Originating from South Africa in the 1900s this popular animal derives from the Dutch word “farmer.” Any guesses on what we animal we are talking about this week? Let’s give you another hint. This selective breed has long pendulous ears and adapts well to nearly every environment. Still not sure? This week we are talking about Boer Goats. After coming to the United States in 1993, this specific goat breed gained immediate popularity and changed the meat goat industry. Just like other food groups, consumers continue to demand a different variety of choices when it comes to the meat that they consume. Cathy Pridmore and the team at Cedar Rock Ranch support that movement, which is why they chose to verify their goats. Let’s head to Napa Valley, California and learn more about Cathy and her team.
Cedar Rock Ranch
Starting in 1927, this family farm has been raising livestock their entire lives. Six generations later and they are still raising animals. If you haven’t guessed, they really love their livestock. Cathy Pridmore’s grandfather raised cows his entire life, but always had several goats on the farm. So, having goats around was no stranger to Cathy. If fact, after Cathy married Gil, he brought her home a dairy goat to supply their milk, which eventually fed their three children.
Cathy’s Boer herd started to grow after receiving a call from the local Humane Society, whom had two goats who desperately needed a home. So, Cathy being the animal lover she is, headed down to the Humane Society to check out the goats. After seeing the goats, she couldn’t resist and had to bring them home. Shortly after bringing the goats home they had three brand new babies. Today, they have around 200 beautiful Boer Goats. Their goats live in the mountains of Napa Valley just under 100 acres and continues to grow as they continue to add fence.
During 2017, the ranch had a close call due to the intensity of the Atlas Fire, which is exactly when the goats thought it was a good time to start giving birth. Needless to say, Cathy and team had their hands full between caring for the new baby goats and dealing with the fire burning around the ranch. All in all, it was a good story and both the ranch and the babies survived!
Why Boar Goats?
Cathy has been around goats her entire life. So, what makes Boar Goats so special? For starters, this specific breed of goat is considered superior when it comes to meat production. These goats generally have white bodies and a distinctive reddish-brown head. Some have spots throughout their body. This breed is very adaptable to multiple types of climate and also helps the forage. These docile animals can also breed throughout the year. Cathy and team have become experts at raising this type of livestock. The continued demand for lean quality meat is one of the driving forces for the development of the goat meat industry.
Cedar Rock Ranch Becomes First-Ever GAP-Approved Goat Operation
Shortly after the Atlas Fire in 2017, Cathy was approached by Whole Foods about raising goats specifically for them, which also meant that they had to become a Global Animal Partnership (GAP) approved goat farm, which did not yet exist.
However, Cedar Rock Ranch accepted the challenge. They quickly became a Whole Foods partner, and were excited about the opportunity to learn a new way to provide transparency to consumers. Cathy and team began working with the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) and IMI Global, a division of Where Food Comes From, which is only one of two companies that can verify to the GAP Standard. After a lot of hard work by all parties, Cedar Rock Ranch then became the first-ever, and as of October 1, 2019, the only, GAP approved goat operation.
Cathy says she is proud to be part of the GAP certification program because it gives consumers the confidence they need when they choose products. It helps ensure that animals were raised safely, naturally, and humanely. As a mom herself, she knows it’s important to have better choices when it comes to her family’s food. Cathy and team are extremely excited to be a part of this program and what it stands for.
IMI Global GAP Program Manager, Kelly Crymble, said she enjoys assisting new producers as they navigate GAP opportunities, she went on to say, “I am excited that our team was at the forefront of being able to verify the first-ever GAP Meat Goat operation. We have worked extensively to grow the GAP program for all species and will continue to make every effort to expand this program and provide opportunities for producers.”
Shelby Jensma, an IMI Global Verification Specialist, was fortunate to work one-on-one with Cathey, and was even able to visit their operation. When asked about Cathey and Cedar Rock Ranch, she said “Cedar Rock is a small, quaint operation located in a beautiful valley in Napa. Cathy has a large, open space with multiple pastures set up for her animals, and it’s obvious her goats are loved and well cared for. She’s extremely knowledgeable as she has been doing it for more than 40 years.”
So, even though Boer goats are relatively new to the United States, Cedar Rock Ranch has proven they’re here to stay – and now with a shiny new GAP logo on their packaging! Next time you’re in Whole Foods, know that you’re likely (for now) looking at meat from Cedar Rock Ranch, a WFCF/IMI Global approved farm.