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5 Important Tips To Help You Rule The Grill With Grass Fed Beef

What are your plans this 4th of July weekend? We hope they include BBQ’ing with friends and family! If they do, SunFed Ranch wants to help you WOW your friends and family with healthy, sustainably raised, 100% grass fed and grass finished beef. If you’re king (or queen) of the grill this weekend here are 5 important tips to help you rule the Q and wear that crown with pride!

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  1. Cook Grass Fed steaks and roasts at lower temperatures. No higher than 300 degrees in the oven or enclosed grill/smoker – 250-275 degrees is best. On the grill, it’s ok to sear for 30-60 seconds per side but then make sure to move the meat away from direct flames and finish until cooked rare to medium rare.

 

  1. Use a meat thermometer to ensure ideal internal temperature, especially for larger cuts of steaks/roasts.

 

  1. Grass fed beef is intended for rare to medium-rare cooking. Use a meat thermometer as a gauge of doneness rather than cooking time. A leave-in digital meat thermometer is best, that way, precious juices don’t escape when checking for doneness.

 

  1. Always use a spatula or tongs to turn beef. Forget the fork: it will pierce the meat, allowing flavorful juices to escape.

 

  1. Remember that Grass Fed Beef cooks faster than conventional beef, so don’t leave the meat unattended when cooking.

Happy grilling! We hope you have a safe and FUN holiday day weekend. Click here to find delicious SunFed Ranch grilling recipes!

5 Important Tips To Help You Rule The Grill With Grass Fed Beef 2016-11-17T19:06:50+00:00

SunFed Ranch Celebrates 5 Years!

 

This Month SunFed Ranch celebrated a major milestone –  we celebrated five years of humanely raising and selling sustainable high quality grass fed beef. It has been five years of learning, five years of innovating and five years of utilizing the roots and traditions 5th generation founding ranchers Matt Byrne and Chris Donati’s ancestors have spent perfecting over the last 150 years.

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It hasn’t always been easy. Mother nature has given us drought years, the cattle market has been on a roller coaster and this business is so unique we had no blue prints to work from. Listed below are five things founding ranchers Matt and Chris are proud of, and thankful for, since founding SunFed Ranch in 2011.

  1. Family History: Both founding ranchers have over 150 years of combined family histories of raising cattle. Creating SunFed Ranch has allowed Matt and Chris to carry out the family legacies and traditions of raising cattle on their family ranches. It was their family members before them that taught Matt and Chris this way of life, and it is a privilege to have built a company that will allow this duo to carry it on for the next 5 generations after them.
Founding rancher Matt Byrne and his dad Mike in front of an exhibit in their local museum about their family and the deep roots and history they have in Tulelake, Ca.

Founding rancher Matt Byrne and his dad Mike in front of an exhibit in their local museum about their family and the deep roots and history they have in Tulelake, CA.

SunFed founding rancher Chris Donati and his father after all of the bulls sold

SunFed founding rancher Chris Donati and his father after all of the bulls sold at their annual bull sale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The SunFed Ranch Team: Both Matt and Chris beam with pride when talking about the team they have assembled to help grow SunFed Ranch. From the ranch hands, to the sales team, to logistics team members and accountants, it takes a village of passionate people who love what they are doing to keep SunFed Ranch grass fed beef on people’s plates.

The SunFed Ranch team at our annual retreat.

The SunFed Ranch team at our annual retreat.

3. Our Values: We are thankful for the values we started out with and have always continued to stand by. People can trust when they purchase SunFed Ranch grass fed beef that it was raised the way beef should be raised: with respect for the animal, for the land and for the people who consume our beef. It is a healthy, delicious, ethically-raised, high quality product that people can trust.

 

4. Providing Wholesome Food: Being able to provide good, wholesome food that was raised the way it was meant to be. It has been a privilege to be part of a community and movement that has taken place in the last several years where people truly care about where their meat and produce is coming from and how it was raised or produced.  We would not be able to do what we do without the people who support us everyday by purchasing SunFed Ranch grass fed beef.

