LOCAL RANCHER: BRIDGEPORT, WASHINGTON

 

Toddler on ranch
It’s all about family and leaving a better environment for future ranchers.

Bridgeport, Washington
Cavadini Partnership Ranch

Dan Cavadini wasn’t always a cattle rancher. Shortly after high school, Dan left his multi-generational family owned farm for college and then a job in the big city.

“When I graduated high school, there was no way I was coming back here,” he says.  Yet, after several years of business management and then an agricultural degree, Dan returned home, and, with his parents formed the Cavadini Partnership Ranch.

The ranch sits in Washington’s northern Douglas County. Along with cattle, the family’s primary livelihood is in dryland farming. The steep, rocky terrain makes for less than ideal cattle grazing. But Dan says the way to succeed is to breed cattle that can adapt to it.

“We have invested a lot of research and money in putting together a suitable mineral package,” he says. “That’s been a big struggle, because our ground is so deficient in a lot of minerals. It’s a fairly high expense to keep them healthy,” but one that’s worth the cost. Dan explains that although his pastures offer plenty of grass, the grass isn’t always as nutrient dense as it could be. To produce high-quality beef for brands like Cattle Company Beef, it’s imperative the cows open graze as much as possible.

Dan’s 280 head of cow calf pairs have almost 15,000 acres of private and public lands to utilize throughout the year. Dan says one of his biggest challenges is dealing with mother nature and, “Getting a good balance between being able to run our native pasture correctly while keeping a grass inventory at a sustainable level.” The struggle, he adds, is also in “Being able to keep an animal that is suited to our environment and being able to keep both cow and calf healthy.”

The Cavadini Partnership Ranch tries to keep the cow’s environment as natural as possible. If cows become sick, Dan works first to get the cow healthy again, but second, to address the root of the issue. “I feel if you’re using antibiotics on a regular basis, you’re missing the source of the problem. I think there’s a big difference in end quality in keeping the calves as natural as you can.”

Dan along with his father, son and cousin pride themselves in low-stress livestock handling. “It is very important to all of us to keep the cattle as stress-free when handling them.”

Dan hopes that partnerships like the one he holds with Cattle Company Beef will bridge the distance between the consumer and the product source. With the help of his family, Dan takes pride in leaving the ranch to the next generation, better than when he started.

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