The herd began pressing toward the gate the moment Tomales, CA, Stemple Creek Ranch owner Loren Poncia hopped the barbed-wire fence. All 300 snorted, snarled, grunted and mooed, pushing their flesh closer and closer to the metal barrier. Poncia, with an iPhone to his ear and cowboy boots on his feet, unwound a chain and flung open the gate.

Through it they stormed, away from the chomped-down remnants of their last few meals and toward a verdant, dew-glistening field of rye and clover.

Then, only the sounds of munching.
 
These Angus cattle are lusted over in culinary circles, and the grass-fed behemoths are not the only ones. What began as a locavore movement that emphasized local, organic produce has grown to include the proteins on the dinner plate as well.

"It's quite the renaissance right now in the Bay Area from a meat producer's standpoint," says Mark Pasternak, who owns Marin County's renowned Devil's Gulch Ranch with his wife, Myriam Kaplan-Pasternak, in tiny Nicasio, CA. "We're sold out every week."

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