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5. Industry Innovation: Being innovators in our industry while still retaining traditional roots. Keeping cattle fed on green grass 365 days a year is a challenge, particularly in drought years. We can’t control how much rain we get, or the different weather patterns. Challenges have been thrown our way but through perfecting our rotational grazing practices and irrigated pasture improvements focused on water conservation and efficient utilization of our resources, we have been able to overcome them. These challenges forced us to think outside of the box and come up with ways to continue raising quality grass fed beef with the animals, the land and the resources as our top priority. These methods also ensure that all of our cattle are finished correctly to produce high quality 100% grass fed and grass finished beef. The combination of lessons learned from our predecessors and the new solutions we are developing for the future is something we are very proud of at SunFed Ranch.

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Lastly we want to say thanks to you! Thank you and a big tip of the hat to the consumers of our beef and the ones that care enough about what we are doing to read this blog and educate themselves on us, our products and why our beef is a cut above the rest. It’s all of you that makes this dream possible! Here’s to many more years of sustainability, success, innovation and the highest quality natural and organic grass fed beef in the marketplace!

Click here to find out where you can purchase SunFed Ranch grass fed and grass finished beef!

SunFed Ranch Celebrates 5 Years! 2016-11-17T19:06:50+00:00

All You Need is Love… And Grass Fed Beef

Valentine’s Day weekend is upon us… and SunFed Ranch is here to help you show that special someone how much you care about them.

Sure… chocolate and teddy bears are great. But what says I love you more than Omega-3 rich, Vitamin A and E packed, nutrient rich grass fed beef?

Nothing says, “I love you” like feeding your significant other something delicious that ALSO helps improve cardiovascular health and helps fight off cancer and other diseases.

So when you’re at the store tonight, rather than picking up that box of chocolates that will just lead to a sugar high and regret, pick up a some SunFed Ranch grass fed beef. Below are a few of our favorite recipes below to WOW your loved one over a candle lit dinner this weekend.

 

Spicy Grilled Ribeye Cap with Avocado-Mango SaladSpicy-Grilled-Ribeye-Cap-with-Avocado-Mango-Salad-282x300

Grilled Southwest Steaks with Spicy Corn Salsa

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Lemon-Garlic Beef Tri-Tip and Roasted Potatoes


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Click here to see all of our recipes and use our Find SunFed feature to plug in your zip code to find the store or restaurant nearest to you that serves SunFed Ranch grass fed beef.

Whether it be with friends or a loved one, we hope you have a great Valentine’s Day!

All You Need is Love… And Grass Fed Beef 2016-11-17T19:06:50+00:00

Appetizers: The Real MVP of Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl 2016 is here and whether you’re rooting for the Panthers, the Broncos or still licking the wounds of your favorite team’s dismal season, there’s one thing everyone can get on board with this Super Bowl Sunday: The Tasty Appetizers.

We get it… the holidays just ended and thanks to your New Year’s diet your pants just started buttoning again. We put together three of our favorite recipes made with SunFed Ranch grass fed beef that are sure to win over the crowd while you still tackle your New Year’s resolutions without the guilt.

 

Super Bowl Recipes

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Recipes adapted from the Beef Checkoff

Appetizers: The Real MVP of Super Bowl Sunday 2016-11-17T19:06:50+00:00

3 Reasons to Eat More Grass Fed Beef in 2016

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The holidays have officially ended and the new year is upon us. Lists of positive changes for 2016 have been written, machines at the gym will be full and grocery shoppers will be filling their carts with lean meats and healthy produce. Whether or not you are jumping on the ‘New Year, New Me’ band wagon or not, there’s no denying it’s always time for positive changes that benefit health and longevity.

