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evolutionary grazing



lions, tigers and bears oh my

A philosophy isn’t something you can dream up. It has to be discovered. We discover ours by looking out at the landscape and asking what it has to teach us.

If you were lucky enough to be here 13,000 years ago and looked out across the vast savannah vegetation that made up North America you would have seen an astounding population of herbivores thundering below, musk oxen and bison, horses and donkeys, llamas and camels, mastodons and mammoths, all being chased by American lions, cheetahs, dire wolves and sabertooth tigers, oh my.

Imagine this gorgeous orchestra that evolved with intricate roles over millions of years. The thundering herbivores, the grass they ate and fertilized, and the predators that kept them moving came to literally define ecosystem health as we know it. We take our management philosophy from this context, this history. We add in a dose of humility and curiosity because we realize how complex this all is. We monitor, pay attention and make adjustment when we err, because we know we will.  We thank you for being part of this journey with us.

A Passion for Regeneration

At Grounded we work in collaboration with the non-profit Sonoma Mountain Institute that manages and monitors the ranches where our beef is produced. The results have been encouraging with one of the Petaluma ranches showing a 148% relative increase in native plant species and a 128% increase in overall plant species. 


Using the power of photosynthesis

At Grounded we do our best to apply the techniques of Carbon Ranching. Carbon Ranching is an approach where practitioners use methods that work to shift carbon from the atmosphere down into the soil. By ensuring that the animals do not overgraze by leaving behind extra grass as "mulch" we give ourselves the chance to put carbon back into the ground. Grass essentially captures carbon out of the air through photosynthesis. When that grass is left to rest long enough and then is grazed, it drops a good portion of its roots into the soil where they can become organic matter over time. This is a highly simplified version and leaves out a lot of details but a great video on the topic and more resources are below. 

A .15% overall organic matter increase in the top 12 inches of soil across all grazing lands in the world (8.64 billion acres) would result in 49.35 Gt of Co2E removed from the atmosphere. Global emissions are approximately 30 Gt/Pg per year.

local ranch

Continual Learning

In this video, we hear from Grassland Manager Byron Palmer with his work at Sonoma Mountain Institute (SMI) explain not only the latest tools in virtual fence technology, but about the long evolution of grazing infrastructure and its impact on ranchers, livestock, and the health of the land. This video was part of the 2023 California Small Farm Conference, hosted by CAFF: Community Alliance with Family Farmers.

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