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Farming and Ranching


Develop Flint Hills Brand & Certification

If you want to help promote Kansas Products contact the Flint Hills Regional Council to get connected.

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Tool Information


  1. Family Farms and Ranches
  2. Local Food
  3. Marketing


The Flint Hills is the last stand of the tall grass prairie, holding rich ties to the cattle culture and tribal heritage of the West.  Products from this region could be certified and branded to protect their authenticity and more importantly to protect the way in which prairie resources are maintained as a part of their production.  The Flint Hill Brand might come to symbolize a profound responsibility to the land and its people.  

The American Grassfed Association and other certification standards exist, including the USDA's Organic certification, yet support or development of criteria that would promote the integrity of the beef or livestock grown in the Flint Hills could set a new standard and fill a new niche in this quickly expanding market. The research, investigation and institution of certification procedures could open new avenues for local producers, distributors and marketers of Flint Hills beef products.



Kansas annually ranks as one of the top five beef producing states and the Flint Hills area, contributes a large percentage of that stock to national and international markets. There is a growing demand for grass-fed beef, as restaurants and consumers become more informed of the health and ecologic benefits in sourcing their beef. The Flint Hills offers some of the nation's best grass-fed terrain, within accessible reach of major distribution hubs in the Kansas City market. 

From the FH Family Ranches:

"A carpet of Big Blue Stem, Little Blue Stem and Switch grasses, at one time stretched from Minnesota and Iowa down through Northern Texas. Except for the Flint Hills of Kansas and Northern Oklahoma, most of America’s tall-grass prairies were plowed under over a century ago. By buying Flint Hills Grass Fed Beef, you are not only getting a healthier beef product, you are helping preserve America’s remaining native tall grass prairie. Preserving this land is critical, and you are empowering the next generation of ranchers to hold on to this last expanse of America’s original tall grass prairie by embracing sustainable ranching methods."

It becomes really critical that this kind of product and marketing be true.  Creating a demand for more beef could also place extra burden on the land and encourage grazers to graze more intensely than required.  And pollution of water and air should be considered.  To truly conserve the biodiversity of grasses and the nutrients of the soil, the Flint Hills Brand should be certified to prove that the best ranching practices are being utilized.  To buy and eat this beef really should contribute to the ecosystem health and vitality which is the only thing that will protect the livelihood of the ranchers over the long term.    

Developing a certification system will help to raise the bar on standards, help to weed out imitations, and help to preserve the special way of life that has been a part of Flint Hills ranching for generations.  Just as Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, under Italian law, can only come from specified provinces and made in certain traditional ways, so too should the Flint Hills Agricultural products be branded and certified to protect the environment and their authenticity.  

Image from: http://www.flinthillsgrassfedbeef.com/

Additional Information


The Flint Hills Grass Fed/Finished Beef is raised on America's Tall Grass Prairie on the Crooked-Bar-N Ranch in Alma, Kansas and they are 



USDA Certified Grass Fed Certification for Small-Scale Producers

Implementation Strategy

Champions and Partners

From the Land of Kansas

Kansas Department of Agriculture

US Department of Agriculture (Grass-Fed Certification Program)

Kansas Department of Commerce

http://flinthillsdesign.com/contact/ Flint Hills Design

http://www.flinthillsgrassfedbeef.com/  Flint Hills Grass Fed Beef


Medium (3-8 years)



Cost Details

Cost of drafting legislation and lobbying to institute a legal certification

Cost of marketing

Cost of inspection and labeling adminsitration

Funding Sources

Product Sales

Certification Fees

Entreprenurial or Start up Funds

Implementation Details

A brief outline of the first few steps necessary for implementation are provided. The steps outlined here are provided only as a suggested starting point and other approaches are certainly valid.

1.  Develop a standard of ranching practice that is both practical to local ranchers and ecologically responsible

2.  Find Ranchers willing to use those practices

3.  Develop a market for the products

4.  Protect the brand by introducing a certification program

Case Study

Blue Ridge Naturally

The mission of Blue Ridge Naturally is to raise the awareness of natural products from the Blue Ridge Mountains. The seal seeks to provide legitimacy, and international and national attention. The Blue Ridge Mountain range is found in western North Carolina. The region contains many small mountain towns and few urban centers. "The Blue Ridge Naturally™Seal is a collaborative effort of Bent Creek Institute, BioNetwork Laboratory, Blue Ridge Food Ventures, North Carolina State University Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, the Small Business Technology and Development Center and the North Carolina Natural Products Association. It is sponsored by Advantage West and the Golden LEAF Foundation."



Branding Flint Hills products can bring awareness to the region and local businesses. It is important to buy local products because it helps grow the local economy. By keeping the money in the community residents and customers can begin to build wealth in the Flint Hills region.