WOOSTER, OHIO — Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) is teaming up with Ducks Unlimited Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to conserving North American waterfowl habitats, to launch the Working Grasslands Conservation Initiative. The initiative supports ranchers in improving soil health, preserving ecosystems and sequestering carbon.

“Certified Angus Beef is committed to demonstrating the value of beef production beyond a great steak,” said Bruce Cobb, executive vice president of production for CAB. “Healthy ecosystems come along as a byproduct of raising the best tasting beef.”

“This collaborative work rallies around ranchers,” said Billy Gascoigne, director of agriculture and strategic partnerships for Ducks Unlimited. “Ranchers are the stewards of our remaining grasslands and wetlands in some of our most priority landscapes.”

The three-year initiative will specially aid farmers in the Northern Great Plains, part of the Prairie Pothole Region that is a common grazing area for cattle and home to over 4 million ducks, according to Certified Angus Beef.

“These lands are more sustainable now and in the future when they are being stewarded by ranchers grazing livestock,” Gascoigne said. “Our conservation staff live in these same communities and are vested in developing programs that meet local needs. We sit down at the kitchen tables with farm families and identify solutions through fencing, water development, cover-crop seeding, soil health evaluations, and rotational grazing to make better grass and wetland conditions.”

Gascoigne said Ducks Unlimited and CAB’s partnership gives diversity of thought on how to approach sustainability economically.

“We know less about how to drive value back to these ranchers so they can be economically sustainable for generations to come,” he said. “The experience of Certified Angus Beef in this realm is what's so powerful about this work: to have diversity within the sustainability views of economics — environmental, social and cultural.”