Skip to Content

Meat That Makes A Difference

A group of cows with tags on their ears in a field looking at the camera.

We love meat. It's why we raise animals in environmentally friendly ways that allow us all to keep enjoying it. That means promoting organic production and innovating with ranchers around the world to employ practices that regenerate the soil.


Organic is a federally regulated standard that prohibits hormones, growth promotants and antibiotics—and ensures that animals' health and natural behavior are prioritized. A case in point: The rules require all grazing animals are out in the fresh air and sunshine at least 120 days each year.

The Organic standard also bans synthetic pesticides and genetically-modified corn and soy for animal feed. More organic means there is more livestock raised with fewer chemicals and GMOs. This is why we are increasing the number of partners who raise organic livestock and working with new farmers to demonstrate the value of the organic standard and connect them to resources that will ease their transition.


Regenerative agriculture is a fairly new term to most. There is no single definition, but there is widespread agreement on the type of practices used in regenerative farming. These include minimal or no-tilling of the soil (to stop the release of carbon dioxide that is stored in the soil and maintain the diversity of soil microorganisms); regular crop rotation and cover cropping (to build organic matter and minimize erosion) and a move away from monocropping, where farmers plant vast acreage with one crop in favor of multiple crops. Regenerative agriculture also prioritizes ways that animals and plants can synergistically enrich the soil.

How? Well, animals are an integral part of a diversified and holistic system. When animals graze, they feed on plants that spread their carbon-rich roots into the soil. The animals also trample the ground, creating pockets for water to pool, and fertilize it with their excrement. (This is why a popular slogan for regenerative farming is: Keep the poop in the loop!)

For Applegate, one of the most important part of the regenerative process is measuring outcomes, because we want to truly understand how our animals impact the land. Applegate is collaborating with farmers to capture the impacts of diverse regenerative practices such as buffer strips, pollinator and wildlife refuge plots, species diversification and cover cropping, which are already employed on farms in our network. We are also dedicating resources to calculate animals' role in carbon sequestration and building soil biodiversity.

At Applegate, our first efforts are focused on grass-fed beef. But we also are keen to begin to work on implementing regenerative practices with our pork and poultry production.

Learn more about regenerative agriculture »