At Painted Hills Natural Beef , our families have been ranching in Central Oregon, specifically Wheeler County, in the shadow of the state’s famed Painted Hills, for generations. Seven ranching families founded and became the first board of directors and members of Painted Hills Natural Beef some 20 years ago with the notion that beef could be better, could taste better. They wanted to ensure the people who choose their beef could count on a consistent experience, from preparation to enjoyment, every time.
Over the years a couple of the faces have changed but our goal remains the same; we are still family rancher owned-and-operated. While the times have changed, our methods of ranching the way nature intended have not. That means pasture raising our cattle without the use of added hormones and never given antibiotics. It means taking the time, care, and effort to do things right. It means for you a beef that’s as striking as the natural wonders it’s named after.
The Painted Hills Natural Beef Way
raising beef at nature's pace
Painted Hills Natural Beef ranchers appreciate your concern for the welfare of animals and stewardship of our land. The ethics of humane animal husbandry and resource management are matters of importance that we are happy to share with you.
Our ranchers come from a long ranching tradition and live on their own land. The quality of care they devote to their land and animals reflects a tradition that has been handed down to them through the generations. These ethics run deep. It is the desire of each rancher and their families to maintain and give great care to our rangeland and natural resources. This isn’t just a job, it’s our life.
Respect for our animals
Humane treatment of our animals is of paramount importance to us. The care we give our animals begins at birth. Through meticulous documentation of breed, ownership, diet and veterinary history we ensure that our protocol of care and humane practices is followed throughout the animal’s life. Each animal is born, raised and processed in the Pacific Northwest. We believe in ranching practices that demonstrate respect and concern for our animals.
Throughout their lives, our animals are provided with plenty of clean water and food in a manner that does not require undue competition. Why fight for free food? We do not feed any animal by-products to our cattle. Period. They receive a 100% vegetarian diet throughout their lives. This is just one thing that gives our beef such a great taste. But more than that, others agree that it’s just good for the cattle. According to the American Humane Association’s Welfare Standards for Cattle, this is a guideline for humane farm animal care and welfare.
No Painted Hills beef animal has ever received antibiotics. Occasionally, an animal does become ill for one reason or another. At that time, the affected animal is given treatment and promptly removed from our program and sold elsewhere, to assure humane standards of care, while keeping our beef free of excess antibiotics.
Our cattle are never transported by rail cars or crowded in trucks for the moderate distances from ranch to feedlot and from feedlot to processing. Our truck drivers drive slowly and cautiously to avoid causing excess stress to our cattle.
Painted Hills Natural Beef gives its animals extra care all throughout their lives, and that care translates into safety and natural health in our beef. It also translates into outstanding flavor, texture and overall food quality.
This extra care extends to the standards of quality in the natural line feeding facilities and processing plants that we have partnered with. Our cattle range freely on their family ranches until about fourteen months of age. They are then moved to a clean and spacious feeding facility. Y-1 Farms in rural Vale, Oregon is one such partner. Y-1 grows the majority of its own corn. That corn, in combination with barley and alfalfa hay is fed to our cattle during the “finishing” stage before processing. This feed is at the same quality standards as for human consumption. We could be eating the same thing!
Our natural cattle are fed twice a day, which keeps the feed fresh. They always have plenty of clean, chemical-free water. There is approximately three feet of room at the trough for every animal. All the cattle can eat at once and don’t need to compete for food. There is approximately one full acre for every one hundred animals, with plenty of ranging room and high ground. This way, if it rains, they are never forced to stand in mud. In the summer, sprinklers are turned on for the cattle so that they are kept comfortable and hydrated in the heat of the day. Our cattle are given nutritional supplements including Vitamin A and a double-dose of Vitamin E. Vitamin A and Vitamin E help strengthen natural immunities, and help our beef to retain its freshness – naturally.
We are committed to the high standards of quality in selecting, raising, feeding and processing our beef; it is the foundation of our brand. With our quality program, you can be assured that when you eat our beef, you are getting the best in terms of health and safety. An animal that is healthy enough not to need antibiotics is one that has been well cared for and has the inner vitality to thrive naturally. That’s why we do things the way we do. We understand that quality care translates into safe and quality meat – and that’s important to us.
We are honored to be invited to your family dinner table. Whether we’re fixing fence or cutting hay, the hard work that we put into managing our ranches is done with your breakfast, lunch or dinner table in mind. As partners with you, we provide healthy and delicious beef. And each time you buy Painted Hills Natural Beef, you are directly supporting independent ranchers who work hard to preserve the ranching tradition that is a way of life for us, our animals, and our rangeland.
We hope you enjoy!
frequently asked questions
We chose cattle and producers based on the quality of cattle that they produce. Nearly every animal brought through our program has some level of Angus cross in their system. This stems from the fact that nearly every producer here in the Northwest runs some level of Angus cross bred cow with a true Angus bull or True bred Angus cows with a composite (cross bred Bull). It is common that cattle without this high level of Angus breeding will not perform in the finishing process and will not grade high enough to make it into our program. It is common in these cross bred situations that 5 out of 100 calves are not black. To be an Angus only program would force producers to find another market for these cattle. This is a burden we choose not to place on our partners. We also feel that the Angus title as a selling point is a much over used and abused term. Actually, many other breeders of cattle like Simmental and Limousine have adapted Black hides so their calves qualify for Angus just like an actual Angus. That’s a little strange isn’t it?
