A cow and calf graze in a pasture at Peach Crest Ranch near Sulphur.

A 12,000-acre organic ranch just east of Sulphur might change your mind about what you eat for dinner.

Peach Crest Ranch offers prairie-raised, grass-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free, minimally processed beef and pork to consumers. Many have heard the term grass-fed, but don’t understand how it affects the quality of meat.

“Peach Crest Ranch takes great pride in the many health benefits that come from our beef,” owner/president Susan Bergen says.

According to the Mayo Clinic and other studies, grass-fed and grass-finished (or 100 percent grass-fed) cattle contain up to a third less saturated fat and higher amounts of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E than conventionally marketed beef.

Champions of regenerative grazing also stress its animal welfare and environmental impact. Experts state that grass-fed animals live longer out of confinement and that grazing herds also stimulate microbial activity in the soil to capture water and sequester carbon.

“We believe that the animals need to be in the open prairie, the way nature intended,” Bergen says. “We believe in land preservation, never pillaging more than the soil can bear and always working to put back into it more than is taken out of it.”

Peach Crest’s passion for healthy animals is reflected in its Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) certification by A Greener World, which provides unbiased, independent audits of pasture-based farms.

“We are Oklahoma’s largest AWA cattle producer and we wear this badge with great pride,” Bergen says. “Through humane and conscious ranching, we … not only give back to our land but also provide a superior product.”

Since the early 1900s, the Bergen family has ranched across Oklahoma and farmed various crops. Today, it’s committed to growth in modern ranching. The name Peach Crest Ranch was formed by Bergen and her daughter, Jessica Bergen-Elliott, to carry on a tradition of sustainable agriculture.

“We maintain cattle operations in four different locations, all with specific and objective goals for growth and well-being,” Bergen says. “Each location has been acquired at separate times, all with the intentions of sustainable growth and well-rounded profitability.”

The transition to grass-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free cattle began in the early 2000s. Bergen’s passion for an enriched lifestyle led her to switch, and she has worked closely with the Noble Foundation in Ardmore for guidance.

“Through extensive research and a few trial and error moments, we have begun perfecting the ‘Peach Crest Way’ of letting Mother Nature provide for the cattle,” she says.

As for a price comparison, Madison Magill of Uptown Grocery in Edmond says Peach Crest Ranch meats, such as top round, bottom round, tenderloin, strip loin and ground beef, cost about 12 percent more than similar cuts of the store’s conventionally marketed beef. For more information about the Bergens’ products, go to peachcrestranch.com or visit Uptown Grocery, Buy For Less or Smart Saver.

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