For those of you that have not met Donut, consider this your formal introduction. Donut is an Angus/Hereford steer that was among the first group of cattle Gabe brought to the Ranch in the spring of 2006. He was named by his previous owner’s children and it goes without saying that before he came here he wasn’t 100% grass fed. But that background made him comfortable with people and particularly driven by his stomach. Rotational grazing at CSR involves moving cattle every 24-48 hours and Donut was consistently showing up first in line, leading the rest of the herd to fresh pasture across fence lines and down our dirt road without hesitation. Gabe realized this simplified management and kept the other cattle stress-free, so decided to keep Donut around as the head of the herd. This makes him an important part of the operation because every spring and fall we bring in a new group of calves (they are usually about 10 months old and already a whopping 700 pounds or more) and Donut is in charge of cattle orientation.
And where do these cattle come from? Today, Cold Spring Ranch is proud to work primarily with three family farms who supply our cattle. These are breeders who run cow/calf operations based out of Turner, Farmington, Albion and Freeport. Before they come to us, these cattle have to meet strict animal welfare standards and are always 100% grass fed. At the other end of the operation is our butcher, Luce’s Meats in nearby Anson. We work very closely with all of our partners and function much like a cooperative. Each of us has a unique set of skills and the reason we are so successful is because we use the individual strengths of each party. All of this is to say that when you buy Cold Spring Ranch beef you can feel very good about supporting not just one, but at least five different hard-working family businesses in Maine. In fact, over 50 cents of every dollar spent on CSR beef goes back to these local businesses. So on behalf of all of us, thank you for your support. And if you come visit us at the Ranch, Donut will eat a nice alfalfa treat out of your hand as a sign of his appreciation.