This episode is a part of a mini-season titled, “Sustainability is a Buzzword”. A series of conversations about conservation, water, agriculture, creativity, and everyday life. They took place in Paonia, CO as part of an artist-in-residence program at the ever-magical Elsewhere Studios.

Cynthia Houseweart comes from a long line of ranchers but fell into the line of work, and love of it, serendipitously on her own accord. Today, she’s the founder and president of Princess Beef, a ranch providing 100% grass-fed and finished beef from a Colorado centennial farm since 1999. Their goal is “to sustainably and holistically produce the best and healthiest beef and to conscientiously strive to improve the wellbeing and integrity of our animals and that of the environment where they are raised.”

Cynthia shared how she became a rancher and what makes a grass-fed and finished ranch different from others, as well as their relative impacts on the environment. She also shares specific agricultural tactics they employ for conservation and what to look for when shopping for beef and why. Listen above or on iTunes or Spotify.

Show notes

In this episode, we talk about: 

  • how she went from art history major to cattle rancher
  • why she didn’t want to bring her steers to a feedlot
  • the benefits of grass-finished beef for animals, consumers, and the environment 
  • the environmental impact of feedlots 
  • why corn is bad for cows 
  • how they’re trying to irrigate as efficiently as possible 
  • what running a family-owned grass-finished cattle business for 20 years has looked like
  • why having senior water rights is a benefit to their business
  • why she got certified by the American Grass-fed Association and Welfare Animal Approved
  • what to look for when buying beef and what’s wrong with the “organic” and “natural” labels on meat in grocery stores 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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