From the Blog

Regenerative Farming and Thousand Hills Cattle Company

New Pioneer Food Co-op September 11 Category: Grower Stories

Since their founding in 2003, Thousand Hills has made it their mission to nourish the soil, the plants, cattle, and people by holistically grazing cattle for their lifetime.

Over the years, this mission has evolved into fully embracing and implementing regenerative agriculture into their business.

What is Regenerative Agriculture

Unlike conventional agriculture practices which are built upon a model of extraction, regenerative agriculture uses a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm.

Soil health is a large part of regenerative farming. 

One way that Thousand Hills applies this model to their farm is through the use of rotational grazing.

Instead of allowing their cattle to graze in the same area day after day, they rotate them to different sections of their land.

This not only provides plants and soil with important time to rest and regenerate, but it still allows them to feel the positive impacts that come with animals grazing like natural fertilizer and hoof action.

Without this break, these areas can lose the ability to reestablish new growth and unsavory weeds can quickly take over.

Thousand Hills applies the rule of thirds for their rotational grazing -

graze a third of their land,

trample a third,

and leave a third.

This process promotes photosynthesis within the plants.

As they pull carbon from the air to create carbohydrates, these sugars move down through their roots and help feed micro-organisms, who then use that fuel to build soil.

The soil stores this carbon, which not only removes some of the excess found in our atmosphere, but also creates a healthier soil that can hold more water and grow more resilient crops.

Thousand Hills is actively combating climate change and helping to bring balance back to our atmosphere simply by looking at the way we farm and working to improve it.

Finding Thousand Hills at New Pi

Here at New Pi, we're proud to partner with a producer that is committed to the highest standard for flavor, safety, environmental impact, and humane raising methods.

All of our beef is from Thousand Hills, so you'll be able to easily find a variety of cuts in our aisles, along with ground beef that we grind daily right in our stores.

Learn more about Thousand Hills and the other efforts they're taking to manage their land with regenerative practices, at

New Pioneer Food Co-op About the Author

New Pioneer Food Co-op

New Pi is a food co-operative, owned by over 35,000 members, home-grown in Iowa. We welcome everyone to our store, regardless of membership, and focus on local and sustainable food solutions. New Pi has strong roots in Iowa City’s local food community, and continues to partner with local growers, food, and sustainability organizations to enrich Linn and Johnson County communities.