We started in 2016, with just 25 chickens and a belief in the importance of sourcing local food.
Since then, Willow Creek Pastures has expanded and proudly offers Colorado a variety of flavorful and sustainably-raised meats: beef and lamb are our specialties, but we offer a variety of 100% grass-fed-and-finished, as well as grain-finished products. We raise our animals humanely, assuring that they are treated with care and free of growth hormones and antibiotics. We graze holistically and sustainably, rotating our livestock between pastures – this practice not only keeps our animals well-fed, but also supports the natural growth and beauty of Colorado’s bountiful grasslands.
Willow Creek Pastures operates out of the Colorado Agriculture Leadership Foundation’s Lowell Ranch, in Castle Rock, and on the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora. We also partner with the Trainor Cattle Company, located in Watkins. Currently we do not offer shipping.
CALF’s Lowell Ranch is where Willow Creek Pastures was born. Our operation started out with just 25 meat chickens and within a couple of months we had put together a business proposal to lease out all of the Lowell Ranch’s pasture. The Lowell Ranch is roughly 130 acres that sits along Plum Creek. This property is where our main operation is held and we are actively ranching on this property all year round. Education is a major part of our roll at CALF. Our everyday ranching activities and animals are on display for the educational tour groups that come through the ranch. We practice a holistic grazing approach on this property and strive to better enhance the land that we graze through positive animal impact.
Willow Creek Pastures leases roughly 950 acres from the City of Aurora to graze the Plains Conservation Center (PCC). We graze around 100 sheep using a holistic grazing plan. We are grazing this property to try to restore the land and allow a natural diverse plant population. Our grazing plan is designed to limit invasive plant species and bring back the native plant, insect, and wildlife culture that was once here. The grazing plan we implement mimics the way buffalo grazed the countryside of Colorado before humans made an impact on the land. We are also testing the grazing and animal impact to see if it affects the overpopulated prairie dog habitat at the PCC.
Trainor Cattle Company is a local, family owned cattle operation. We grass finish our cattle on the Lowry Ranch, located 15 miles east of Denver city limits near the small town of Watkins. The close proximity to Denver makes us one of the only truly local grass-fed beef producers serving the Denver area. Our beef is born and finished on approximately 26,000 acres of rolling prairie and riparian bottoms.
Our cattle herd not only produces a healthy and sustainable food product for our customers, but the herd’s main purpose is to restore an ecological balance on the land that we manage.
We raise our cattle using holistic grazing practices, mimicking the periodic patterns of native herds of buffalo which once roamed the Great Plains and shaped the landscape. Our planned grazing practices not only result in happy and healthy cattle, but also facilitate the ecological restoration of the largest contiguous prairie landscape in proximity to Denver.
Our customers can have peace of mind knowing that their beef was raised locally, grass-fed, and free from hormones of antibiotics.
Nick Trainor, owner and manager of Trainor Cattle Company, first met Konnor Dehmlow in 2015 when he interned for him at Lowry Ranch. Konnor and Linus’s passion for agriculture and young entrepreneurial spirit led to a partnership with and Nick and Trainor Cattle Company. Trainor Cattle Company is pleased to partner with Willow Creek Pastures in offering customers a diversity in local sustainably raised meats.