A stewardship mindset earns River Bend Ranch 2022 BQA Cow-Calf Award
River Bend Ranch revolves around their philosophy of being the best stewards possible — to their land, animals, family, friends and neighbors. With stewardship and commitment to Beef Quality Assurance at the forefront of the operation, RBR was awarded the distinguished 2022 BQA Cow-Calf Award.
Located in Limon, Colo., and managed by the Frasier family, RBR is a product of several generations of ranching in Colorado. It has operated as an extension of Frasier Farms, LLC since 1981. Primarily a commercial cow-calf operation with Red Angus-based females, the ranch also includes a seedstock enterprise called Solid Rock Red Angus. Joe and Cindy Frasier, owners/operators of RBR, have lived on the ranch for more than 40 years, and their children and grandchildren take an active role in the operation.
“As a rancher, I’m responsible for my family as a steward of the land,” said Ryan Frasier, Joe and Cindy’s son, who works full-time on the ranch. “The grass is what the cattle need to survive.
Taking care of the grass is taking care of the cattle, and the cattle take care of us.”
RBR has a unique grazing management strategy that was implemented in 1984 and enabled them to improve the health of grazing lands while focusing on healthy stewardship of their herd.
By maintaining fewer parasites and soil-borne diseases and allowing individual pastures adequate rest, RBR has seen better calf health, cow fertility and more vigorous calves at weaning time. This management style encourages calves to be more independent grazers and adopt healthier hygiene choices. In addition, RBR utilizes livestock as a tool to recycle nutrients and organic matter back into the soil. By doing so, RBR has been able to keep the soil covered, which aids in the retention of moisture to promote abundant plant growth.
With pride in their land management practices and years of implementing a holistic grazing approach, the Frasier family maintains that a strong emphasis on BQA principles truly coincides with effective land stewardship.
With managing nearly 100 pastures for intensive grazing, RBR has notably more regular interaction with cattle than other traditional ranches. The fact that their cattle are required to be handled more often is recognized as an opportunity to dedicate their attention to BQA’s low-stress handling techniques, cattle health management and enhanced record keeping.
“Being proper stewards is the only way to go about something for us,” Cindy Frasier said. “Through BQA principles, it’s a whole way of life and not just a hobby.”
RBR is also dedicated to improving consumer confidence through public engagement and shares the importance of BQA on its operation and its foundation in U.S. beef production. The ranch is split by Interstate 70 and multiple county highways and roads, making it very visible to the public.
“We want to be a good advocate for the industry, so when people drive along I-70, we want the cattle to be healthy and the grass to be healthy. That way, we are representing our industry well,” said Kelsey Fraiser.
The Frasier family disseminates BQA’s message through social media, blogging and involvement in CommonGround Colorado and opens their ranch for tours to extend the positive message of the beef industry and BQA to consumers.
“Receiving this award is such an honor and is humbling to be recognized for something we try to do daily,” Cindy Frasier said. “We hope we can inspire others to do the same.”
The BQA Cow-Calf Award is funded in part by the Beef Checkoff with additional support from Cargill. For more information on River Bend Ranch and other 2022 BQA Award winners, visit http://www.bqa.org/about/bqa-awards.
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