Prather Ranch harvests approximately 1,100 head per year (an average of 22 head per week) for its premium quality, dry-aged certified organic and natural beef sales. Due to the low cattle volume, meticulous attention (USDA inspections and HACCP plan adherence) is paid to the fine art of harvest, dry-aging and beef processing. Prather Ranch is positioned to provide an unparalleled level of high quality sanitation standards. The result culminates in a beef product that is considered the “Gold Standard” for food safety.
Timeline of the evolution of the Prather Ranch cattle herd:
- 1964 Walter Ralphs purchased the geographically isolated Prather Ranch and started the foundation of the Prather Ranch herd.
- 1975 Last introduction of new females to the primary herd.
- 1984 Cattle identification system implemented with cattle born in 1984.
- 1990 Prather Ranch was contacted by an ISO regulated pharmaceutical company that was searching for a documented “clean” source of cattle hides for an injectable collagen product. The ranch developed protocols that established the beginning of the “Closed Herd” status. Due to BSE concerns, an audit of the entire herd was initiated. The Prather Ranch operation and cattle were documented “clean” through extensive auditing and scientific testing.
- 1995 State-of-the-art abattoir (harvest facility) was built on the ranch property. The abattoir design was adapted to create a low stress environment for the cattle before harvest and to provide an unparalleled level of sanitary conditions. Only Prather Ranch cattle have been harvested in this facility, which has enabled the ranch to ensure that our cattle are not exposed to other potential livestock health issues.
- 1999 Prather Ranch receives the “organic certification” for a portion of the herd.
- 2003 Prather Ranch received the “Certified Humane” certification based on stringent humane animal treatment policies. Humane Farm Animal Care is the certifying organization.
- 2003 Prather Ranch implemented a water quality-monitoring program on irrigated pastures.
- 2004 Prather Ranch began testing for the tenderness gene in herd sires.
Today Prather Ranch continues to be proactive about documentation and scientific testing. Every animal has been carefully tracked on a specialized computer program. The scope of regular scientific testing includes: live cattle, beef, feed, soil and water.