Sonoma County consumers buy locally produced meat
Preferring to support local producers and reduce global warming, residents join the Sonoma County Meat Buying Club
UC ANR News <email@example.com>
March 6, 2008
First there was the low carb diet, now there is a movement toward a low carbon diet. Conscious of global warming and the size of their own carbon footprint, consumers in Sonoma County have begun buying their meat locally to reduce transportation pollution that spews carbon into the atmosphere.
The year-long pilot project is organized by University of California Cooperative Extension and Sonoma Direct, a local meat company with processing and distribution capacity, to connect consumers with local family-owned farms.
"We intend to create an entity that is self-sustaining in the long run and can serve as a model for other communities," said Stephanie Larson, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and rangelands advisor and club organizer. "If this club proves to be successful, we will recruit and train a county-based nonprofit organization to take over managing the meat-buying club after the pilot year ends."
The Sonoma County Meat Buying Club has 65 members so far, but more have expressed interest in buying from local ranches that practice humane treatment of animals and environmental stewardship. In the organizers' survey of 300 Sonoma County residents, 83 percent of the people surveyed said they make an effort to buy locally produced agricultural goods. Residents also want to support Sonoma County's ranching landscapes and heritage.
Club member Heather Curran of Windsor has been a member of a CSA (community supported agriculture) for produce for the past 12 years. She is glad that a CSA has been formed to buy meat because she likes supporting her agricultural "neighbors."
After reading in Michael Pollan's book "The Omnivore's Dilemma" about the stressful lives of livestock that are mass-produced in feedlots, Curran wanted to buy meat produced in Sonoma County. "We have open pasture and if you have happy animals, they are going to be healthier," Curran said. "And the less it has to travel, the less pollution."
Curran also likes the fact that she can meet the people producing her food. By meeting their food producers, consumers feel more confident in the quality of the meat and not worry that "downer cows" -- cows that can't walk -- may enter their food supply.
Club members receive a monthly mix of frozen meats -- grass-fed beef, pasture-raised lamb and roaster pork, in a variety of cuts -- from Sonoma County ranches. Members can sign up for a small, medium or large package. They may also add monthly featured products, such as rabbits, ducks and eggs. Members picked up their first installment of meat on Feb. 20 at Sonoma Direct in Petaluma or at the UC Cooperative Extension office in Santa Rosa. Tucked into each reusable cloth bag of food was a monthly newsletter that suggests recipes and tells members about the ranchers who produce the meats.
The February issue of "The Prime Cut Review" features Chris Cornett, a fifth-generation rancher who raises lambs in Valley Ford; Bill Barboni of Petaluma, a fourth-generation cattle producer who raises grass-fed beef cattle; and Jube Begley, a Santa Rosa pork producer who took up raising pigs while participating in FFA in high school.
The newsletter also introduces Roger Praplan, chef of La Gare Restaurant in Santa Rosa. Chef Praplan provided 18 recipes, including grilled bavette steak, spring lamb stew and winemaker-style filet of pork loin, in the February package for cooks to try at home.
The next meat club allocation will be available for pick-up on March 18. New members are being accepted.
For information about joining the club or starting a meat-buying club, contact Stephanie Larson or Jacqueline Rotlisberger, Sonoma County Meat Buying Club coordinator, at (707) 565-2621.
In related news, the 2008 Niche Meat Marketing Conference for livestock producers will be held on March 26 and 27 at the Stanislaus County Agricultural Center in Modesto. Registration costs $80 per person ($90 if postmarked after March 18). To register online or to see the agenda, go to http://ucanr.org/2008nichemeat. For more information about the conference, contact Roger Ingram at (530) 889-7385 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephanie Larson, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and rangelands advisor and Sonoma County Meat Buying Club organizer, (707) 565-2621, email@example.com
Jacqueline Rotlisberger, Sonoma County Meat Buying Club coordinator, (707) 565-2621, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more ANR news, visit http://news.ucanr.org.
- Resources for Farmers
- Resources for Educators
- Resources for the Public
- GIM Workshops
- Grown in Marin Newsletter PDFs
- Grown in Marin Newsletter Articles
Archived Related News Items
- Bay Area wheat makes a comeback
- Cowgirl Creamery's founders blend traits
- Where less product is better
- Go Ahead, Milk My Day
- Stanford study unlikely to slow momentum of Marin's organic food movement
- Work to keep cattle away from creeks seeks to improve water quality in West Marin
- Marin's Green Gulch, a pioneer in organic farming, celebrates 40 years
- FoodWorks Finds New Markets for Local Growers
- New generation of West Marin ranchers coming back to the family farm
- Cream of the Crop
- Surge in gopher population in Tam Valley
- Sowing organic seeds of success at College of Marin's Novato campus
- Local food: No elitist plot
- Rethinking the farm
- New canning company helps preserve Marin's farms
- He's Full of It
- UC Davis launches agricultural sustainability degree
- Working from the heart: The legacy of a Point Reyes farming family
- Meat Distribution Part 2: Technology on the Range
- Making a cheese statement
- College of Marin launches apprentice program for farmers
- The future of Gravenstein apples hangs on a thin stem
- Across the Bay Area, urban farming is in season
- Fresh from the farm
- New farmers find their footing
- Could farms survive without illegal labor?
