Local Cattle Ranch Delivers Beef Direct to Consumer to Summit County Residents

Eagle Rock Ranch claims some of the highest human standards for cows.
Photo courtesy of Eagle Rock Ranch on Facebook.

When Jean and Dave Gottenborg realized their dream of buying a cattle ranch in Jefferson in 2012, they were in their 50s and had just retired. Obviously, that retirement was cut short when they plunged into the cattle business on a ranch dating back to 1868.

“I grew up in 4H in Littleton, Colorado so I’ve always been involved with animals. My parents always dreamed of owning and operating a cattle ranch, ”said Erin Michalski, daughter of Jean and Dave. “My mother’s idea was that it would be a nice little man’s ranch with nice horses and cows in the pasture, but my dad wanted a fully operated cattle ranch.”

Dave’s idea prevailed and now Eagle Rock Ranch beef is sold locally as well as nationwide. Michalski, who lives with her family part-time at Breckenridge and part-time at the ranch, said she sells beef directly to several of her Summit County neighbors and the ranch’s beef can be found at the Frisco Whole Foods Market. . The family also just closed a new storefront at Fairplay where they will sell fresh beef.

Michalski said the ranch prioritizes certifications that show customers how well they treat their cows. She said Eagle Rock Ranch raises 100% Black Angus cattle and beef, free of hormones and antibiotics, pasture-raised and GMO-free. The ranch is also certified as a Global Animal Partnership Level 4 Ranch and is Beef Quality Assurance Certified.

“We have the highest human rating possible in the beef industry. It just comes down to how we treat our animals and how we maintain conditions, ”said Michalski.

Prioritizing these certifications and treating cows well is how Michalski said she builds trust with customers who care where their food comes from.

“Certainly for my generation and others, there is a big movement about where your food comes from,” Michalski said. “The importance of certifications is that you really know what you are putting into your body and that of your family. “

Michalski also pointed out that Eagle Rock Ranch raises grass-fed cows that are able to graze rather than eat corn, which is more nutritious and natural for cows. The ranch also allows for on-site pickup so people can come and visit the ranch before buying beef.

“I want people to know that there is an outlet for them to buy locally raised, humane treated beef,” Michalski said.

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