Is your program “never ever”?
I read about how you don’t use added hormones or antibiotics, but I didn’t notice the “never-ever” verbiage I have seen on other brands.
We do not allow hormones or antibiotics of any kind, including ionophores. As programs evolved the term Never-Ever was first created by the Meyers program. Only due to our stubborn nature have we dragged our feet in adopting the term as our own. The industry has adopted it as a standard and maybe it is time for us to agree to use the term as well.
What percentage of corn is used on the finishing lot with the barley and alfalfa hay? I think corn is the best part for the cattle.
We use a rather high percentage of corn or corn by product in our finishing process. There is corn, corn silage, and corn cobs and things left over from a sweet corn plant near-by. We feed corn for it’s sweet flavoring. Cattle feed for excess of 120 days. It sounds like a long time but it is not what you may think. Cattle are moved gradually from a diet high in hay and roughage over the 4 months. Slowly corn is added to the ration. Only in the last month are cattle fed a ration consisting a 70% corn base. By removing the process of added hormones it takes an extra month or more to get cattle to their optimum weight, this creates a product with less water purge and better tenderness. However it is a considerable cost to the producer in lower feed performance.
Is corn an unnatural diet for cattle? Is it only fed to cattle because it’s cheap?
No. Cattle can get the nutrients they need from eating a wide range of plants, including a variety of grains and grasses. Most beef raised in the United States comes from grain-finished cattle, which spend most of their lives on pasture eating grass before going to a feedlot for four to six months. While at a feedlot, cattle are fed a combination of grain and hay formulated by a professional nutritionist to ensure a well-balanced and nutritious diet.
Grain feeding isn’t new, it’s just more sophisticated. In the United States, cattle have been fed grain for at least 200 year. Cattle are fed grains like corn because they are nutritious, energy-rich and can be stored for use throughout the year. Since grass doesn’t grow year-round in most of the United States, feeding grains like corn to cattle help farmers and ranchers raise a consistent, year-round supply of great-tasting beef.
You mention that certain practices adhere to the American Humane Association’s welfare standards for cattle. Are you certified Humanely Raised and Handled? If not, what prevents that certification?
We are Ranchers, we know industry wide that handling animal with care and compassion makes for an easier and more successful ranching operation. Animal handling has been a well preached religion industry wide for many years. The reality of this business is that without the assistance of antibiotics you can’t raise cattle under any kind of stressful conditions. Stress is the enemy in producing antibiotic free cattle. You can’t stress them on the ranch and you can’t stress them in the feed yard.
As for third party, it’s expensive. My friends at Chipotle summed it up best. I asked them about third party certification, their answer was “we are not in the business to keep people in business.” That made a lot of sense to me.
The biggest issue is the basics of this industry. We take the raw product, a steer, and break it down into two dozen different items that we bid and ask on nearly every sale. The market is so competitive that we hope that the sale price can cover the costs we have invested. Every additional cost is just one more hurdle for us to conquer in selling the beef. The entire agricultural industry has been forced to attack unwanted costs. This is how we survive.
Absolutely. As the nation focuses its attention on reducing calories to reduce its waistline, it’s important that people get more nutrients from fewer calories. Calorie-for-calorie, beef is one of the most naturally nutrient-rich foods. 7.A 3-ounce serving of lean beef contributes less than 10 percent of the calories in a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, at the same time it supplies more than 10 percent of the Daily Value for ten essential nutrients. Eating a protein-rich meal or snack like beef also makes you feel full longer, and satisfies cravings faster.
Are Americans eating too much beef/meat?
No. The Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid recommend adults eat 5 ½ ounces (or 156 grams) of lean protein each day, and most Americans already are consuming red meat well within these guidelines. On average, adults are consuming 2.3 ounces (65 grams) of red meat each day.*
Painted Hills Natural Beef does not offer locker style beef and encourages consumers who are interested in locker beef, to talk with their local store about buying in bulk, or contact local producers in their area.
get in touch
Painted Hills Natural Beef, Inc.
PO Box 245
600 Stone Cabin Court
Fossil, Oregon 97830
Toll Free: 877.306.8247
Chief Operations Officer: Will Homer (ext. 222)
General Manager: Glenda Homer (ext. 225)
Controller: Gabrielle Homer (ext. 226)
Marketing Support: Kayla Bernard (ext. 227)
Inside Sales: Melissa Carnine (ext. 230)
Operations specialist: Micha Urbach (ext 233)
Office Specialist: Tracy Lewis (ext. 221)
Administrative Assistant: Holly McDermott (ext. 224)
Administrative Assistant: Lisa Green (ext. 223)
Intern: Trey Homer (ext.229)
Washington Territory Sales: Scott Mertens
Business Development: Pat Ansboury