About Us

And the history of Shelter Creek Cattle Co.

Hello from beautiful SE Oklahoma, and welcome to our site! My family and I ranch in southern Muskogee County, just south of I-40 near the town of Porum, Oklahoma.

In 2016, with my husband and son’s support, I jumped in with both boots and bought our first herd of cows! Like many of you, these past several years have been an exceptional time, and we have found ourselves with plenty of irons in the fire, so to speak. We have learned so much along the way, and I am thrilled to be able to share our Shelter Creek Cattle Company with you here!

I have always had an affection for plants and animals, and have spent most of the past 30 years in professional pursuits related to horticulture, biology, and education. Buying that first set of cows, however, was something else entirely. It was truly a dream come true; the result of my own farm girl aspirations way back in the 8o’s when I first learned to love this life as a kid.

Shelter Creek Cattle Co. simply could not exist without the steadfast support of our customers and the efforts of our entire team. My husband Matt, our son Ian, and our neighbor/partner Garrett Mason make up the rest of our skilled, hard-working crew. Turns out, teamwork really does make the dream work!

Life in agriculture is not easy, but it is deeply satisfying. It is a way of life that demands that we do whatever it takes to keep at it. Launching Shelter Creek Cattle Co. is the natural next step for our family doing whatever it takes to keep at it. We love what we do and are pretty darn good at it, but we are not alone. There are countless dedicated farm & ranch families rocking their own versions of keeping this dream alive.

While I encourage you to support agriculture in general, I especially hope that you can find ways to support your local farms & ranches. Local food matters. Buying locally, when possible, can help insulate us from sole reliance on the grocery store shelves, while also supporting our friends and neighbors.

Shelter Creek Cattle Co. is the embodiment of our faith, work ethic, integrity, and love of cattle. I sure hope you can join us for the ride as we grow Shelter Creek Cattle Co. and that you have a chance to try our delicious beef! Please reach out anytime, I’d love to hear from you!

- Jane Drake

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Our Ranch

Beef Quality Assurance

Our priorities are to grow and maintain high quality forage for our animals, and to ensure that our animals are cared for in a safe, humane manner. For us, that means making our decisions based on Beef Quality Assurance practices.

You can learn more about BQA by visiting www.bqa.org.

Our herd of crossbred mama cows thrive on native and improved grass pasture. Our calves are conceived, born, raised, and finished all right here at home. By having our hands on the entire process, we ensure that our cattle are healthy and thriving! In our area, nutritious forage can go dormant in the winter, so we supplement their diets in the coldest months by providing free choice hay (grown and harvested here at home) and a curated grain-based blend suited to their particular nutritional needs. We utilize resources from our Oklahoma State Extension Service, particularly the Soil, Water, and Forage Analytical Laboratory at OSU, to ensure that our cattle have everything they need to thrive. We know that healthy, well-finished cattle equal delicious, nutritious beef!

As BQA certified producers, we consider the big picture of how our management decisions affect our animal’s health and the quality and consistency of our beef. We handle our animals in a low stress environment, keep records that inform decision making, and are focused on the health of our cattle. We believe that doing it right is a calling, not an option.

A friend recently asked how we came up with our ranch name since there is not a literal Shelter Creek near us. The name occurred to me one hot July afternoon. We had been ranching here for several years, but hadn’t formalized a name for ourselves. This particular afternoon, the neighbor’s bull got out, so I was walking him back home. The best route was to walk him up the creek bed that borders both of our places. It was hot, really hot, and there wasn’t much water running in the creek at the time. As that bull and I were meandering up the creek back to his pasture I was thinking about how critical this water is. Our ranch is blessed to have several ponds and seasonal waterways that provide a shelter belt of shade and life-giving water to our place and our livestock. We simply could not do what we do here without the creeks and ponds that stitch our ranch together. That day Shelter Creek Cattle Co. began to take root in my head and in my heart.

Our Cattle

Our end goal is to produce the most nutritious and delicious beef possible, which means maintaining exceptional health and vitality in our animals. In this regard, we do vaccinate our young calves to support their health, but we do not administer growth hormones. While we do not give antibiotics broadly, we will use them on a case-by-case basis to support the health of individual animals. Very occasionally, our cattle will need help to fight an illness just like we do.

My interest in developing the best beef possible led me to attend Artificial Insemination (AI) School in late 2019. While the health and genetics of our mama cows are of critical importance, one of the most consequential choices we make as beef producers is our choice of herd sire. Utilizing AI to breed our cows allows us to access sire genetics that would likely be financially out of reach for us if we had to buy the bull. We all understand that part of the success of any living thing is its particular mix of heritable traits. By utilizing AI in our breeding program, we can improve upon the traits most important to us, chiefly maternal, efficiency, and meat quality traits. For a small ranch like ours, AI makes a world of difference in a relatively short time, and we are proud of the positive outcomes we are seeing in the vitality of our herd and the quality of our finished beef.

Our cow herd has matured into a mix of strong, healthy crossbred cows that are predominantly Black Angus, Red Angus, and Charolais influenced. By breeding these good mamas to some of the best bulls in the business, we have developed a foundation of vigor, health, and efficient growth in our cattle that all leads to exceptional quality on your plate.

We hope you get a chance to try our beef; we think you’ll love it as much as we do!

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By utilizing AI in our breeding program, we select herd sires that have the positive heritable traits important to us, chiefly maternal, efficiency, and meat quality traits.

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