with CA "Farm to School" Program), grocery stores, UC college campuses and many households across the country. We have joined forces with other partners to bring our regenerative products to many institutions via the Beef2Institution Program. Now we are launching our online direct sales to bring our delicious and healthy beef products to customers all over the US.
A NEW (RE) GENERATION
*Link to our documentary with Kiss the Ground
Richards Regenerative is certified by two organizations:
American Grassfed Association (AGA)
Savory Institute's Ecological Outcome Verified Certificate (EOV)
AGA focuses on the animal and feed input practices. This helps us focus on the most nutritious and beneficial feeds for our animals, which is essentially 100% grass and forage. After many years with the American Grassfed Association, our company has taken on another certification that, like the AGA, aligns with what we believe as a company: The Savory Institutes “Land to Market” Program. Leveraging the regenerative principles outlined above, the program is called Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV), an empirical and scalable soil and landscape assessment methodology that tracks positive outcomes in biodiversity, soil health, and ecosystem function, such as water infiltration and carbon absorption. EOV enables consumers to identify food items derived from livestock managed through practices verified to enhance water, soil and climate. Our ranches are thrilled to be a part of this program and have already started to see the impact on the landscape.
We are proud to be showing the AGA & EOV labels on our products, assuring our customers that were 100% grass fed, grass finished, ranching regeneratively and striving to improve soil health for years to come!
Our mission is to provide the highest quality beef to our customers and do so in the most transparent and sustainable way possible. Our animals are never fed grain, corn products, given antibiotics or growth hormones. Richards Regenerative ranches are dedicated to providing the highest quality care for our animals to reduce stress and ensure proper care and feeding:
Cattle are grass-fed and grass-finished (no grains/corn or soy)
Cattle are born and raised on our family ranches
Cattle graze on thousands of acres of lush, green, natural grasses
Cattle are part of a holistic grazing system
Pastures are never artificially fertilized
Cattle are never fed hormones, antibiotics or mRNA vaccines
Cattle are not taken to feedlots to be “finished,”
– they fatten in time, naturally on grass pastures
TRANSPARENCY & TRACKING
In our first year, we had our processor get shut down by the USDA. Luckily, we were unaffected by the USDA action, but it highlighted the need for tracking and tracing all our own data. After this, our President Tom Richards, leveraging his experience from his software career, created a solution for our tracking, source verification and inventory.
In 2015 we started creating our own custom software system as no other technology had all the things that we needed in one application. We built Animal tracking, including healthcare, feed, herd management and other animal compliance tracking. Then we created slaughter and harvest management, including lot control, cost tracking and inventory management. Last, we implemented sales and order tracking, including cost management, products, pricing, and BOL tracking. This together gave us a complete view of our entire supply chain. Today we call this technology “HarevestPath” and you may even hear us reference it when we engage in customer conversations. Feel free to contact us if you want information about this technology at email@example.com
HEALTH BENEFITS & NUTRITION
Grass fed beef is high in beta-carotene, Vitamin E & B, essential Omega 3 fatty acids, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), Trans Vaccenic Acid (TVA) and 12 other essential minerals. Because grass fed animals are naturally leaner, the beef is also lower in cholesterol and calories than commercially raised corn fed beef. Finishing grass fed animals usually takes longer and thus our animals are more mature when harvested. This means they are fully developed in their muscle structure for a deeper, richer flavor and finish. Eating grass fed beef is the right decision for your health & the health of your family!
RICHARDS REGENERATIVE MANAGEMENT
Providing high quality beef requires enormous effort and coordination. We work hard together to produce the healthiest and most delicious product possible. Below is a list of the team members that make it all happen.
Tom Richards V – President
Noelle Richards – Digital Marketing Manager & Design
Carrie Richards – VP Compliance & Marketing