ESAP 2023


See how California beef farmers and ranchers are rethinking the ranch to raise sustainable beef through land-saving, wildlife-preserving, and award-winning environmental efforts.


california ranch honored for outstanding environmental stewardship

Hart Ranch, located in northern California, has a mission of building a sustainable, holistic property stewardship program that allows for equal economically viable ranching operations and wildlife habitat enrichment based on scientifically proven, environmentally sound management practices. The cow-calf operation, founded in 1852, is dedicated to landscape and watershed rejuvenation, demonstrating the tremendous positive impacts a well-managed cow herd and grazing program has on the environment. Through strategic partnerships with various organizations and state and federal agencies, the Hart family has improved on-farm water efficiency and soil health while simultaneously bettering anadromous fish species habitat through the voluntary dedication of senior, cold-spring water rights to critical streams. And they have integrated sustainable timber management with regenerative grazing practices to maximize carbon sequestration in Klamath River watershed headwater regions. These actions have benefited not only the endangered and non-threated species that call the Hart Ranch home, but also the Hart Ranch cow herd with increased carcass quality and yield grades in the final product.

"Stewardship is not just second nature, but a core value that ensures our livelihood, honors our heritage and provides an opportunity for future generations. We see our place as part of the ecosystem, not in spite of it." - Blair Hart, Hart Ranch



Kevin Kester

Kevin Kester and his wife, June, own Bear Valley Ranch, in Parkfield, California, just outside of Paso Robles. As parts of the 22,000-acre ranch are not easily accessible by automobile, Kevin relies on the use of technology, such as drones, to check on water supplies and irrigation systems throughout the property. The rolling hills and valleys of the ranch are home to cattle, horses, wildlife, native grasslands and, most recently, rows of grape vines that are sold to local vineyards to make wine. Mixing time-honored traditions with cutting-edge innovations, the Kester family and Bear Valley Ranch provide a fascinating example of how ranchers blend traditions with the technology of today to raise the best beef possible.

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Raising beef in California

Raising beef is a complex process, but throughout the entire journey, one thing remains constant – the shared commitment to raising cattle in a safe, humane and environmentally sustainable way. Today, there are more than 5.2 million cattle and over 13,000 cattle farms and ranches in California. Learn more about California beef farmers and ranchers who are raising beef from pasture to plate.

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popular california-inspired recipes

Sushi-Style Beef Roll

sushi-style beef roll

Beef in sushi? Absolutely! Slice your favorite cooked, cold roast or steak into long strips and wrap with veggies in white rice and nori, then serve with Asian condiments.

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Spicy Grilled Ribeye Cap with Avocado-Mango Salad

spicy grilled ribeye with avocado-mango salad

Often considered the best part of the Ribeye, this steak gets rubbed and grilled then topped with a cooling salad.

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California is known as the “salad bowl capital of the world” as over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts are grown in the state.