Cattle ranching in the Western United States is a deeply rooted industry and much of the culture here in Jackson Hole and surrounding areas is closely tied to it. Which brings us to what really makes having reputable Cattle ranches in the area great: the amazing beef products that come along with it. One ranch in particular, the Lockhart ranch, also known as Lockhart Cattle Company, has been a staple in the valley since 1938, spanning six generations of the same family.
The ranch was originally purchased by Bruce Porter, who moved to Jackson in 1914 to work as a pharmacist, but ultimately was successful enough to venture into the cattle industry. Today the ranch has changed quite a bit from those early days but still prides itself on being family owned, and providing top-quality beef to the Jackson Hole Community. The cattle come from superior Hereford genetics and feed on premium grass and water in order to produce healthy and sustainable beef that lives its entire life here in Teton County.
In 2004 the Lockhart Cattle Company was forced to euthanize all of its cattle because of a bacterial infection, and the company had to file for nonuse. This meant that they were unable to make use of their livestock grazing permit in Grand Teton National Park. The Lockhart family held the last GTNP grazing permit in existence, and the park took this opportunity to close off entirely for grazing purposes.
After this downturn the next generation, Cody and Chase Lockhart, took the reins of the family business and brought it back to life with the goal of keeping the beef in the valley. They ultimately succeeded by marketing themselves to local restaurants. One of the contracts that solidified their success was with Signal Mountain lodge in Grand Teton National Park, where they sell mass quantities of hamburgers to tourists from all over, ordering around 12,000 pounds a year.
Lockhart beef can be found at Jackson Whole Grocer, as well as many restaurants around Jackson. When shopping at some of the smaller markets or eating at local restaurants keep an eye out for this homegrown Teton County delicacy.