Since our founding in 2003, Thousand Hills has been focused on one Mission: To nourish the soil, the plants, cattle, and people by holistically grazing cattle for their lifetime. What began as a passion to simply share the nutritional benefits of Lifetime Grazed 100% Grass Fed Beef with more people has evolved into a full embrace of regenerative agriculture—with its many critical benefits to people and planet.
My home farm, embedded in the rolling hills of Clearwater, MN, is proudly one of 13 North American Savory Institute Hubs—achieved by demonstrating leading holistic, regenerative grazing practices.
After a 20-year career working in conventional food marketing, I returned to the farm I was raised on, only to witness the damaging results of tilling the undulating watersheds for decades to plant a ruthless rotation of monoculture corn/soy crops in all the neighboring farms. All the now-aged, small farmer land stewards were renting their tillable fields to large corporate farmers whose sole interest was to extract a crop this growing season by any means possible. It didn’t really matter to these renters if the soil was degrading every year. When it degraded to the point of not producing a sufficient crop two options still remained: 1) gov’t subsidized crop insurance payments or 2) simply don’t renew the lease. This was the fertile land I grew up on, I couldn’t bear to see this happen!
My beginnings into grass-fed beef meant urgently adopting my local community project of recapturing and converting as many acres as possible from these extractive practices and instead re-establish diverse grasslands for grazing. And thus, beginning the process of soil regeneration in my own back yard. We began with 120 acres from our home farm and have now expanded to over 1,000 acres affecting 13 different small farm landowners. The process of regeneration can seem slow, but I remind myself, it took 70+ years to do the damage. Seeing dramatic results after 5-7 years is a testament to nature’s ability to heal itself when allowed.
We now source cattle from an additional 50 hand-selected, like-minded U.S. family farms across 3 regions: Midwest, Northeast, and West. Each of these farms are deeply committed to their own community project of regenerating land to provide for their children and grandchildren—while sharing their output of nutrient-dense beef with as many people as possible under the Thousand Hills brand. This group of Regenerative Renegades has already positively affected 600,000 acres in the U.S.
If we honestly look around at the collective health of our nation we know something is wrong. Who doesn’t have a loved one affected by cancer or a myriad of other diseases? Two of my grandparents, both parents, myself and one of my sisters have all had cancer or died of cancer. The slow drip of our chemically-laden land and food system is killing our land and our people. We feel an urgency to act. The benefit (and detriments) can be traced back to our methods of managing our land.
A renegade spirit has provided the energy for Thousand Hills to forge ahead against all odds. Devoted consumers have sought us out and voted with their dollars. We compete in an industry dominated by titans. We are very small in comparison. Still, we must survive if we are to serve our mission. It’s a constant challenge of competing for consumer consciousness without compromise yet offering products at the most reasonable price possible. Thank you for caring about our land, its people and their health. Please join us as a Regenerative Renegade,