All of us involved with Audubon's Conservation Ranching Initiative are busting our tails to grow the influence and effectiveness of the initiative. After years of hard work, I want to share a story of success that was possible because of Audubon.
About five years ago Dan and I wandered into the Audubon Rockies office with a huge dream of being able to grow a direct-to-market meats business on a ranch near Denver. Alison Holloran, executive director of Audubon Rockies, believed in us and our long-winded ranch lease proposal about conservation and doing right by the land and animals.
At that time, we had a customer list of about 100 people and sold about 50 head of beef, 60 pigs, 1,000 chickens, and a few hundred eggs. Through Audubon’s support and trust we have grown to about 1,000 people per year touring the ranch, an active customer list of about 4,000 people, about 200 head of cattle sourced from our ranch and Rockin' 7 Ranch (an Audubon-certified partner ranch), about 400 pastured pigs, 7,000 chickens, and 200 pastured turkeys. We have grown from delivering out of a pickup truck in a parking lot to shipping mindful meat boxes nationwide. Every year, we have nearly doubled the size of our business.
As our business has grown, so has the health of our land. Our grazing techniques have significantly reduced the invasive plants on-site and forest restoration has welcomed species like Northern Goshawks to the ranch.
None of this would have been possible without Audubon’s incredible trust in us to steward Kiowa Creek Ranch, which serves as the home base for our meats business. As we grow the program, let’s focus on the progress we have all gained, not just the goals that we still want to accomplish. The landscape-scale impact we all want to achieve will not happen as quickly as we wish, but if we are diligent and work together it will happen one step at a time.
Please support Corner Post Meats’ excellent land management and restoration at Audubon’s Kiowa Creek Ranch by supporting their business.