In 2011, OBE Organic joined the U.S.-based CROPP Cooperative (better known by its brands Organic Valley and Organic Prairie) as a member, connecting the wild country of Australia to the growing good food movement in the U.S. The Betts family’s million acres would now supply grass-fed beef across the Pacific.

In fact, most of the grass-fed beef from OBE Organic ranchers is sold internationally, securing a worldwide market for sustainable, organic farming methods.

What Stewardship Looks Like Down Under

Efficiently monitoring millions of acres of wild country in the Australian Outback takes resourcefulness and innovation. The Bettses have those skills in spades.

They use a photography system to keep track of the health of the pastures; although, at times, they simply know intuitively that the land is ready for a change. “When you’ve been on the land for so long, you tend to know what the condition is without external feedback,” Sharon said.

But once you know what the land needs, how do you make it happen? How do you move thousands of cows hundreds of miles?

The Betts family has figured it out.

A herd of cows is herded by cowboys on horses and dirt bikes across a sandy stretch of land toward a green stretch in the distance.

Australian ranchers herd the cattle using people on horses and using motorbikes. Photo courtesy of OBE Organic.

It starts with a small helicopter called a gyrocopter that they use to find the herd among thousands of acres, and it ends with a team of real cowboys (or ringers, as they’re called in Australia) riding horses, trucks, and dirt bikes to corral the cattle. Then the cattle are herded or trucked to a new tract of wildlands that is ready to be grazed.

This human management helps maintain healthy soils and grasslands that could otherwise end up overgrazed if the cows were left to their own devices.

A group of brown and white cows graze dry grasses against a pink and blue sunset sky.

Australian cows grazing at sunset.

Living in this vast, beautiful, and remote area can be challenging. Sacrifices of the modern are made, but the job of stewarding the land and the animals is an honorable one. It provides healthy, grassfed beef that ends up on store shelves as our 100% grass-fed ground beef, hot dogs, and convenient organic beef snacks, which give people a way to support a better world with every dollar they spend.

Moving cattle hundreds of miles and caring for such vast amounts of land is no easy task, but it’s worth it when it means healthier soils, healthier food, and a healthier Earth.

Want more?

Get another view of what it’s like to live and farm in the Australian Outback with this video by OBE Organic introducing us to the Brooks family, Australia’s first organic beef producers who are located near–relatively speaking–the Betts family.

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