The San Francisco Chronicle has a feature today about Humboldt County cattleman Clint Victorine, who raises organic grass-fed beef down in the Eel River Valley.
It's a modern-day rags-to-riches -- or niches -- tale. Local boy wants to raise cattle. Has no family spread to inherit. Old-timers tell him it can't be done. He does it anyway, and has 40 head of cattle by the time he's heading for college. Comes back, still talking crazy about raising more cattle. Old timers shake their heads. But others say, organic's where you gotta be. Then the old folks say, hell, you'll never make it without giving 'em growth hormones not to mention worm meds and other health-fortifying drugs. And compete with the big boys? Bah.
Well, he did it, went organic -- with help from others, including a Headwaters Forest grant, and a partnership with a fellow who knows the food-brokering ropes, Bill Carman, says the story. And now:
Now, he runs his herd -- about 5,000 head -- on the 6,000 acres he leases and the 200 he owns in Loleta. Whole Foods Market in Southern California is their largest account. In Northern California they sell Eel River or Pacific Pastures to independent stores, including Mollie Stone's, Draeger's and Andronico's."
Go read the full story, it's colorful.
Of course, we've known about local, organic, grass-fed beef-grower Victorine for a long time, now. And we appreciate his telling the world that:
"... Humboldt's got the best grass around."
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