The Birds and the…Beef? How Regenerative Grasslands Restore Habitat for Birds


panorama grassfed beef

A new partnership between Panorama Organic and the National Audubon Society adds 1 million acres of regenerative grasslands for the preservation of birds while producing sustainable, grass-fed beef.

You’ve seen the headlines: Beef is destroying the planet. You’ve heard all about the greenhouse gases and pollution a typical beef operation produces.

But the idea that beef is an environmental disaster isn’t quite that simple.

Those dire warnings are based on one kind of beef: The conventional, factory-farmed kind. And it is, by far, the most commonly consumed beef in North America. In fact, 97% of the beef in the US food supply is grain-fed, feedlot beef.

But there’s another way to produce beef, a way that actually enriches the environment. And it’s happening across at least 3.5 million acres of American grassland.

Kay Cornelius, a fourth-generation rancher and new general manager at Panorama Meats, intends to add another million acres to that total by 2030 through a groundbreaking new partnership with an unlikely ally: The National Audubon Society.

“All of our data proves that grassland birds are the most imperiled group of bird species in America. Grassland birds have lost 53% of their population since 1970, and 95% of all grassland birds live on cattle ranches,” says Marshall Johnson, vice-president of Audubon’s conservation ranching initiative.

The nonprofit’s “Grazed on Audubon Certified Bird-friendly Land” seal was established to recognize ranches that are managed in a way that protects those birds.

Saving these birds is a vital part of maintaining biodiversity. Like bees, birds are important pollinators, and they help maintain the delicate balance of a grassland ecosystem.

Continue reading The Birds and the Beef.

Photo by Candice Vivien

How to Shop for Sustainable Beef

Listen to the first episode of our Eat, Drink, Think podcast for our interviews with Kay Cornelius, Marshall Johnson and Marilyn Noble