Crystal River Meats started marketing beef in 1999. At that time, the Jacober family was in the construction business in the Roaring Fork Valley and looking for a path back to their agriculture and land stewardship roots. Growing up on a cattle and sheep farm in southern Colorado, the Jacober kids were raised with the utopic values of caring for the land and animals above all else. Those values remain as the driving force behind Crystal River Meats with the addition of caring for our consumers.
As the business grew from the infancy of 2 head of cattle in 1999 through exponential expansion as the grass-fed market grew along with consumer education, these values provided the underpinning of the business decisions, cattle sourcing, and land stewardship practices employed along the way. By 2011, Crystal River Meats had grown to a size and complexity that enabled the Jacobers to close the construction business and focus solely on agriculture.
Through the next few years, Crystal River Meats continued expansive growth and entered partnerships with Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Aspen Ski Company, many food service vendors, and local restaurants. As growth continued, Crystal River Meats began to feel the challenge of limited land availability in the Roaring Fork Valley as well as logistical concerns in a resort-based economy. Crystal River Meats began searching for agriculture land in Colorado that could fit the growth pattern of the business as well as provide an opportunity to expand the land stewardship and preservation values that the company was founded on.
In 2014, Crystal River Meats acquired approximately 5000 acres of farmland in the San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado. The land acquisition enables Crystal River Meats to practice long-preached land stewardship values of focus on soil health, crop rotation, intensive grazing practices, and efficient irrigation systems. The farm now produces approximately 90% of the feed for the 3500 head of cattle that Crystal River Meats raises as well as a substantial amount of grazing. Crystal River Meats continues to operate in the Roaring Fork Valley that we call home, allowing our cattle to graze the high mountain meadows during the summer months.
Crystal River Meats is currently the largest grass-fed beef and lamb producer in the state and continues to practice what we preach- impeccable land stewardship, unwavering animal welfare, and a healthy, sustainably produced, local food source.