Scouting Trip - Late March 2017


Wow! Our first Blog. A lot has happened in the last year. Sweetwater Farm Natural Beef has gone from a dream in Susan’s and Pat’s heads, to reality on the ground in Conejos and Flagstaff! Well, as much fun as it has been, it has required a lot of elbow grease, crucial help from friends, not to mention a huge leap of faith! In the end the ten steers you all bought in the ‘Class of 2016’ turned out utterly fantastic, and thanks to word of mouth and our great customers, we totally sold all of our beef our first year! Nothing left to do but bask in our success and eat burger sliders- right? Not quite…

On that note, Susan and Pat just completed our pre-season scouting/steer buying road trip from Flagstaff to Conejos Colorado. With a list of steer sources from last year, a lot more experience inspecting feeder steers, and a well sprouted beard on Pat’s face- Sweetwater Farm is light years ahead of where we were last year at this time. Naturally, the trip was a great success! We were fortunate to be able to narrow down our choices to the two best suppliers we bought our favorite steers from last year. These were the steers that we grew to know last summer as distinctly friendly personalities, as well as of a healthy composition. In order to establish relationships with the best ranchers and ranches we can find, we also wanted to have steers from more than one source again this year.


It’s extremely interesting to walk around the ranch with Esteban, a local born and bred rancher of Basque Spaniard descent. It was a little intimidating at first when we got out of the car because while Susan was changing into her ditch boots to walk through the pasture, Steve’s large male turkey took a shine to Susan’s clogs and began making amorous advances! The turkey wasn’t as attracted to my boots fortunately, but he did subsequently stalk Susan all through the pasture. In fact, as we wandered through Steve’s property our retinue grew until we ultimately were followed by a rag-tag band of horses, steers, dogs, and one turkey. We took it as a good sign of the rancher’s gentle spirit. Additionally, Steve’s local Angus-X steers eat only non-pesticide natural grass, receive no hormone implants or antibiotics, and have no idea what a feed-lot looks like. They are great looking steers and we’re excited to have them!


We picked our other locally born and bred Angus-X steers from a nearby Colorado Centennial ranch that has been owned and operated by the same family for over 100 years. Rancher Dave’s herd has been selectively bred for more than a century to develop traits that make it ideally suited to the landscape and ecology of the San Juan Mountains. We bounced around the immaculate ranch in Rancher Dave’s old truck with his father, retired Rancher Dave, and they proudly showed us their steers, then their cows, then the new born calves a few hours old. Of course these steers are outstanding. They are also raised to organic standards.

We attended to our other business in Colorado such as taxes, ranch maintenance, porcupine pest control, etc. Pat put his first Stetson cowboy hat on order, and we dropped of Susan’s famous high altitude chocolate chip cookies to our friend Luciano, who helped us on a variety of levels last year. Then it was time to reload the dogs in the car and head south back to Flag until we relocate in mid-April for the rest of the summer.


The Class of 2017 stands at ten steers for now, with additional steers on option while pre-orders are taken until the end of April. Our goal this year is to increase the herd to 15 steers. That will only happen if Early Bird orders justify enlarging the herd, but no matter what, supplies are limited.

We can guarantee your Early Bird order if we receive your deposit by the end of April. As an Early Bird financial incentive we will subtract $.25/lb from your order price, which saves you about a hundred bucks on a whole steer. After April 30th however, it is first come first serve, and once we run out - it’s too late! So make your order for Class of ’17 Sweetwater Farm Natural Beef Today!!!