 

If you’re reading this blog you might already be a fan of SunFed Ranch Grass Fed Beef. Just in case you need a reminder or you want to tell your friends why they should jump on the bandwagon, here are 3 reasons you should eat more grass fed beef in 2016:

 

  1. Beef from grass fed animals has lower levels of unhealthy fats and higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are better for cardiovascular health.
  2. Grass fed beef has lower levels of dietary cholesterol and offer more vitamins A and E as well as antioxidants. These can help protect against multible diseases such as cancer and diabetes while helping to boost your immune system.
  3. Animals raised entirely on grass have about twice the levels of conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA isomer, which may have cancer fighting properties and lower the risk of diabetes and other health problems.

 

At SunFed Ranch we have a lot of reasons to love grass fed beef. It allows us to do what we love to do: raise cattle the right way and provide people with a healthier alternative to conventional meats that they can feel good about.

 

We wouldn’t be able to do what we love without the support from people like you who have taken the initiative to care about the food they eat and where it comes from. Thanks for an amazing 2015! We look forward to continuing to improve and innovate in 2016 and hope that we can help you on your journey to a happy and healthy 2016!

 

3 Reasons to Eat More Grass Fed Beef in 2016 2016-11-17T19:06:50+00:00

SunFed Ranch and Habitat Restoration

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Did you know agricultural land provides habitat for 75% of the nation’s wildlife? That means SunFed Ranch is home to a lot more than just cows, horses and our family members. This also means that maintaining the land and habitat for all of the wild life on our land is top priority.

If you spent a few minutes talking with founding rancher Matt Byrne’s father Mike about their historical family ranch that he has spent his whole life raising on cattle on and managing, chances are he would talk to you with a lot of passion in  about Juniper tree removal. That’s because the over-population of the trees on their land along with other nearby ranches soak up excess amounts of  water and nutrients from the land. The trees kill off forage that feeds our cattle and other plants that feed and provide a home for wildlife.

This is why the Byrne family has taken an active role in the Sage Grouse Initiative. The Sage Grouse Initiative is a partnership consisting of 1,129 ranchers and 40 different organizations in 11 western states. The Sage Grouse Initiative states that ‘The results of these partnerships have led to healthier landscapes that provide good forage for livestock and wildlife, and enhanced habitat that will help dwindling sage grouse populations survive in the sagebrush sea long into the future.’

Read about the whole process and why the Byrne family is actively implementing Juniper tree removal and the initiative on their historic family ranch by clicking here.

 

 

 

SunFed Ranch and Habitat Restoration 2016-11-17T19:06:50+00:00

Beefing up your Thanksgiving Spread

Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving? A day dedicated to eating, spending time with loved ones and most importantly giving thanks. SunFed Ranch has a lot to be thankful for, and we wanted to jump on the thankful band wagon and mention a few:

  1. All of you, who appreciate what we are doing and allow us to pave the way for humanely raised, sustainable grass fed beef.
  2. All of our employees and ranch hands that work so hard to make it possible to produce SunFed Ranch grass fed beef.
  3. Our families. For the generations before us that taught us the right way to do things and for the generations after us that make it so important to make sure we are making environmentally friendly and sustainable ranching choices.

All of these share one common factor… The beef. In the spirit of tradition we will be enjoying some turkey this season, but the real MVP on our table will be the beef dishes. So join us this holiday season in celebrating delicious, sustainable grass fed beef. Below are few of our favorite SunFed Ranch grass fed beef dishes and appetizers that can be added to beef up your Thanksgiving spread!

Slow Cooked Beef Risotto

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Beef and Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

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Beef Pinwheels

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Beef and Kale Queso Fundido

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Beef and Couscous Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers

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Recipes and photos courtesy of The Beef Checkoff

Happy Thanksgiving from SunFed Ranch!

Beefing up your Thanksgiving Spread 2016-11-17T19:06:50+00:00

Happy National Sandwich Day!

Happy National Sandwich Day! We thought we would celebrate by sharing this DELICIOUS Caesar Steak Sandwich recipe with you! It’s easy, delicious and nutritious… A trifecta!

