In 2006, Leo Ghirardelli and Pamela Torliatt founded Progressive Pastures. It began with a vision to make Leo’s parent’s land a working farm again and produce good, healthy, local foods. Located in the unincorporated area of West Petaluma, we started our beef cattle operation. We certified our pasture organic through CCOF, constructed a hay barn and built grazing paddocks. It was important to us we fed 100% organic feed to our herd. Together, we want to continue to embrace the area we grew up in and where our families have been for generations. We share the experience of growing up in West Petaluma, on different ranches, producing food for market and being an example of sustainable agriculture.
We started with 25 Black Angus Beef Cows. These animals are special to Leo because they were born on his grandfather’s (Henry Grossi) ranch in Marshall, CA. This Black Angus dominant bloodline is derived from from his late, Great Grandfather’s Domico Grossi Ranch in Novato, CA. The herd has grown over the years to become a cross of good quality traits from Charolaise, Red Angus and now Wagyu. We had our first calving season in 2007 with a Black Angus Bull cross. That year was especially wet and we were able to weather the storm. In 2008, Mr. Smoke Cloud (ie Paco) a Charolaise Bull was purchased and to bred the herd once again. Paco proved to be an excellent Bull, his muscular genetic traits are now a dominant carcass quality in our herd.
In 2010, we purchased a Wagyu Bull which we have named Mojo. Wagyu is a breed of beef derived from Kobe region in Japan. It is known for its genetic trait that has natural intramuscular marbling. It is also believed that this natural marbling is high in omega and fatty acids with a lower melting point. We have introduce this cross trait into our herd to develop a well-marbled, healthy grass fed, grass finished meat.
Over the years we have developed lush clover and rye pastures by managing the seasons and grazing patterns. We rotate our animals in smaller paddocks with solar electric fencing to maximize plant growth and health. We have invested in our own hay equipment to produce our own quality rye and clover hay for storage and feeding when our fall rains start.
Let cows be cows. We provide natural tree coverage for shade and shelter. They have year round free access to clean water. They predominately graze for their food. We use no growth hormones. They breed naturally with selected bulls. Our vision of sustainability is providing our cows with all their requirements from within their natural setting.