Ranchers in Malheur County find a niche in grass-fed beef

Willowcreek rancher Matt Rockwell talks about his specialty beef operation recently at his ranch. Rockwell is part of Desert Mountain Grass Fed Beef LLC, a coalition of Oregon and Idaho ranchers that are expanding into markets in several northwestern states. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell)

VALE — Willowcreek rancher Matt Rockwell is betting on the finicky tastes of urban American beef consumers.

So is Riverside rancher Rob Elder and more than 20 other producers in Oregon and Idaho as part of Desert Mountain Grass Fed Beef LLC.

“We are a new co-op. Just been going for a few years,” said Rockwell.

The two Malheur County ranchers and their partners of Desert Mountain plan to take advantage of the desires of a growing number of Americans who want to know where their meat comes from and that . . .