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Our Story

Our Story Family

Nestled in the coastal hills of Northern California near the town of Tomales, Stemple Creek Ranch has been home to the Poncia family for four generations.

Our history in Marin County began over a century ago when Angelo Poncia immigrated to the remote outpost of Fallon from his native Italy. The dairy he originally established on this land survived for three successive generations.

Today, Stemple Creek Ranch is proudly run by Angelo’s great-grandson Loren, and his wife Lisa, who have reinvented the family business with a vision for raising superior quality grass fed and finished meats. Their daughters Avery and Julianna, along with their cousins, will be the fifth generation to steward the land.

Sheep

Our Philosophy

Our goal is to work in harmony with Mother Nature to promote optimal biodiversity that ensures the long term health and productivity of the ranch. We use regenerative, organic agricultural practices, which means we seek to enhance and rehabilitate our entire ecosystem by focusing on soil health and increasing carbon in our land.

Most of our pastureland is Certified Organic, and our free range beef and lamb are 100% grass fed and grass finished. We rotationally graze our stock on open pasture from birth to harvest. They are never supplemented with grains, corn, or soy, and never receive artificial hormones, growth promotants, or antibiotics. Our pigs are humanely raised in large outdoor pens where they enjoy a vegetarian diet with plenty of room to socialize and express natural behaviors.

Our animals never see a feed lot. Ever.

Our Land

At over 1,000 acres, Stemple Creek Ranch is 100% protected through the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) to insure it will remain a productive part of the Marin County agricultural landscape forever.

Our management strategy is aimed at creating a sustainable future for the fifth generation of our family by practicing regenerative organic agriculture. To that end, we actively preserve sensitive wildlife habitat, maintain and restore natural watershed areas, utilize cutting edge solar and gravity flow technology, and practice an intensive schedule of rotational grazing.

Our Animals

Our pastured, free range beef cattle are predominately Angus with some Angus crosses. We pride ourselves on maintaining strict genetic standards, and have carefully honed our herd over the past fifteen years to produce the finest premium finished meat possible. Since we harvest year round, it is important that our animals have access to green grass at all times. To make this possible, we graze cattle on our home ranch in Tomales, and on other seasonal pastures throughout Northern California. We also have several carefully selected cooperator herds, which means we partner with other outstanding ranchers in Northern California and Oregon who agree to raise our cattle according to our precise standards. We are fortunate to have established relationships with some of the best ranchers in the country who help make our goal of year-round production possible. Our cattle are always 100% grass-fed and grass-finished, which means they never eat corn, soy, or other grains. They also live their entire lives on open pastures and, of course, never see a feedlot. All of our cattle are raised organically, and some of them are certified organic.

Our sheep are white-faced ewes mostly of Dorsett, Parendale, and North Country Cheviot breeds. Their whole lives are spent roaming at will on certified organic open pastures under the watchful eye of our protection dog team. They are always grass-fed and grass-finished, which means they never eat corn, soy, or other grains. Of course, they never see a feedlot. Shorn wool from our herd has been used to create beautiful and long-lasting natural fiber products.

Our free range Berkshire cross pigs are raised in a large grove of Eucalyptus trees on our ranch in Tomales. They spend their days communally rooting around, rolling in the mud, and expressing natural piggy behavior. They eat organic, non-gmo grains, as well as grubs and wild forage supplied by Mother Nature.

In the interest of transparency, we sometimes supplement our pig supply by purchasing harvested pork from Llano Seco Family Farm in Chico, California. We have a close relationship with Llano Seco and have vetted their practices to ensure they meet our high standards for animal raising and care.

Llano Seco pigs are a cross of Duroc, Yorkshire and Landrace breeds. They are fed a diet of GMO-free vegetarian grains and legumes, 75% of which are grown on their dry-land fields within a few miles of the barns. Their Pigs are confinement-free, raised in deep-bedded hoop barns with continual access to large open air pastures with plenty of sunshine and a great view of the California Buttes. To learn more about llano Seco and their practices feel free to visit their website: Llano Seco Pork. You can also reach out to us directly with any questions.

The Marin Carbon Project; The Science Behind Our Success

Land