Keene Haywood/Courtesy Davis Mountains 100% Organic Beef
Cattle raised according to the USDA's "100% Organic" labeling standards on the Davis Mountains 100% Organic Beef ranch in West Texas.
After years of public input, in October 2001 the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced strict protocols for an entirely new class of American beef — organic.
The nation's growing awareness about the contents of its food is fueling rapid growth: USDA figures indicate that organic livestock production grew by more than 230 percent between 1997 and 2001. In the Davis Mountains near Big Bend in West Texas, a group of traditional cattle ranchers have concluded that organic ranching operations are going to be big moneymakers. NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports.