October 15, 2018
The differences between grass-fed and grain-fed continue to influence ranchers across the country and the world. Yellowstone Grassfed Beef uses conversation as a tool to examine long-held ideas.
In this Under the Big Sky bonus video, Zackary Jones of Yellowstone Grassfed Beef talks to us about the differences between grass-fed and grain-fed beef and how that difference influences their approach to management.
Zack Jones is a fifth-generation rancher. His family has been stewards of Two Dot Land & Livestock south of Harlowton, MT since 1908. His father William (Bill) Jones saw shifts in the financial stability of the ranch during the economic upheavals of the eighties. In an effort to ensure the ranches future, Bill took it upon himself to find a more sustainable method of caring for the cattle and the land.
Through holistic management of the land and cattle, the Jones family saw their profitability rise and even more the land that they cared for began to transform. Through planned grazing and holistic management, Two Dot Land & Livestock encourages biodiverse and resilient rangeland ecosystems. Giving native plant and wildlife species opportunity to thrive while building healthy soil. This We wildlife-friendly practice limits interference allowing antelope, bears, wolves, and countless other species that also call Montana home the opportunity to co-exist.
Zack saw the opportunity to use their newfound methods to bring grass-fed and grass-finished beef to market, challenging current commodity-focused traditions. A daunting challenge that many ranchers saw as an affront to time honored tradition.
Founders Bryan Ulring and Zachary Jones met as competitors. In the early 2000s Bryan, of the J Bar L Ranch, and Zachary, of Two Dot Land and Livestock, were both trying to create markets for their ethically-raised, 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef. Each recognized shared values and similar approaches to management and joined forces to form Yellowstone Grassfed Beef.
As stewards of the land and of our rural communities, Yellowstone Grassfed Beef is dedicated to practicing innovative and ecologically sustainable ranching methods that allow us to preserve Montana’s open lands and its rich ranching tradition.
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Reporting by Shawn Newton