- IVC's organic farm is Project of the Year
- The Unpaid Intern, Legal or Not
- Six Stories Above Queens, a Fine Spot for a Little Farming
- Marin's farmers hang on despite drop in milk prices
- Farm internships in Oregon
- Mature at last, Marin County's cheeses stand alone
- College of Marin leading the whey in cheese education
- Land trust has kept Marin's farms in business for 30 years
- Marin County farmers and ranchers plan for success
- Till life: Marin History Museum's latest exhibit shows why our county ag industry hasn't, er...bought the farm
- College of Marin launches organic farm at Indian Valley campus
- College of Marin's organic farming students get hands-on experience
- Point Reyes workshop aims to put a chicken in every backyard
- After 21 years, UC Extension director turns author
- Coastal meandering
- COM wins grant for farm program
- From the Farm to Your Table: A Consumer’s Guide to Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Publication
- Novato grocer connects with local farmers
- Sonoma County consumers buy locally produced meat
- Dairies feel pinch of climbing costs
- County Line Farm moves west
- You are invited to apply for funding for agricultural worker housing
- The grass isn't always greener
- Goat farm producing natural, sustainable meat
- Non profits help local farms
- A banner year for Marin farms with record revenues for 2007
- MALT closes $2.7 million deal to preserve farmland
- Supervisors commit $200,000 for farmworkers' housing
- Sonoma farm to table
- Take a haycation on a North Bay farm
- Cuisine scene: Marin's bounty ready for its close-up
- Cafeteria Crusaders: They're changing the way kids eat
- Versatile Spuds
- Growing Concern - Some Marin Farmers Market vendors say the economy is slowing business
- Organic Marin - Marin farmers find success with organic food
- It's all about the cheese
- If It’s Fresh and Local, Is It Always Greener?
- Food Conscious: Is Organic Better? It Depends.
- 2007 Census of Agriculture
- The faces behind the farmers
- Now that's natural gas
- Marin experiences an early but fruitful harvest
- UC Examines Cost of Producing Strawberries
- Farmers markets thrive in Marin
- Taste of Marin - 2007 style
- Farm Bill 2007: What it means for Marin - Part I
- Production beginning for UCCE’s Hidden Bounty of Marin documentary
- Toluma Goat Dairy in Tomales
- What will happen to our cattle when the slaughterhouse is gone?
- Pastured eggs catching on
- Marin Sun Farms Newsletter
- Farming on the Edge of Change
- UC researcher: farmers markets benefit local economies
- Family Farms in Peril
- The Farm Bill and California food and agriculture
- California cheeses: the next wave
- The new food crusade
- 847 sheep shorn in nine hours
- Bee news
- UCCE Marin Intern Program welcomes Anne Kehoe
- Farming on the edge . . . of change
- Marin Farmers Market awarded as environmental educator
- Milk cow blues
- W. Marin man hopes frozen sperm takes ranch to 'next level'
- A 'nobody' no more
- Rhapsody in Blue
- Drive-by shooter targets cattle in West Marin
- Cheese unplugged
- Green Giants
- The Faces of Organic/Clover Stornetta Farms
- New kids on the block
- Organic dairy certification workshop
- Demand for organic outruns supply
- Volunteers, with cows in tow, join war on thistle
- New Release Offering – Marin Wines
- Last slaughterhouse closing
- Organic evolution: farming a natural choice for Tomales woman
- Leslie Harlib's Cuisine Scene: Go West
- Leslie Harlib's Social Scene: Festive fund raising, organically
- New high quality feed discovered: Wooly Distaff Thistle
- Organic Dairy Workshop in Tomales
- This time, “grass fed” really means “grass fed.”
- Marin Farm Families- Stories & Recipes
- Organic education: Bolinas, Stinson students to get fresh lunches
- Obesity war's latest battlefront: the school cafeteria School nutrition is activists' passion
- Pampering pumpkins
- Buying Local
- Marin Sonoma Livestock Workgroup
- Taste of Marin - Celebrating Marin County Agriculture
- Renowned author Wendell Berry tours Bolinas farm, applauds agrarian efforts
- Organic Beef — Natural Meat Steaks Its Claim
- Dionisio Choperena -- in ad, life a shepherd
- Back to the ranch
- Going organic
- Ranchers and farmers meet in W. Marin to discuss future of agriculture
- Market growing for Marin olive oil producers, sellers
- Point Reyes Station dairy is losing its cows - and its reputation
- Marin dairy farmers face hard times as corn costs rise
- Is Organic Food Really a Better Buy?
- The Marin Center for Sustainable Agriculture is on its way here
- Farm Bureau lunch to honor our county government & supporters
- A Drop in the Bucket: reclaiming water for farming
- Successful first year at new Worsley Farms location in Point Reyes
- Study examines farms' vitality
- Cheese producers hailed as model for West Marin development
- AGRIBUSINESS - Organic Erosion
- Coming in from the cold
- Tiburon entrepreneur hopes to make cheese where the buffalo roam
- UC ANR Publications
- Photos of Marin Agriculture
Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California