It’s been less than five years since Chase Lockhart of Lockhart Cattle Co. appeared on Dishing’s Ones to Watch: the New Generation of Jackson Hole Foodies list, but his historic ranch is currently raising almost five times as many cattle (turns out, our little list was quite the predictor of local small business growth). Lockhart credits stewardship as his ranch’s recipe for success: “Take care of the land, and it takes care of you.”
For the Lockhart family (Chase runs the cattle company with the help of his brother, sister-in-law, parents, two ranch hands and two full-time butchers) taking care of their land means paying attention to the health and quality of life of all their bovines, and never putting more animals on the land than it can handle. He attributes his beef’s popularity to this philosophy. Lockhart explains, “I think people understand that it’s not just the meat that’s good, not just that it’s all humanely handled, local and sustainable… I think people are drawing a correlation between cattle ranching and open spaces, wildlife habitat, community character and all those good things that agriculture generates.”
The outpouring of local support has enabled Lockhart to buy and operate a butcher plant, currently the only one operating in Teton County, which really drives the cattle company’s tagline home: born, raised and butchered in Jackson Hole. Through this facility and the help of two new full-time employees, they can supply beef weekly to local grocery stores and have even started to make and sell nitrate-free smoked jerky products (and soon, snack sticks) at Creekside Market, Jackson Whole Grocer, Ace Hardware, and Big R.
At the end of the day, the Lockhart herd is benefiting from its success. “We are better at ranching,” Lockhart explains. “We irrigate better, we keep our fences up high and tight. Whether we have one cow or a thousand… we treat them all the same.”
You can support local agriculture by buying Lockhart beef from Jackson Whole Grocer and Albertson’s, or ordering it at the Snake River Grill, Local, Thai Me Up, Jenny Lake Lodge, Signal Mountain Lodge, the new Suda restaurant (opening today) and more.