Cattle managed by Corner Post Meats grazing on Audubon's Kiowa Creek Ranch.
Cattle managed by Corner Post Meats grazing on Audubon's Kiowa Creek Ranch.

Cattle managed by Corner Post Meats grazing on Audubon's Kiowa Creek Ranch. Photo: Evan Barrientos/Audubon Rockies
Cattle managed by Corner Post Meats grazing on Audubon's Kiowa Creek Ranch. Photo: Evan Barrientos/Audubon Rockies

Conservation Ranching Initiative

Fighting Habitat Loss with Forks and Knives

Why Carboy Winery sources meat from Corner Post Meats, an Audubon-certified conservation ranch.

Where does beef in Denver come from? At Carboy Winery, it’s raised just 40 miles away in the rolling hills of Audubon’s Kiowa Creek Ranch, managed by Corner Post Meats and certified by Audubon’s Conservation Ranching Initiative. When he was asked to cook for a Corner Post Meats farm dinner, the executive chef of Carboy Winery, Scott Hybbeneth, discovered Corner Post Meats. The focus of the dinner was wine, but people also took a tour of the ranch and began to understand how livestock are raised.

For many attendees, the experience was eye-opening. “Most people that were there had never been to or seen a working ranch,” says Hybbeneth. As an environmentally-conscious chef with a degree in wildlife and fisheries resources, he cares about the land and the producers that he sources his restaurant’s food from. “It’s important to support ranchers that are doing the right thing and who do good work for the land,” he says.

Although Hybbeneth knows that he isn’t running a nonprofit, he still sees himself as a liaison between his diners and conservation, so he tries to educate his diners about the environmental footprint of their food. In addition to sourcing his food as locally and ethically as possible, he also brings in local producers to speak to his diners. “As a meat-eater or diner, you kind of owe it to yourself to understand and know where your products come from,” he says.

Just an hour away, Corner Post Meats is an ideal partner for Carboy Winery. As an Audubon-certified conservation ranch, Corner Post Meats takes purposeful steps to conserve and restore bird habitat. Amid the ponderosa pines and grassy meadows, livestock graze freely, but not haphazardly. Corner Post Meats carefully manages them in ways that reduce invasive plants and improve soil health, which ultimately benefits the dozens of bird species that breed and live there. Additionally, this 1,500-acre ranch is surrounded by suburban sprawl. Without ranching, its wildlife habitat would likely vanish.

“If you treat the land poorly, that’s gonna treat your animals poorly, and there goes your livelihood,” explains Adrienne Larrew, co-owner of Corner Post Meats. “But, through good grazing you can really have a positive impact in a very short period of time. We’ve really started to see a spread in the type of bird species that we have.”

Hybbeneth valued the holistic view in which Corner Post Meats manages the land and decided to source Carboy’s beef, pork, and lamb from them. In doing so, he hopes to both encourage his diners to support environmentally-friendly meat and support the local producers who are providing it.

Diners who order meat from Carboy Winery are—knowingly or unknowingly—helping keep an oasis of wildlife habitat healthy and intact. Learn where else you can buy meat from Audubon-certified lands.

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