LIVESTOCK AND LAND STEWARDSHIP
Livestock make it possible to be agriculturally productive while maintaining and improving the fertility of land over time (i.e. capacity for water capture, hosting of robust microbial, vegetative and wildlife communities). Old Salt ranches monitor changes in key ecological indicators, working to discern the degree to which management is responsible and to continuously improve stewardship. The idea is to work with nature rather than fighting it with chemicals.
Ruminants convert grassland forage into nourishing and useful products, mimicking the symbiotic role that native ruminants had with grasslands. Livestock can also make valuable use of grain byproducts (e.g. hulls, screenings, brewers grain, etc) unfit for human consumption while fertilizing soil and terminating crops in place of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and fungicides that damage land.
Old Salt espouses husbandry that relies on handling skills and techniques to work primarily with an animal’s mind rather than relying on force. Injecting growth hormones into animals unnecessarily risks detracting from overall well-being in the same way steroids would in humans. Consistent access to open space and adequate shelter is important for quality of life.
Furthermore, sub-therapeutics (i.e. antibiotics used for disease prevention instead of treatment) are avoided to prevent antibiotic resistance. Skillful balancing of genetics, feeding and management is key for raising livestock that produce exceptional nourishment at a good value.
Ultimately, animal-based agriculture has the power to produce nourishing food while maintaining and improving long term ecological health, leaving space for the wildlife that share the landscape. That's a win-win, that's Old Salt.