Benton County ranchers combat the rising cost of beef, nationwide shortages

BENTON CITY, Wash. – It seems like just about everything is going up in price these days, or going down in stock, including beef.

Looking at prices or the lack of inventory, you may be asking yourself, ‘how can I avoid this?’

You likely can, by purchasing beef from local ranchers like The Mooers Family Farm.

What started as a pandemic project for the Mooers family, has turned into a full-blown cattle growing business.

“We had a lot of time to kind of reevaluate our plans and life goals and in that point in time we decided to take a step-in faith and farm full time,” Staci Mooers said.

Before the pandemic, Staci was a hairstylist and her husband Matthew Mooers was a bartender.

They said they already had a five-year plan to get their farm going, but the shutdowns sped their plan up and threw them into action.

“My dreams were never this big, like they just weren’t and I just sit back and I’m just so thankful because it’s completely wild to methat this is the life we live,” she said.
The Mooers had prior experience with livestock; they routinely and humanely raised poultry.
Cattle, were a whole new undertaking.
“Farming in failure, but I have to say we had some really incredible mentors,” Staci said.
Nearly three years later, they’re raising happy and healthy cows. Some are for consumption and others, help build their herd. Not only do the Mooers raise Angus beef cattle, they also have a cow-calf operation.
“I meant they live a pretty darn good life,” Matthew said.
Matt said their steers are grass-fed and grain-finished for 120 days to improve the taste and quality of the meat.
“We can tell you everything they’ve eaten and drank and where they’ve walked from the day they were born; it’s important to us – it was important to us before we even got into this business,” he said.
The Mooers said this is one of the many reasons buying locally raised beef, is healthier.
The bonus? You’ll also save money in the long run.
Like many area ranches offer, you can buy an entire cow from to Mooers to feed your family.
Although you could spend well over a thousand dollars for the meat, the Mooers said your money stays local.
“When you look at it over the span of how much meat you get for the price you get, it is a much better value; beef prices are insane right now. When you buy from us you’re not just buying from us like you’re helping the local economy, we’ve heard that before but I can’t tell you how true it is,” Staci said.
“Everything – we have local vets and local mechanics, we get our grains locally all of our irrigation- you know everything we do is local,” Matt added.
The Mooers also use a local butcher, Bryan’s, in Pasco to process the beef.
You’re also supporting a family’s dream, by purchasing locally grown beef.
The Mooers said you can eat that steak hot off the grill, knowing the cow lived a quality life.
“We know what their destination is but it doesn’t mean that the ride can’t be safe comfortable and happy,” Staci said.
If you don’t need hundreds of pounds of meat, or are looking for a more budget-friendly option, many farms, the Mooers included, allow you to split a cow with friends or family.