$2.3 Million for Navajo ranchers through Beef Program
Food & Beverage Magazine
The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise (NNGE) in conjunction with Labatt Food Service and Navajo Nation Leadership is celebrating the continued expansion of the successful Navajo Beef Program three years after its launch the end of 2012. The program now features 23 local Navajo ranching families raising high quality beef, Labatt Food Service distributing it and NNGE purchasing it to serve in its resort, casinos and restaurants. Since its launch November 2012, the program has grown in revenue for local Navajo ranchers, product distributed and customer base and by the end of 2016 is projected to produce $2.3 Million in revenue.
“We are proud to partner with local ranchers and improve their quality of life in conjunction with Labatt and our Navajo Nation leadership team,” stated Derrick Watchman, CEO of NNGE. “The Navajo Beef Program is part of our larger commitment to Buy Navajo and allows our properties to better showcase world-class Navajo cuisine to the world while generating much needed revenue and jobs for the Navajo people. We would like to thank the Navajo Nation Council – including Council Delegate Lorenzo Curley – for their efforts to make this visionary program a reality.”
In its first year (2012 – 2013) the Navajo Beef Program – through Navajo ranchers – produced 545 head of cattle and generated more than $500,000 of revenue back into the local Navajo community. Growth during its second year (2013- 2014) increased by approximately 15 percent. Revenue generated back for Navajo Ranchers was approximately $750,000 for year two. In year three, additional Navajo ranchers and their families in Arizona and New Mexico are participating and together will earn a projected $2.3 Million with 1,998 total head of cattle.
The program involves local Navajo Ranchers like Travis Platero and family. The Platero family lives on the H-P Ranch in Haystack, NM, where producing premium quality livestock is a way of life.
Travis recalls, “My grandpa gave my dad two cows and two sheep and told him to do something with them. That’s still what’s going on to this day. I’m very excited to be part of the program and to have my dad’s name and brand recognized in different places–from the feedlots to the restaurants.”
A proud cattleman, Travis looks forward to growing the family’s cattle business and teaching his kids many of the skills his dad taught him. “My dad taught me in his own way how to be a good cattle producer and that’s what I’m trying to do for my kids. It’s great that people are enjoying what we raised as a family. I know my dad we would be happy that people are enjoying his beef,” says Travis.
Navajo Beef is featured at the award-winning Zenith Steakhouse at Twin Arrows Resort in Flagstaff as well as available at Fire Rock Navajo Casino, Northern Edge Navajo Casino and Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort’s four other dining venues.
“The success of this program allows the ranchers to improve their lives and increase the quality of life in their communities.” explained Al Silva, Chief Operating Officer of Labatt Food Service. “It has been a privilege to ensure the hard-working local ranchers receive the fair payment they deserve for this high quality beef and are able to maintain their ranching way of life for generations to come.”
Through the Navajo Beef Program ranchers – at Padres Mesa Ranch in Chambers Ariz., 14R in the New Lands area and Turquoise Grazers in Window Rock, Ariz. – uphold traditional practices to produce premium, quality beef that is always tender and full of flavor. Navajo Certified Beef is Choice grade or better and aged 21 days.
Labatt Food Service, the tenth largest food distributor in the country, ensures the quality of the beef, that local Navajo ranchers receive fair payment and that the entire animal is used.
To taste Navajo Certified Beef, visit Fire Rock Navajo Casino, Northern Edge Navajo Casino or Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort. To learn more about the program visit http://www.wherefoodcomesfrom.com/NativeAmericanBeef/. To learn more about Labatt Food Service visit http://www.labattfood.com.
About Navajo Gaming:
Navajo Gaming (The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise) is a Navajo Nation wholly-owned business entity created by the Navajo Nation in September 2006. NNGE is authorized by the Navajo Nation to develop and operate Navajo casinos in accordance with federal and Navajo Nation laws, as well as the negotiated Navajo Nation-applicable state compacts (New Mexico and Arizona).
Navajo Gaming opened its first Navajo Casino on November 19, 2008 – Fire Rock Navajo Casino in Church Rock Chapter, near Gallup, New Mexico. The second Navajo Casino opened October 13, 2010 – Flowing Water Navajo Casino in Tsé Daak’áán Chapter, near Shiprock, New Mexico. The third Navajo Casino opened January 16, 2012 – Northern Edge Navajo Casino – in Upper Fruitland Chapter, near Farmington, New Mexico. The fourth Navajo Casino – Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort – is located in Leupp Chapter, near Flagstaff, Arizona. Currently, Navajo Gaming has 1,200 employees.
Navajo Gaming’s vision includes job growth opportunities for Navajos, to continue returning revenue to the Navajo Nation and continue building the Navajo gaming and hospitality brand.