|| Print ||
|On the Scene|
|Tuesday, June 15, 2010|
BY ANGELA WEBBER
The 120-plus ranchers of Country Natural Beef put together a fair in Director Park last Wednesday to promote their product in Portland. Some of CNB’s vendors — New Seasons, Burgerville, Bon Appetit — sold CNB products and other snacks to show just where the product goes. The event displayed one thing quite clearly: The ranchers know what they’re doing.
Amid the strawberry lemonade, lasso contests and cowboy poetry, there were city folk and the most 10-gallon hats I've ever seen. And though Doc Hatfield, the founder of CNB, may have seemed like a quaint country boy when reciting a cowboy poem about friendship, his business acumen is far from it.
Doc and Connie Hatfield were awarded OSU's prestigious Wetherford Award in February for lifelong entreprenurship and innovation, and commitment to social and economic stability of Oregon business.
The Hatfields founded CNB in 1986. The marketing co-op provides members with stability and customers with assurance of "compassionate handling of livestock in an environment well suited for beef cattle." The co-op has grown from a handful of ranches to more than 100. Most of the ranches are family-run, with just enough cattle to sustain a family and one hired hand. Together, the CNB group is a force to be reckoned with.
A new partnership with Chipotle restaurants illustrates the point. Restaurants and stores that have a message about the foods they use often turn to CNB. Burgerville's "Eat Local" message and Bon Appetit's sustainability initiatives, all mesh with CNB's message.
Last week's event was intended to get that message out. I spoke with the event's organizer, rancher Dan Barnhart. He said ranchers were in town for a business meeting and brainstormed the fair as a way to show their appreciation to the vendors. "We asked them: How can we help you sell our beef?"
Lasso tricks and barn dancing seems to have been the answer. Multiple camera crews and a good handful of reporters showed up to give CNB some publicity (it didn't hurt that the press pass included free food). The mix of the rancher's jokes ("Today in Portland it's so cold, the lawyers are walking around with their hands in their own pockets!") and Portland's organic food sellers like New Seasons help bridge the rural-urban divide, something CNB has been doing for decades.
Angela Webber is online editor for Oregon Business.
|100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon|
|The Green Paradox|
|Up in the Air|
|Credit Unions Perspective|
|Queen of Resilience|
|Did airlines collude to keep fares high?|
|Citigroup analyst thinks Puma should sell|
|OSU researchers examine warm-water mass|
|Appeals court rules against Apple|
|Microsoft to cut division, 1,200 jobs|
|Apple suppliers introduce 'Force Touch' to new iPhone|
|Uncertainty abound in Greece|
Tonkon Torp helps seed sustainability at Gunderson.
Oregon-based Environments helps companies create inspired workspaces. “Simply put, we help companies future-proof their workspaces,” says Chris Corrado, president. Since 1988,Environments has witnessed firsthand the changing landscape of business. Native Portlander and Environments founder Corrado says, “We help our clients navigate the complex realities of the workplace today and plan for their future in a very mindful, strategic way. We think of ourselves as their partners in the process.”
One hundred years ago, the Willamette River might easily have been mistaken for a sewer. Unchecked industrial activity and decades of pollution made it unrecognizable compared to the clean river that now flows north for 187 miles from Eugene through the center of Portland.
3 Degrees Event Celebrates 5th Year Bringing Nonprofit and Business Professionals Together to Benefit Portland.
Bend energy leader brings passion for efficiency and renewable energy to the nonprofit.
Event in Forest Grove marks recognition of Global Food Safety Initiative Certification.