-by Catherine Lutz

Native Coloradan Ty Jacober founded Crystal River Meats in 1999 with two cows supplied by Carbondale rancher Bill Fales. Deeply passionate about agriculture, animals (livestock and wildlife), and the West’s open spaces, Jacober is making a difference in this world, embodying the idiom, “Think globally, act locally.” And as a provider of sustainable, local, grass-fed beef that’s served at Aspen Skiing Company restaurants (among many other outlets), Crystal River Meats allows you to make a difference, too.

Crystal River Meats buys its primarily Angus and Hereford cross cattle at weaning age from partners like Fales, employing stringent criteria in their care and feeding from birth to market. Free to roam the vast grassy pastures flanking Mount Sopris, the cattle are raised more slowly than their feedlot counterparts, with no antibiotics or other unnatural interventions. So when they’re brought to market at 24-30 months (compared to the typical market age of 16 months), and later to the table, the company’s mission of providing a healthy, sustainable food source while also promoting the local economy has been fulfilled.

“By buying local meat, it’s giving back to the community and making sure it remains a wonderful place to come to,” explains Jacober, who learned from his parents the importance of taking care of the community and the environment first. “The reason people come here is because of the views and because of the land protected through agriculture. By supporting it, you’re so lucky to be involved in that movement. And by buying grass-fed beef in general, you’re taking care of your own health, so it’s a win win for everybody.”

With 3,500 head of cattle under its care, Crystal River Meats is now the largest grass-fed beef and lamb producer in Colorado —and a proud partner of Aspen Snowmass, which serves its products across all of our restaurants. In this video, learn a little bit more and meet “the luckiest cows on earth.”