Dr. Temple Grandin Endorses Country Natural Beef

One of the great pleasures of my work is spending quality time with the local ranchers and farmers who produce food for the Burgerville table. Twice a year, the family rancher-owners who make up the Country Natural Beef cooperative, and who produce all of Burgerville’s 100% natural beef, come together and Burgerville gets to participate. The ranchers start and close their business meetings in one big circle, and each ranching man, woman and child has an equal voice. They make all of their business decisions by consensus and from a shared vision of raising their animals in harmony with the land.

Pause with me and imagine this — a circle of independent, strong willed, western ranchers, sitting together in a circle, listening to each other, young and old, and making consensus decisions for the common good of their coop, the environment, their animals and their customers. It’s the purest demonstration of democracy-in-action I’ve ever experienced!

Over the past year, Burgerville has been collaborating with Country Natural BeefFood AllianceNew Seasons Market and others on a next generation of animal welfare standards, as Country Natural Beef continuously improves and leads the industry. The cooperative has also been collaborating with well known animal behaviorist Dr. Temple Grandin, who has officially endorsed their “Raise Well” animal welfare standards. A full-length film, titled TempleGrandin, which profiles her life story with Autism and showcases her contributions to revolutionizing the cattle industry, premieres on February 6 on HBO.

I got to meet Dr. Grandin in person last year and sit in on some her animal handling workshops. She has an amazing ability to help others think situations through from the animal’s point of view – even a city mouse like me. Here’s a quote from Dr. Grandin in her own words on what makes the people and practices of Country Natural Beef so special:

“The ranching families who form Country Natural Beef are really dedicated to producing beef in a humane, sustainable manner.  When I went to the CNB annual meeting, I was impressed with how each rancher had an opportunity to voice their opinion on the guidelines…  They are hardworking, honest people who are close to the land, and they have enthusiastically implemented a three tier auditing process.  This will help insure that the cattle are handled and raised according to high standards.”

In addition to their work with experts like Dr. Grandin, all Country Natural Beef ranches are third party audited and certified sustainable by Food Alliance, the most comprehensive certification program for farms, ranches and food handlers for sustainable agricultural and facility management practices.

Watch Temple Grandin on HBO tomorrow night and learn about her story!