When cattle prices were low and buyers were scarce in the mid-1990s, seven Oregon ranchers banded together and formed Painted Hills Natural Beef, headquartered in Fossil, to fill what they hoped would become a viable niche market for hormone- and antibiotic-free cattle raised on rangeland in Central and Eastern Oregon.

It took a few years of hard work to put all the pieces together necessary to turn their dream into a reality, but the popularity of Painted Hills Natural Beef is spreading across the country due to a growing demand for food that is grown naturally by farmers and ranchers who connect with consumers and buyers, according to Will Homer, manager of Painted Hills Natural Beef.

“Our niche is the people who don't want to be exposed to hormones and antibiotics. You can make the first sale with that claim, but delivering a consistent, quality eating experience is what keeps people coming back again and again,” Homer says.

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Of course, conventional beef has fans as well. Read this BEEF article for more information.