Close your eyes and picture this: You drive up to a serene plot of expansive land with rolling hills that sprawl out in every direction bolstered by the majestic Rocky Mountains mountains. In the distance, a small group of enthusiastic riders methodically guide their horses, directing a small group of cattle towards what we assume must be greener pastures. It’s here that these happy cows are raised with sustainable agricultural practices which in turn, helps the surrounding environment flourish. Sound too perfect? Well, dream bigger, because this euphoric spot is very much real and not too far from home. We had the opportunity to experience this stress-melting settlement for ourselves beside Elin Parker-Ganschow, owner of Sangres Best/Music Meadow Ranch, with our entire fam in tow, for a blissful and adventurous day in Westcliffe, Colorado.

RMFR relives our picturesque ride in a horse-drawn carriage and picnic in a snowy meadow, coupled with a thorough education from Parker-Ganshchow, where we learn the ins and outs of what makes her beef taste so damn delicious and what separates Sangres Best from the “other guys.”

“I know that the grasses of the West are far superior food for livestock than the grasses of the East and South,” begins Parker-Ganschow, painting a colorful picture of Colorado’s Wild West history. “This has been known since the days of the great cattle drives when the saddle horses were known to gain weight on the journey to the North and West. The cool season grasses, huge variety of palatable forage, the excellent water quality, all play a role in the terroir of the beef.”

Like a boss: Elin Parker-Ganschow, owner of Sangres Best/Music Meadows Ranch.

Terroir, a common term in the wine world, is now often used to describe grass finished beef, defining it as “the effect of an area’s specific soil, water, native plants, local fungi and environmental conditions.” This land is not only special due to its unique climate and topography, it holds a deeper meaning for Parker-Ganshow who inherited the 3,800 acres from her parents, originally purchasing the property back in 1968.

“I don’t even think of myself as the owner, for me its more of an idea that I was planted here and given the passion for ranching and just blessed to have the opportunity to make it my vocation,” says Parker-Ganschow humbly. “I am basically just using the many gifts that I have been given by the Good Lord who has entrusted the care of this ranch to me for a time. I feel more like a trustee than an owner. I love seeing the place benefit others through the food we raise, as well as the people we host as guests, and those who join our team and get the work done.”

Home on the Range.

While Parker-Ganschow skillfully and wholeheartedly manages her role of fattening the grass-fed cattle, she also nurtures a partnership with Ranch Foods Direct, who butchers her cows to produce a thoughtfully maintained, meticulously handled and carefully curated product.

“I so appreciate the organization that Mike Callicrate has put together to make what we do possible,” says Parker-Ganschow. “The level of expertise in cutting and packaging is unmatched.”

In addition to working together to take her process from A to Z, Sangres Best distributes through Ranch Foods Direct for an easy local pickup destination in Colorado Springs. Parker-Ganschow also makes weekly trips during “harvest” to Denver, Pueblo, Florence and Penrose, as well as personally taking care of her “Westcliffe folks.” 

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Beautiful, cared for beef.

Colorado cows are making even bigger and broader moves this year, pushing Sangres Beef beyond state lines with free shipping on ground service. Yet, as the brand expands to bring Centennial State beef to more customers nationwide, its focus stays within the community it serves with a passionate commitment to quality, care and achieving peak nutritional value.

“It has been said that there is no such thing as ‘cheap food’,” says Parker-Ganschow. “I agree with that. You are what you eat.  If you think about it, eating is the most intimate thing you do to your body besides having sex. I think consumers need to realize there is a lot more to food quality when it comes to meat than what is printed on the label.”

Another day at the office.

So beyond the predisposed routine of traditional grocery shopping that most of us view as “normal,” what stops us from heading straight to the source to purchase our meat?

“We understand that buying bulk may be new a little scary to lots of folks,” says Parker-Ganschow, who offers sample size boxes of beef to curious new customers. “We have made it our mission to make it simple for you and to help you learn how it works to get the most benefit possible.”

Break me off a piece of that.

Sangres Best entices newbies with a user-friendly website for easy online ordering, provides charts and information to plan your supply needs and optimize storage space and even shares instructions on how to prepare cuts of meat that may be new to first-time buyers. Additionally, for prospective customers on a tight budget, Sangres offers interested parties the role of a “Community Whole Beef Coordinator,” which guarantees “rock bottom pricing” and 10-lbs. of free beef.  

“Add that to a high quality, delicious, grass finished beef animal raised naturally,” says Parker-Ganschow with her infectious, genuine smile, “and you are now taking care of you and your family as well as your community.”

Saddle up partners.

Are you ready for backyard grilling season?

Reserve your summer beef supply from Sangres Best by June 1, 2021, and click here to enter for a chance to win a 20-lb. Freezer Teezer, ($200+ of Sangres Best grass-finished beef), with free shipping or local pickup available.

*All images courtesy of Sangres Best