We hope you are having a fun summer!
Since last fall, we have been busy. With the support of the NRCS, we installed over a mile of gravity flow pipeline. This allows us to irrigate the entire ranch from Pine Creek without turning on a pump until near the end of irrigation season. We also installed a wheel line sprinkler. Since the early 1900's, when the Forney Ditch was established, at least part of the ranch was flood irrigated. In fact, the entire ranch was flood irrigated until two pivot sprinklers were installed fifteen years ago. This year marks the first where all the irrigation is sprinklers...except a small portion that we flood irrigate out of Barney Creek itself...because Pete's Dad, Larry, still has to keep the lost art in practice and maybe pass that skill on to the fifth generation, Maloi and Liam.
Speaking of Maloi: she received a red ribbon on her Veterinary Science project at the Park County Fair. She illustrated a coloring book explaining how our management promotes healthy animals. The judge was unable to make the connection. In typical Maloi fashion, instead of letting it get her down, she decided to revamp her coloring book. She reached out to Gabe Brown, Joel Salatin, and Nicole Masters for support. They ALL got back to her and provided input and encouragement. With the help of Emily Yost, Maloi is now a published author and "Don't Call It Dirt" has its own ISBN number! To date, she has sold around 200 books, and has presented to elementary school students in several counties. We are incredibly proud of her tenacity and perseverance.
Pete also got busy installing additional fencing and water lines on what was our last hay meadow in preparation for grazing. Another first, no hay will be put up on the ranch in 2019. We will purchase some hay to feed during the worst parts of winter, but will be able to extend our grazing season much farther into winter. This winter we were able to graze the cows past New Year's! You won't find many ranches in this part of the world that can say that.
In February we took two beef to Stillwater Packing for processing and decided to have some jerky made. One batch was all natural (without nitrates/nitrites) and one regular batch. Both taste amazing. We are planning on keeping a good stock of jerky on hand. Happy Barney Creek grass-fed cows make outstanding jerky. Give it a try.
Winter in 2019 was particularly harsh. On February 25th it started snowing and didn't stop until we had 36" on the level. Then the wind started blowing and it decided to drop to -30. Thanks to Lily, Kyle, and Daisy for holding down the fort. It just happens that on February 25th, we left the ranch at 3 AM on our way to the airport to fly to Kauai, HI, not to return for almost two weeks. While we occasionally take a short trips to visit family for holidays, this was our first family vacation. Afterwards, Pete said he would like to take a family vacation every year! (He gets grumpy every time he has to leave the ranch.)
In late March, while Pete was away in West Yellowstone, the snow from February melted in one afternoon. Meagan put her flood irrigation skills and years of digging fire line as a Hotshot to good use and managed to keep the melt from completely destroying our driveway.
Meagan worked with Sarah Mussetter to build what turned out to be an awesome website. We can’t thank Sarah enough. Thanks also to Kyra Ames for taking the pictures for the site. What incredibly talented humans!
If you aren’t willing to share a meal of Barney Creek beef with your friends, please send them to Foodworks, Woods Rose Market, or Ridge Run Grocery to purchase and cook it up themselves. For an amazing culinary experience, call Chico Hot Springs dining room to see if they are serving Barney Creek and secure a reservation. Chef Dave is incredibly creative. When you or your friends are down at Spur Line getting your animals food or toys, grab a bag of jerky.
At the beginning of June, we hosted a Western Sustainability Exchange Soil Health Workshop taught by world renowned soil guru, Nicole Masters from Integrity Soils. Nicole stayed at the Poplar Grove Cottage, the ranch’s vacation rental, and we spent the evening prior to the workshop with her at the Chico Hot Springs dining room. We had some great conversation that evening about additional strategies for improving soil health. It was an amazing privilege to spend dinner and the following day learning from Nicole and others with a passion for soil health.
We are trying out two new processors this year. Ranchlands Packing Company in Butte, America is a USDA inspected facility and Rawhide Meats in White Sulphur is state inspected. Both have been good to work with so far. We will be looking for your feedback.
Our goal is to market all the beef that spend their days on Barney Creek direct to consumer, grocer, or restaurant. This year, we have moved closer to that goal, and therefore have many more beef to sell. Facebook, Instagram, and our website are nowhere near as effective in helping us do this as you are!
For every ¼ of beef you help us sell, we’ll take $25 off your order. All you have to do is have your friend or referral let us know you sent them. If you send three folks our way that buy a ¼ each, you get $75 off your beef. There is no limit to this incentive, so please spread the word!
We will be taking the majority of our beef in for harvest towards the end of September and it will be ready to pick up mid-October. Delivering beef all over the Livingston/Bozeman area has eaten our lunch in the last couple of years. This year, we will pick up the finished product from the processor and bring it to our Meat Depot at the ranch. We will contact you several days in advance so you can arrange to come pick up your beef. Otherwise, we will charge for delivery with a minimum delivery charge of $25. This is a change we know you will understand.
All pricing is based on finished weight of beef in your freezer. Finished weights are approximate. We respect if you don’t want to pay for additional beef beyond 10% of the approximate weights listed below. For example, if you buy a quarter that ends up weighing 120 pounds, we require payment for 10% over the approximate weights below, or 110 lbs. Beyond that, we will gladly take the extra meat, proportionate to the breakout of cuts. If this is a consideration for you, let us know. It will affect how your beef is processed and packaged. Call or email with questions on this. Know that there is some flexibility on how a quarter is processed, because it is a split side (half of the beef that is split evenly again in half from front and hind quarters). For maximum flexibility, buy a half, or partner with a like-minded person and split a half. You get better pricing and can have it cut exactly the way you want. Pricing as of August 1, 2019 is listed below. Return customers will be charged what they were charged in 2018—if you don’t remember what you paid last year, don’t worry, we do. If you are a return customer, no deposit is required.
1/8 beef: $8.00/lb (approximately 50 lbs) $75 deposit
1/4 beef: $7.50/lb (approximately 100 lbs) $150 deposit
1/2 beef: $7.25/lb (approximately 200 lbs) $300 deposit
1 beef: $7.00/lb (approximately 400 lbs) $600 deposit
If you want additional ground beef, we sell that as well. We also sell gift cards if you want to give the gift of Barney Creek. Check out pricing on our website.
Please let us know as soon as possible on what you are ordering and thank you for supporting our mission!
We work with the whole system.
Socially, our practices must be in alignment with our customer’s value system and benefit our area.
Economically, what we do must be profitable and our practices must benefit the long-term stability of our clients and our community.
Environmentally, we must regenerate the soil and ecosystem.
In other words, we practice Regenerative Agriculture