Sunday Cattle Check

The following blog post is from SunFed Rancher, Megan Byrne:

On a recent Sunday, Matt and I took a trip to check cattle at the ranch near Browns Valley. As usual these days, we had our son Luke along for the ride. At nine months old, he’s never met a heifer he doesn’t like or a dirt clod he’s not interested in. This requires a vigilant eye to keep Luke out of trouble or from eating something he shouldn’t, but having him around makes ranch life all the more entertaining when we’re able to see things through his eyes.

As we turned off the pavement and made our way down the gravel road toward the ranch, the first thing we noticed was the quality of the grass. Late October’s rains and early November’s sunshine had worked wonders on the landscape, and the gently rolling hillsides and wide pastures were covered with tall, verdant grasses we wouldn’t normally expect this early in the winter grazing season.

 

The cattle seemed to appreciate the abundance of fresh feed. They looked healthy and relaxed in the unseasonably warm afternoon air. We were pleased to see several members of the herd lying down in the field, a sign of a satiated animal with a full belly.

Per our normal routine, we spent much of the afternoon looking at groups of cattle in their respective pastures, and making stops to check on the state of irrigation ditches, fence lines and water troughs. Luke was delighted to be carried out of the pickup at each pause to get a closer look at the vegetation, water bugs and livestock. I always wonder what Luke thinks of the cattle and whether he’s curious as to why we keep driving around looking at crowds of big, funny-looking dogs. Whatever he thinks of them, it has to be all positive because we got a lot of squeals and hoots out of that kid.

After we finished checking the herd, we stopped to visit Mark who works on the ranch crew. With him was his friendly cow dog, a big sweetheart and a sucker for good pats. Luke wasn’t sure what to make of him at first so I had to hold him while Mark’s dog said hello and got a few friendly sniffs in. Then Luke saw Mark’s barn cat Johnny Cat – a thick, soft tuxedo cat with a purr like an outboard motor. Cat clearly trumped dog and Luke was content to spend his time with Johnny Cat, who was happy to oblige him while Matt caught up with Mark.

Finally, we said our goodbyes to Mark and the pets and loaded back into the pickup. Luke got a well-earned snooze on the way home while I flipped through photos on my camera, as Matt and I talked about how good the grass was and what we were going to make for dinner. It was such a perfect way to end the weekend and we always feel our best when we can spend time outdoors with the critters. And most importantly – we decided we should get Luke a cat of his own! Maybe for Christmas, we’ll see.

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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!

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 Fifth Anniversary by Introducing New Grass Fed Beef Product Lines at Natural Products Expo West

SUNFED RANCH CELEBRATES FIFTH ANNIVERSARY

Introduces new grass fed beef value-added product lines at Natural Products Expo West

WOODLAND, Calif. (March 17, 2016)—Five years ago today Matt Byrne and Chris Donati launched SunFed Ranch on shared values and a commitment to provide sustainable, healthy food to nourish a new generation of conscientious consumers. Founded in 2011, the company started selling fresh boxed grass fed beef to Bay Area stores and restaurants and has now grown to become a leading branded organic and natural grass fed beef supplier sourcing only from select American family farms.

“Today’s five-year anniversary marks a significant milestone and accomplishment for SunFed Ranch, demonstrating the consumer demand for humanely and sustainably raised, grass fed beef,” stated Matt Byrne, co-founder and president of SunFed Ranch. “This is a proud day for our family operated and owned company and I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our customers who continue to support our brand, and in turn – our community of ethical, like-minded family ranchers.”

SunFed Ranch recently introduced two new value-added lines at the Natural Products Expo West, held in Anaheim, CA. The new artisan Uncured Deli Meat and convenient, microwavable Skillet Meal lines add value and convenience to the company’s sustainable, organic and grass fed fresh beef offerings. These two new product lines will make grass fed beef available to additional markets, further expanding its growing national footprint.

Proud to produce the highest quality 100% grass fed beef on the market with a rich, complex, old-fashioned beef flavor, SunFed Ranch cattle are humanely raised on select American family ranches. SunFed Ranch families are proud to uphold sustainable farming methods and an unwavering commitment to animal care to ensure the highest quality 100% grass fed and grass finished beef possible.

SunFed Ranch is also pleased to announce that the company has passed a rigorous, independent verification process and is now certified by the Non-GMO Project. This additional, third-party verification will add another level of buyer confidence of GMO controls on the ranch and at the processing plant. The Non-GMO Project seal will begin to appear on a new line of SunFed Ranch beef and value-added items in the spring of 2016.

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SunFed Ranch offers high quality, sustainable, 100% grass fed beef options, from fresh boxed primals to on-trend, chef-inspired, consumer-ready items that provide choice and convenience.

SunFed Ranch is a community of ethical, like-minded family ranchers committed to providing sustainable, healthy food to nourish a new generation of conscientious consumers. SunFed Ranch beef is produced exclusively from select American family ranches, from cattle that have been humanely and ethically treated and raised with no hormones or antibiotics added, in addition to have passed a rigorous, independent verification process to become Non-GMO Project verified.

To learn more about SunFed Ranch, please visit www.SunFedRanch.com or email info@sunfedranch.com.

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.

 

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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!

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

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!

 

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.

 

 

 

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!

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!