Consumers depend on us to protect the environment as a way of producing high-quality beef.
— Ron Rowan, Beef Northwest
Looking out from his office in North Powder, Ore., the mountains rise from the valley floor. "Oregon is one of the nation's most beautiful places," says Ron Rowan, who heads up Beef Northwest's customer development efforts. "And we want it to stay that way."
Like all employees of Beef Northwest, Rowan believes one of the key reasons he enjoys living here is the natural beauty of the region. And he, along with the rest of his team, intends to keep it that way.
Since its beginning in 1991, Beef Northwest's goal has been to protect the environment, the open spaces, the streams and rivers that make Oregon and Washington unmatched for quality of life.
For its environmental protection efforts, Beef Northwest recently received the Tyson Foods Environmental Stewardship Award for our commitment to environmental quality. The worldwide leader in food production recognized the company for our efforts to protect riparian areas, natural streams and waterways.
"Over the years, we've worked closely with Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and other conservation groups to establish and enhance wildlife sanctuaries for upland game birds and waterfowl on lands that are owned or managed by the company," says Rowan. "We've planted 10,000 trees to protect water and topsoil and to provide habitat for birds and wildlife."
Beef Northwest is a leader in recycling, too, making extensive use of recycled motor oil as an energy source for its feedmills. This not only makes the company more efficient, it also ensures a valuable resource won't go to waste.
In addition, the feedyards provide a value-added market for locally grown potato byproducts.
"For instance, we feed potato byproducts from regional potato processing plants that include cooked peelings and french fries that miss processor specifications," says Rowan.
As a result, feeds such as potato byproducts — and other natural protein sources — are incorporated into nutritionally balanced diets. All of these products are a 100% vegetarian energy source.
The cattle receive these byproducts as part of their normal, three-times-a-day feeding regimen. The ingredients are blended together right before each feeding and sampled and tested for quality and nutrition by an independent laboratory.
"BNW makes extensive use of nutritious potato byproducts in formulating our feed rations," says Rowan. "This serves multiple purposes: It gives our customers a competitive edge because our rations are less expensive than they are in other parts of the country. It provides local potato producers with a market for a product that would otherwise go to waste. And, it protects the environment by using cattle as they were meant to be used — as efficient converters of feedstuffs to high-quality beef."