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Colvin Ranch Awarded Slow Food Snail of Approval

posted on

October 10, 2023

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We’re excited to announce that we’ve been awarded the Snail of Approval by Slow Food Greater Olympia, making us the first ranch to be recognized with the award in Washington state.

The Slow Food Snail of Approval award recognizes food businesses that are practicing Slow Food values to make good, clean, and fair food for all. It's about more than just good food - it's also about responsible sourcing, environmental impact, cultural connections, community involvement, staff support, and business values. 

At Colvin Ranch, the work we do in raising grass-fed, grass-finished beef is literally slower. It can take as much as a year longer to raise grass-finished beef before it's ready for harvest as compared to beef that is finished on grain. For us, though, it's an important link to our family's heritage of raising grass-finished cattle in Tenino since 1854. 

But it's also an important link to our role in caring for the land. Our grazing program enables us to work with nature to efficiently utilize native plants while preserving and protecting some of the last remaining native prairies in Southwest Washington. In the 18 years since the ranch has been protected by a conservation easement, we've increased plant diversity by more than 20%, and we now have more than 160 different plant species on the ranch that support a range of wildlife, including the endangered Mazama pocket gopher. 

We've long admired the people in Slow Food chapters around the world who advocate for regional traditions, good food, and the environment, which is why this recognition is so meaningful to all of us at Colvin Ranch.

Thank you to Slow Food Greater Olympia, Slow Food Seattle, and Slow Food USA for recognizing our commitment to the environment, our animals, and our community, and to making food that is good, clean, and fair. Learn more about the Slow Food Snail of Approval and the other local businesses who have received this award.

About Slow Food International

Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us.

More from the blog

Open House May 19

On May 19, come join us for a behind-the-scenes look at our historic ranch. We'll be offering ranch tours, prairie walks, and burgers, of course!

Thurston Green Business Designation

This time of year, our ranch is visibly green. But all year round, we follow sustainable business practices to reduce our carbon footprint while preserving and protecting our natural resources. Because of our environmental stewardship, we're now officially recognized as a Thurston Green Business.  We talk a lot about our conservation work to restore and enhance the native prairie habitat at the ranch, but we don't often talk about the other steps we take to ensure that we operate our business as a whole in a sustainable way. Some of these business practices include: limiting the transportation of our cattle minimizing packaging, reusing materials, and recycling conserving water and protecting streamsconsolidating deliveries to reduce driving milessupporting local businesses by buying local The conservation easement in place at the ranch ensures that the native prairies here will be protected forever. Working with partners like NRCS, WSU Extension, Thurston Conservation District, Ecostudies Institute, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife, we've completed projects including: contributing to the recovery of the golden paintbrush and its removal from the federal list of endangered and threatened plantsimproving Mazama Pocket Gopher habitatincreasing plant diversityprotecting Scatter Creek stream bedsmaintaining Garry Oak ecosystems planting hundreds of trees And there's more in the works. We're currently working on a five-year project to eliminate scotch broom and restore native prairie plants on a nearby property, and creating silvopasture on a section of land that had been previously neglected.  Check out the other local businesses who have been designated as a Thurston Green Business and shop local.