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Ingredients: 

  1. 1 pound boneless SunFed Ranch beef top sirloin or top round steak, cut 3/4 inch thick or flank steak
  2. 1/2 cup prepared non-creamy Caesar dressing
  3. 2 cups coarsely chopped romaine lettuce
  4. 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  5. 4 hoagie rolls (6 inches long each), split, toasted

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CAESAR STEAK SANDWICHES

  1. Cut beef steak lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick strips. Reserve 2 tablespoons dressing. Pour remaining dressing in medium bowl. Add beef; toss to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  2. Remove beef from marinade; discard marinade. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1/2 of beef; stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink. (Do not overcook.) Remove from skillet; keep warm. Repeat with remaining beef.
  3. Toss lettuce with reserved dressing and 2 tablespoons cheese in medium bowl. Divide evenly over bottom of each roll. Top with beef; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Close sandwiches. (Recipe adapted from the Beef Checkoff Program).

Enjoy!

Happy National Sandwich Day! 2016-11-17T19:06:51+00:00

The Farm-to-Fork Experience with PCC Natural Markets

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We recently had the pleasure of hosting some of our friends from PCC Natural Markets, a natural food retail co-operative based out of Washington State, a couple weeks ago. Staff from PCC Natural Markets came out to founding rancher Matt Byrne’s historical family ranch in Malin, Oregon and were given the full ranch life experience for a few days.

Our partnership with PCC is a natural fit because they share our passion for supporting local and sustainable agriculture. Both companies are founded and operated by families, PCC Natural Markets began as a food-buying club of 15 families in 1953. Today, it’s the largest consumer-owned natural food retail co-operative in the United States. PCC has ten stores in the Puget Sound region and is owned by more than 54,000 members.

PCC’s merchandising team makes it a point to see first hand for their customers where the food they stock their shelves with comes from and who raises it.

“Our members and customers trust PCC to be diligent when it comes to sourcing the products we sell. Having a direct relationship with our suppliers is of paramount importance and a responsibility PCC takes very seriously. ”
-Jared Mitchell, PCC’s Assistant Merchandiser.

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Pictured from left to right is PCC Natural Market’s Darrell Vannoy, Barbara Dorhofer and Jared Mitchell.

When they shared with us that they thought it was important to come out and see with their own eyes how humanely and sustainably we raise our cattle, we couldn’t have been more excited to share. We jump at the opportunity to show our friends what we are doing to pave the way for sustainable ranching and humanely raising grass fed beef.

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We had so much fun taking them around the ranch familiarizing them with our livestock and ranching practices and even putting some of them to work! Pictured below is PCC’s Darrell Vannoy helping us feed some home grown organic hay to our newly weaned calves.
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 We are proud to have our SunFed Ranch natural and organic grass fed beef sold on their shelves. Below are some of our favorite photos from the tour, so you can enjoy a piece of the Farm-to-Fork experience too!

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The Farm-to-Fork Experience with PCC Natural Markets 2016-11-17T19:06:51+00:00

The Black Gold Bull Sale: A Donati Family Tradition

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At SunFed Ranch we often speak with pride about our families’ deep ranching roots, the importance of tradition, and the quality of the cattle that we are raising. These are all key factors and the foundation of SunFed Ranch. Last week, founding rancher Chris Donati attended an event that speaks to all of these – the Black Gold Bull Sale in Colusa, CA.

This was taking during the viewing portion of the sales. Ranchers are allowed to go into the bull pens to look at the bulls, to get a closer look and see how they move.

Ranchers are allowed to go into the bull pens to look at the bulls prior to the sale, to get a closer look and see how they move

Chris Donati's dad and brother, pictured here at the viewing of the bulls, are responsible for raising a third of the bulls sold in the Black Gold Sale.

Chris Donati’s brother Rocky is pictured on the right talking with a rancher about his bulls at the viewing of the bulls before the sale.

The bull sale takes place once a year and is put on by three family-owned cattle operations, including founding rancher Chris Donati’s family. Ranchers from all over California come to the sale to bid on some of the highest quality bulls in California. This year marked 20 years of tradition: auctioning off black angus bulls that keep getting better and better every year.

