Local Rancher Brings Grass Fed Beef to Humboldt Schools

On Tuesday, March 19, school districts across Humboldt County, CA will take part in the first
ever County Wide Taco Tuesday. The lunchtime event will feature tacos made with local,
organic, grass fed beef from Eel River Organic Beef.
The idea for Taco Tuesday was born when Clint Victorine of Eel River Organic Beef and
Angeline Schwab of Humboldt Made approached the Humboldt County Office of Education
(HCOE) to propose a one-time donation of organic ground beef to local schools.
“We were amazed by Clint’s generosity, and decided to highlight his product through a
coordinated county wide effort,” says Linda Prescott, Nutrition Education Program Manager for
HCOE. “We want to especially highlight the community and health benefits.”
Eel River Organic Beef is a local family run business that produces 100% certified organic grassfed
beef in Humboldt and Mendocino Counties. Their beef cattle are completely free of steroids,
antibiotics, hormones, genetically modified foods, and are never fed any animal proteins.
A Humboldt County native, Victorine got his start in ranching through 4-H and the Future
Farmers of America while attending Hydesville Elementary and Fortuna High. He actually
started his business in high school, growing it into one of the largest of its kind in the nation, and
now lives in Fortuna with his wife Christina and three sons.
This event makes Eel River Organic Beef the first Humboldt business to provide local beef to the
region’s schools. “We want to assist in providing high-quality, nutritious foods to our kids, foods
produced right here at home,” says Victorine. He is also planning a one-time donation of grass
fed beef hot dogs to each school in the County by the end of the school year.
“Good food is part of the Humboldt County identity and Humboldt Made’s aim is to build a
sense of community among all of our local food businesses,” says Schwab. “We hope this
project will spark conversations between producers, the schools and other public entities that
want to strengthen our local food system.”
Erin Derden-Little, the Humboldt Farm to School Coordinator for the Community Alliance with
Family Farmers (CAFF), is also helping with the project. CAFF has been working with
Humboldt school districts to source local produce for their meal programs. “This is an exciting
development for the County,” Derden-Little says. “Schools have proven to be a viable market for
a number of local produce growers, and now Clint has opened up the possibilities with his beef.”
Derden-Little has been speaking with school districts outside of Humboldt that are currently
purchasing local, high quality meat for their meal programs. Successful models exist from
Oregon to Vermont. Her aim is to learn from their challenges and best practices to develop future
opportunities for ranchers to sell their beef to Humboldt County schools. “We are hopeful that
we can make local beef a reality for schools beyond these donations.”
About CAFF: Founded in 1978, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers has been
recognized nationally and internationally for its pioneering Biological Agriculture, Farm to
School, Buy Fresh Buy Local, Public Policy and Technical Assistance programs. CAFF has
played key roles in enacting the nation’s toughest laws regulating pesticide use, promoting the
development of organic farming, bringing fresh, local produce into school cafeterias and
classrooms, and establishing programs to distribute locally grown produce to community