We chat with Reuben Hendricks of Cabriejo Ranch, a Land to Market verified brand and land base that helps other producers implement regenerative agriculture—including Savory’s EOV—on their own land.
Learn more about Cabriejo Ranch here.
Please introduce yourself to our audience and tell us how you got into farming and the lands that you manage now.
My name is Reuben Hendrick, and I run and manage Cabriejo, LLC, here in southern Missouri. Our family got involved in agriculture about 30 years ago. Our current focus is on beef and lamb. We have worked alongside both Savory and Land to Market extensively.
Who are your main customers?
We work with love wholesale distributors and private brands, especially people who have their own farms and need help with year-round supply. You could say a one-stop shop for protein. While we work with other proteins like pork, our production systems are focused on beef and lamb.
What are the core values that you try to build into your business?
Our family and faith are very core to us. We're a family-owned and run business. Stewardship is a guiding focus of our company—as partners taking care of the land, leaving everything better than we found it.
Are those values recognized in the marketplace?
Yes, I believe so. Sometimes, to a greater extent than others. But when it comes to trust, when it comes to integrity, and also opportunities to collaborate—we're appreciated for them.
Do you process your own animals?
We do. Primarily, we manage processing for our clients. So for example, you want to be able to sell lamb. We can not only sell you the land, we'll also arrange for it to be processed and can support and develop products for you and your brand.
When did you start doing EOV?
We started back in 2017. We were very early adopters. We've been using Holistic Management since we hosted our first class in 2000.
Did your family always have these kinds of values of land stewardship that led you to EOV or was that something new?
We've always prioritized stewardship. That made Savory’s Holistic Management very appealing. It's an amazing tool for us. Managing, monitoring, and encouraging have the thought process around how to take better care of what we've been given. So that's also something that resonates with our clients—the principles and context are very useful tools. We do specific consulting around Holistic Management for some of our clients.
Many of our cleints are more of a producer relationship. So if someone comes to us wanting to sell animals, we can offer a sort of package to them where we funnel their animals into our supply chain, offer very competitive pricing, manage all the logistics, and also, provide EOV baselines and support in how to manage and develop their business.
You're clearly an advocate for EOV and regenerative agriculture. Did you notice anything change on your land when you started EOV that made you passionate about sharing it with others?
EOV is a very good monitoring tool. It's designed to communicate very well with producers, specifically. We were using the, you know, the original version of the program from Holistic Management. And so we greatly appreciated the upgrades and new insights that EOV provides. Since we started at what is our current headquarters, we've seen just this year approaching a 5x increase in carrying capacity and water absorption, water holding capabilities, and organic matter.
What do you wish that consumers knew more about regenerative farming?
There's a lot still to be communicated. When you talk to a random person, they can guess what regenerative means—if nothing else, just that the lands are expected to improve. I believe that EOV provides additional opportunities for people to appreciate not only how the land improves, but also what that means—between the farmer, the product being raised on the land, and the mindset and the effort that goes into that. I think there's a lot of appreciation to be had from the consumer marketplace—EOV is a good tool to tap into that opportunity.
What gives you hope about working with Land to Market to relay that message?
We've been collaborating with Land to Market from early on—including getting brands to buy into producers. I'd say it's as much of verbal support and communication as much as anything else. Our team has been working on the EOV platform for a long time; we were involved in the beta versions. So, we collaborate on a pretty broad scale. We've worked together to get some programs going with some of the different brands have bought in.
What’s ahead for Cabriejo Ranch that you're excited about?
We have several projects going, one that we're very excited about is providing the whole animal in 2024. So for example, you can buy all animal products, including candles from the tallow, wool products, and leather products—kind of creating a whole package. Scaling that and finding the right partners for all the parts has been challenging. That's something that we've been working on as a side project. There has been interest in that. We've been slowly working on that and doing all that domestically.