Chris’s family began raising bulls as part of a 4-H project when he was a kid. Along with his father and brother, they started with just seven cows. The family partnership continued to grow and this year 91 of the 136 bulls sold at the sale were Donati family bulls raised by Chris’s brother Rocky and his father Tom.

SunFed founding rancher Chris Donati and his father after all of the bulls sold

SunFed founding rancher Chris Donati and his father Tom Donati after all of the bulls sold

The event was clearly a family affair, with husbands, wives and children who will become the next generation of cattle ranchers, in attendance. There was a family style BBQ and a viewing of the bulls that also provided a social event for the ranchers to catch up with one another. Once everyone was full and had a chance to catch up, it was time to get down to business.The auctioneer began by highlighting each family and their bulls, talking about how he had been attending the sale for over 15 years and saying, “These are truly the highest quality of bulls in the state, and I have watched them get better and better every year”.  Flat screen TVs were set up indoors to show the bulls off to a room that was packed with cowboy hats and eager ranchers ready to be waved in an attempt to bid on their carefully selected bulls of choice. They did not want to head back to the ranch with empty trailers.

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The bulls get to remain outside grazing in their pasture while they are auctioned off via a live video stream on the flat screens! This reduces stress on the animals, and still allows ranchers to see what they are purchasing. Who says ranchers aren’t high-tech?

If you’re reading this and don’t come from a ranching background you may be asking yourself, “Why is a bull sale such an important event?”

The bull sale is important to SunFed Ranch because we often talk with pride about the high quality cattle that we raise. That quality doesn’t happen by accident. We take special care in breeding our cattle to be the best. SunFed Ranch bulls are one half of that breeding equation. The bulls Chris’s family has raised for the last 20 years, and the knowledge they have on breeding bulls to be the best is a strong component of what makes SunFed Ranch cattle the highest quality. We are proud to be able to take part in the Donati family tradition.

Bulls at the sale went from $6,000 dollars all the way up to $15,000 dollars. Anyone who knows a cattle rancher knows that every dollar they spend is calculated and has a carefully thought out purpose. They don’t spend a chunk of change that large on one animal unless it’s going to substantially benefit their operation. Ranchers carefully study and research charts on the genetic backgrounds of the bulls, as well as camp out in the hot sun to assess each of the 136 bulls that were brought to the sale, studying in person their build and how they move.

 

The Bulls

bulls 2The top of the line genetics these bulls are raised for don’t happen by accident. It takes hard work, determination, research and a lot of patience to get the quality of bulls that people came from all over to purchase. Here are a few reasons why having the best quality bulls is important to a successful cattle ranching operation:

1) The usual rule of thumb on rangeland is to use one bull for every 25 cows. This means that for every bull put out to pasture, he is responsible for making sure up to 25 mother cows are bred with calves for the following year. This is why we take special measures to make sure that our bulls are the best so that we can breed the best cattle around! It helps having someone with a background like Chris’s family to have the knowledge and resources to do this.

2) The genetics of the bulls affect important factors like the birth weight of the calf, which is important to know for safe and easy birthing methods, as well as how the calves will grow. At SunFed, we take pride in raising the best quality of cattle, and having good bulls with good genetics is a key component of our success. Modern sciences have provided ranchers with charts and information on each bull, which gives us insight to all of these factors before we make a purchase.

3) The genetics of the bull can also affect the quality and taste of the meat, as well as how much time it takes to get the cow to reach maturity.

SunFed Ranch came home with a few Donati family bulls to add to our herd!

SunFed Ranch came home with a few Donati family bulls to add to our herd!

SunFed Ranch is proud to have attended, purchased bulls to add to our herd, and to have a Donati family member with so much background and knowledge to help us to raise the best quality of cattle around!

Learn more about the Black Gold Bull Sale by clicking here!

 

The Black Gold Bull Sale: A Donati Family Tradition 2016-11-17T19:06:51+00:00