Southern California-based ground beef processor Jensen Meat Company has signed an agreement with Montana non-profit American Prairie Reserve (APR) designed to help support wildlife-friendly ranching and large-scale conservation while providing Jensen access to domestic, naturally-raised, grass-fed beef for its restaurants, retail outlets and food distributors. This product will be available to food service providers beginning in June and to consumers a few months later.
“APR’s wildlife-friendly ranching practices provide our customers with hormone-free, natural beef while helping to ultimately protect an area of native Montana prairie roughly the size of Connecticut,” says Abel Olivera, CEO of Jensen. “There’s a growing demand in the United States for grass-fed beef, so after quite a bit of research, we are proud to support and partner with APR.”
APR’s vision is to create a 3.5-million-acre complex of public and private land dedicated to wildlife conservation and public enjoyment. To increase tolerance for wildlife on lands around the Reserve in Montana, APR has created a wildlife incentive program paying area ranchers for implementing APR’s wildlife-friendly ranching protocols.
Olivera visited APR headquarters in Bozeman, Montana, and traveled to the project area to meet with ranchers participating in the wildlife incentive program. Olivera says participating ranch families may be featured on Jensen’s meat packaging labels along with the APR logo.
“At Jensen, our business model thrives on transparency — all the way from the ranch to our consumers’ table,” says Olivera. “Working with ranchers dedicated to raising non-grain-fed, steroid-free cattle in the Great Plains is about as transparent as it gets. We see this as a real win-win for ranchers and conservation — not to mention our customers, who get great-tasting beef they can feel extra good about consuming.”
APR was founded in 2001 with a vision of restoring wildlife populations to Montana’s Northern Great Plains in numbers comparable to those characterizing the region prior to large-scale settlement. When complete, the Reserve will be the largest area dedicated to wildlife conservation in the continental United States, approximately one-and-a-half times larger than Yellowstone National Park.
“Our focus is to conserve and manage this vast grassland, sometimes referred to as ‘America’s Serengeti,’ for the enjoyment and benefit of the general public and for future generations,” says Laura Huggins, APR’s Manager of Economic Initiatives. “Abel and his team are committed to helping us achieve our ambitions through Jensen/American Prairie Reserve-branded products, which will raise awareness and benefit our operation for years to come.”
Source: Jensen Meat Co.