What is the Big Picture? According to Shinn, “It’s the local and global perspective of our company – the awareness that soil health is the foundation of human health, and that restoring soil fertility and structure is key to solving many of today’s most confounding problems, including droughts and floods and climate change. It’s also my conviction that each region should be producing its own food, and that 100% grass-fed beef can revive the agricultural economy in the Northeast as well as benefit the environment.”
Nationwide, urban centers are demanding healthy food that is locally produced. But with more than 17% of the nation’s population living in the Northeast Corridor, how can this region satisfy the growing demand for delicious, 100% grass-fed beef that is local?
To do this, Big Picture Beef is working with existing family farms throughout the region to build a supply of grass-fed beef calves raised to a high standard that includes no grain and no antibiotics. Then instead of trucking these young cattle west to be finished (fattened) in a feedlot on corn, Big Picture Beef is aggregating them here in the Northeast on large tracts of grassland, and using regenerative methods of grazing and pasture management to fatten them for market.
Since the 1990’s, science has discovered important connections between rotational grazing, soil health, and healthy food. Big Picture Beef’s methods for raising 100% grass-fed cattle offer huge benefits for the environment and for society. The long term goal of the program is Northeast beef for Northeast markets, carbon sequestration, soil fertility and biodiversity, energy savings, and a revitalized rural economy.
A lot of planning has gone into this big project but it is finally underway. Says Shinn, “We will be engaging many Northeast farms in our program, so we’re interested in hearing from cow-calf operations or farms with large acreage for finishing the cattle. Stay tuned for more updates. We appreciate your support!”