The Carson Valley.  Lined with pastures lush with greenery and cattle, residents of this valley continually say they love and appreciate the sweeping pastoral views. Nice picture to take a gaze at, isn’t it?

Some see, and claim, these sights as their own, but these same views represent the lifeblood of the ranching community.

Has anyone done a study to see where all of these cattle go throughout the year?  Do they stay in Nevada? 

Are the calves raised in Nevada – grown for local meat production? 

Are the cows kept in the Carson Valley through the year to graze on these pastures? 

Why are the pastures loaded with cattle through the Spring and Summer, yet so slim in the Winter months?  Where on earth have all of these cows gone?

Most (not all) of the cows in the valley are shipped to California to graze the milder climate conditions in the winter season which helps keep their body condition and fat cover through the cold months.

Most (not all) of the calves are sold and shipped to a large producer that will feed them off and ship them off for processing.  Does that mean that they come back to the Carson Valley?  Some do…

Only a few producers will raise their young calves up through the process from birth to harvest.  That involves about a three year process.  The cow is bred and carries the calf for nine months until the time the calf is born. 

Once the calf is born it stays with its mother until about six months of age when it is then weaned from its mother and learns about food on its own. The calf is provided pastures, hay and grains.

The calf is at a minimum of 16 months old when harvested – pending on the feed type it has been offered.  If it has been fed grains, the calf is harvested at an earlier age.  If the calf is raised on pastures and hay, it will be about 20 months before it will be ready for harvest.

Do those animals that we all see grazing along the roadway end up at the grocery store for you to pick and choose from? 

With meat plants still shutting down all over the country due to COVID-19 and the difficulty processers find with building small plants in rural agricultural areas due to public outcry, chances are, not much of that meat you’re eating is local, unless you actively seek it out.

All we need is the ability to get the producer, the grower and the processor all on the same page, or at least the same county.

Carson Valley Meats is working to bring those cattle and other livestock to the local level.  What you see in the pasture is what you will see in the grocery store or on your plate.


Born, fed, raised, harvested – in the valley.