About Open Space Meats
Open Space is made up of Seth and Mica Nitschke. We are family ranchers here in beautiful central California. We love Open Space Meats grass fed beef and we hope you will too
At Open Space Meats we work with the environment and with the cattle in our care. That's why we never use steroid implants, feed concentrate grains that cattle have trouble digesting, or needlessly feed antibiotics to keep our cattle healthy. Instead, we do something that keeps being forgotten. If you do your best to care for the cattle, make sure they always have the right nutritional balance in their diet and aren't stressed or needlessly pushed to produce or grow they will be healthy and in turn productive!
Grass; was meant to be grazed. Like most things in this world; "all things in moderation". If you abuse your natural resources by overgrazing eventually it will catch up to you. By overgrazing you diminish the grass' ability to replenish it's roots, if a plant has unhealthy roots, eventually there will be no plant, or it will be replaced by less beneficial plants. The opposite is also true. If grass is never grazed or burned the old mature grasses that die eventually form a layer of thatch that keeps light from reaching new seedlings. If there is no new growth there will be less rootstock to hold the ground in place leading to the erosion of the topsoil. So grazing our lands responsibly is a win-win situation. Not only do the cattle get to graze the most nutritious plants for them, it actually helps the grasses reproduce more effectively and keeps the rangeland healthy and the water clean.
Open Space History
In the winter of 2004 Seth decided that enough was enough. He was tired of business as usual in the cattle industry. There were more and more corporations coming into the business and the little guys were getting squeezed out. Too many in the cattle business don't appreciate the most important things we rely on, the land, the cattle and the customer! So Seth figured change begins at home, and it was time for a change.
Well then why grass fed beef? Seth has been in the cattle business most of his working life and part of that time Seth managed a small farm in far off Western Australia. In Seth's words " In Western Australia we were raising grass fed yearlings for the domestic beef market. Slow, easy, natural. We sold them to the local meat companies and tried our best to make a little money. All the beef we ate was grass fed and I really liked the taste, I just figured 'it was an Aussie thing'. I loved Western Australia and will always consider it my second home, it was one of the best times of my life, so why not try it again. Grass fed beef that is. Slow, easy, natural. It worked before and I'll get the chance to share 'an Aussie thing' with everyone else. As good as the Aussies were to me it would be a shame not to pass it on."
How Open Space Meats Does It
At Open Space Meats our goal is to produce beef that is good for our customers, good for the environment, and good for the cattle.
When cattle are crowded together for long periods of time like in commercial feedlots disease will spread quickly through a large number of cattle. Because our cattle are raised on pasture and not in feedlots we don't have to feed antibiotics to keep cattle healthy. We never use hormone implants that artificially stimulate cattle to grow faster than they would naturally.
We don't feed concentrated grains like rolled corn that cattle wouldn't naturally eat otherwise. The digestive system in cattle is designed to break down roughage feeds like grass. When there is too little roughage in their diet, cattle they will get "upset stomachs" what we refer to as acidosis. That is, their digestive system is producing too much acid from having to break down concentrated grains and artificial fats. Because of this, the second largest user of sodium bicarbonate (antacids) in the U.S. is the cattle feedlot industry. Essentially the cattle have antacids mixed into their feed to keep their digestive system from reacting badly to the concentrated grains in their feed. We don't think this is how nature designed this to work, so we just stick with the way nature designed, natural grasses and legumes. We figure that nature designed it's creatures a certain way for a reason, no need to mess with what's not broken, just work with it.
In the same spirit of working with nature we do our best to be faithful and responsible stewards of the land. To us it is just common sense. If we take care of our environment and keep our grasslands healthy they will produce healthy cattle. Healthy cattle are more productive. Because of this approach, we get the added benefit of clean water in the creeks, biodiversity in our native forage plants and abundant wildlife and birds in our pastures.