“Once you go yak you won’t go back.”
The Hawk-N-Yak Ranch started 7 years ago when the owners Dana and Carl Hawk decided they wanted to raise a ranch herd with animals that were not run of the mill. Both were long time Ridgway residents and Colorado Natives who had grown up around ranches and cattle. Both knew the long hours and hands-on expertise needed to raise a meat production animal and to manage a working ranch. The Hawks decided on the large, graceful, unique and powerful animal of the Himalayas, the Yak. This animal is a benefit to the alpine environment; requiring less acreage to raise and thrive on native grasses. The animal takes four years to mature to an average weight of 670-2200 pounds.
The diversity of meat and hide products offered by Hawk-N-Yak Ranch are from a herd of approximately 70 purebred Imperial and Royal Tibetan yaks that graze right in Ridgway, Colorado. Maintained and owned by locals Carl and Dana Hawk, the animals thrive on a diet of almost entirely on native grasses, supplemented by locally grown hay during the difficult winter months and treats of pure molasses tabs to sweeten their days. When matured, select members of the herd are processed at a USDA certified facility in Craig, Colorado. With the exclusion of their cured meat products all of the meat is 100% yak, and free of fillers, adulterants, or preservatives.
Hawk-N-Yak is committed to maintaining a clean grass-fed herd but has opted not to be organic out of respect to their customers. Organic feed often includes soy and many of the customers are allergic to soy. The Hawk-N-Yak animals are range grazed in the summer, and fed local hay in the winter and molasses tabs as treats. The animals are 98% fat free, contain significant omega-3s and are never gamey, but give a rather buttery, flavorful red meat.
The yaks are raised locally in Ridgway year round and are located north of town.
The Hawk-N-Yak customer base is anyone willing to try a new buttery and lean meat. Though the Ranch has found that many customers have allergies to beef and poultry, they have found that Yak suits this part of the customer base also.
The Ranch’s current offerings to the Farmers Market are all edible meat products ranging from cured trail snacks to high quality steak cuts. They carry jerky, dog bones, soup bones, cured meat sticks of three flavors (pepper, mesquite, and teriyaki), New York strip, tenderloin, sirloin, chops, round, and skirt steaks, brisket, organ and tongue cuts and ground yak. The ground yak is their signature product evolving a loyal following at the market, quickly selling out each Friday. Animal hides and skulls are also for sale as they become available.
Hawk-N-Yak’s mission is to provide consumers with a red meat they can feel good about, that Ridgway, Colorado becomes one of the premier yak meat destinations in the United States, and that Yak meat will become as common and coveted as Bison meat. Hawk-N-Yak is dedicated to providing all consumers with the flavor experience of high quality red meat, without harming their health or the environment. The Ranch aim to maintain an environmentally sustainable, grass fed herd that is raised in the hills of Ridgway. They further aim to raise awareness of Ridgway agriculture and the power of sustainable farming.
It is their dream that every consumer benefit from the incredible healthful benefits of Yak meat, and that everyone can have something that is good for their palate, good for their heart, good for Ridgway, and good for the planet. The workers and owners at Hawk-N-Yak believe that this animal, suited to the high slopes of the Colorado ranges, is a solution to problems with large-scale meat production and the health problems that come with most red meats. They are proud of their beautiful, powerful and ancient yaks.
The Hawk-N-Yak crew is inspired by hard working local vendors like those at the Farmers Market, they yaks themselves, as well as Ridgway and its surrounding San Juan Mountains. The Ranch is very grateful for all the wonderful customers they have encountered at the Ridgway Farmers Market.
Make sure to visit their booth at the Winter Farmers Markets - or contact the Ranch directly, see info below...
Dana & Carl Hawk (Owners): 970-626-5579
Lilia Doyle (Sales & Marketing): 310-595-0383
Sean Doyle (Culinary Development, Contact @ Ridgway Farmers Market): 310-595-0383
CLICK HERE for the Hawk-N-Yak website
Ridgway, CO 81432