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Farm Girl Cattle Co.

Local Girl, Local Movement, Social Consciousness

My vision began last year when I received a call from a generous donor that we were the recipients of a steer from the Sonoma County Fair 4H/FFA Junior Livestock Auction. It was important to be part of the decision-making process for harvesting and packaging. When Bud’s Custom Meats called me to ask how we wanted the beef packaged, I consulted with our chef, Charles Lindner, and we agreed that large primal cuts would best serve our needs. While working with Ellen at Bud’s on the processing, she said, “Wow, this is a great donation, and it will last you a long time.” I thought about this for a minute and responded, “One beef lasts us one day…really.” The reality of this hit home – we prepare and deliver so many meals per day that we could use up this incredible donation in just one day. We all know the love and care that 4H and FFA kids put into their animals, and the response we received from the seniors on the meal we prepared from their meat was overwhelming. This began my journey to grow beef locally to provide seniors with quality, local, “Farm-to-Meals-on-Wheels” beef.

Farm Girl Cattle Co. is born...

Just before the rains, my husband Ty and I fenced off part of our farm for my steer project so the grass would grow for feed. I was on a quest to find a local beef rancher to purchase my steers from. This led me to Matt Hagemann whose ranch is out by Bodega Bay.

I called him out of the blue to tell him about my project and my desire to only use locally-grown beef. We talked about history, family, heritage – and a partnership was formed. Two weeks ago, I picked up three steers and brought them home to my farm…. the project began. Last week, Matt introduced me to a local hay farmer – and another alliance was forged. Imagine the knowledge – I know the lineage of the beef and where it was born. I know where it was raised, and I know where the feed comes from.
 
My hope with this project is that it becomes a program to provide better local food to seniors, and that others are inspired to do the same. Last year, Council on Aging provided over 260,000 meals to seniors in Sonoma County… our most fragile vulnerable, and growing population.

The Council on Aging - Services for Seniors – is a Sonoma County Go Local non-profit member. As a local girl, I felt it important to support local farmers, producers and businesses as much as possible.

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Laura Colgate is the Director of Senior Nutrition Services Meals on Wheels Program at the Council on Aging (COA) and serves as the co-chair for the Alliance's Healthy Eating Action Team. Last year, COA provided over 260,000 meals to seniors in Sonoma County. The steer project is one of many new ideas being pursued to promote healthy eating and active lifestyles.