Harper Valley Ranch is a small family owned and operated ranch focused on raising natural pastured meat. We are often asked why we chose the ranching lifestyle. My husband and I both worked in Corporate America for many years. Although I was raised in a farm family my husband was a “city kid”. Our ranching dream really began when we discovered Alpacas. At that time we lived in town but had an acre, so we bought some Alpacas and they were great fun. One
of our main reasons for choosing Alpacas was that they were NOT used for meat. We really didn’t want to be involved in actually harvesting animals for food.
We soon decided we wanted more land and more animals. After much discussion, we purchased a Ranch in 2005 and started with a small herd of cattle. Although we are definitely carnivores, there was still that queasy feeling about actually harvesting “our” animals so we decided to only sell live animals.
As we began to learn more about the meat industry and how animals are raised we realized that
harvesting wasn’t really the big bad wolf. The problems we saw with the industry were the unhealthy
and often inhumane methods which were utilized to produce meat at the lowest cost possible.
The more we learned, the more committed we became to raising animals humanely with the respect we feel they deserve. We realized we could no longer support the traditional meat industry by supplying animals for feedlots and buying meat.
In 2010 we took the plunge and began producing pasture raised cattle for meat full time. To this day we never take an animal to harvest without it being emotional. But we had decided that if we were going to eat meat and be involved in the industry, we wanted to do it right. We are so proud of what we've built. Our pastures look better with each passing year, the animals are thriving and healthy, and we feel more connected to the food chain and our community than ever before. We hope you consider joining us on this great adventure.
Cheers to good health and doing things right!
Sandy Sturgis and Eric Powell