December Edition (IV): Grassroots Ranch
Learn about the different ways Tulsa’s local businesses practice environmental and economical strategies to make the world a better place through Cheeky Things’ new series: Meaningful Mondays. We’ll be featuring hardworking, conscious business owners on the first (or second) Monday of each month. So read up, and stay tuned; because if you don’t already know about these entrepreneurs, you’re going to want to.
Missed a few Meaningful Mondays? Check out our last interview from Tulsa Family Doulas
Meaningful Mondays Presents
How would you describe your business?
We are a sustainable and regenerative farm.
What does your business specialize in?
Producing responsibly raised food that respects the animal, the land, and the families that consume what we produce.
Do you house any employees?
We typically have 1 full-timer on staff, and a part-timer and/or intern.
Who operates your farm?
My husband and I own and operate the business with one full-time employee and seasonal part-time employees.
How does Grassroots Ranch positively impact the environment through its practices and business culture?
The way we raise our animals actually improves the land instead of destroying it like the notorious agricultural giants of today. We organically fertilize the land and actively build topsoil as we rotate our animals across it, which makes for thicker grass with deeper root systems. It’s redeeming the native Oklahoma grasslands, which are a powerful tool for sequestering carbon in the soil and preventing erosion and flooding.
With each animal we raise we make sure we put them back in the proper ecosystem where they belong, instead of fighting against nature to raise our food. Our business practices are thoughtful and intentional, and I am deeply proud of what we do.
What are some ways your business strives to be economical for your customers?
We are consistently trying to find the balance between high quality of our products and economy for our customers. Typically that means we are making sure every step is as efficient as possible, and there is no waste- be it wasted time, wasted animal feed on the ground for our omnivores, or wasted money in our behind-the-scenes expenses. I feel like 75% of our conversations are about this. Haha!
Do you conduct any community outreach?
We love being available for our community, and education is a huge part of what we do. We welcome both personal farm tours for families and large tours for homeschool and public school classes, and I’m always amazed by the questions kids ask and what they take away from learning about all that we do. Ultimately we want to be a place where people can start thinking differently about their food and living sustainably, a resource for our Tulsa community, as we build a better food future together.
What’s your favorite part of Grassroots Ranch?
I’d have to say my favorite part of what we do is providing meaningful ingredients for people to gather around and nourish their bodies. Whether I’m placing it in the hands of a parent cooking for a family meal, a chef crafting an intentional culinary experience, or an individual using food as medicine to heal their body- I am honored our food gets to be a part of their story. The owners of McDonalds don’t get to feel that.
What are the core values of Grassroots Ranch?
Transparent food, education, sustainability, and regenerative agricultural practices.
What do you do when you’re not working on your business?
We’re farmers- we’re always working on our business. If we’re not outside with work gloves on or doing deliveries, we’re inside working on marketing, replying to customers, and working on invoicing and accounting. It can be absolutely exhausting.
My husband has often worked all day, gotten into bed, and had to get back up to run off coyotes to save our animals’ lives in the middle of the night. He’s had to haul animals back and forth across state lines on only a few hours of sleep. I’ve had to deal with difficult and unkind customers as I’m emotionally and physically exhausted, and solve marketing challenges to make sure we can actually make this crazy thing work.
We’re always working on the business.
Are there any business goals for the next year you’d like to share?
We’d like to diversify our offerings and grow in 2020. We’ll be moving to a new farm lease that opens up the opportunity for more animals, more freezer storage, starting farm-to-table dinners, and having regular farm tours.
I’d personally like to expand our brand and our resources- adding recipes and cooking tips to our website, and doing blog posts about sustainability as a lifestyle, especially sustainable food.
Any personal goals?
Personally, I need to get my daughter potty trained. I love cloth diapering, but I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy a potty trained child even more.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I think living a sustainable lifestyle is full of a bunch of baby steps. As we learn and grow, we can take on one more thing at a time. I think sustainably produced food is a worthy and meaningful addition to anyone’s health and sustainability journey.