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Meet the Jefferson Center Scholarship Recipient: Seth Nitschke, Open Space Meats

Meet Seth Nitschke from Open Space Meats. He is a grassfed beef rancher from the San Joaquin Valley of California. Like us, he and his family are deeply involved in ranching, community and family life. The Jefferson Center raised funds last year to provide a scholarship for one person to go through the Holistic Management accreditation process and become a Savory Accredited Professional. The funds were raised through a campaign around the Running with the Bears Half Marathon that Abbey completed in August 2016.
In 2017, the Jefferson Center released an announcement about the scholarship through social media. The scholarship is for the 2017 in-person accredited Holistic Management courses offered by the Jefferson Center. It was wonderful to review the applications of people in our community. There were many well-deserving candidates and we look forward to finding ways to help them achieve the outcomes they want through Holistic Management. We are pleased to introduce the 2017 Jefferson Center Scholarship recipient, Seth Nitschke.
Open Space Meats

Seth, Mica and their children operate Open Space Meats in the San Joaquin Valley of California.

Seth and Mica Nitschke operate their family business, Open Space Meats, while raising their three children. Mica describes their operation and lifestyle on the company/family blog:
Our cattle are happy and on beautiful green grass their entire life; they spend the spring and summer in Gilroy, CA and they spend fall and winter in Catheys Valley and Hornitos, CA. But we don’t live with our cattle.  As lovely as that would be, it’s almost impossible.  We lease all of our pasture, but it doesn’t come with living quarters, unless we were ready to pop a tent and really “live off the land”!  So instead, we live in Turlock, CA.” 
Seth, otherwise known as Head Cowboy at Open Space Meats, explains further.
“We are family ranchers here in beautiful central California. At Open Space Meats we work with great respect for the environment and with the cattle in our care,” Seth said.
“We never use hormones, antibiotics or feed grains to our cattle. We don’t use herbicides, pesticides or commercial fertilizers on our pastures. And our cattle are grown and finished 100 percent on pasture,” he explained.
Seth has been in the cattle business all of his working life and part of that time Seth managed a small farm in far-off Western Australia. In Seth’s words “In Western Australia we were raising grass fed yearlings for the domestic beef market. Slow, easy, natural. We sold them to the local meat companies and tried our best to make a little money. All the beef we ate was grass fed and I really liked the taste, I just figured ‘it was an Aussie thing’. I loved Western Australia and will always consider it my second home, it was one of the best times of my life, so why not try it again. Grass fed beef that is. Slow, easy, natural.”
In that spirit of working with nature, they do their best to be faithful and responsible stewards of the land.
“To us it is just common sense. If we take care of our environment and keep our grasslands healthy they will produce healthy cattle. Healthy cattle are more productive. Because of this approach, we get the added benefit of clean water in the creeks, biodiversity in our native forage plants and abundant wildlife and birds in our pastures,” Seth said.