Panhandle Ranch, Environmental Technology Co. Plan New 'Sustainable' Feedlot

(Ribbonwire Ranch)

A developer of an advanced waste treatment technology says it will partner with a cattle ranch to build a 15,000 head sustainable beef feedlot near Dalhart, Texas.

Bion Environmental Technologies, Inc. announced a letter of intent with Ribbonwire Ranch to construct the facility that will include innovative barn systems, anaerobic digesters and Bion's cutting edge waste treatment technology. Construction will begin in 2023. The agreement contains a provision for expansion of up to 60,000 head capacity or annual production of 180,000 head. Bion says it expects formal agreements with foodservice and retail customers over the next few months.

In a statement, Bion said the Dalhart facility will be developed to produce blockchain-verified sustainable beef, reduce the stress on cattle caused by extreme weather and temperatures, while remediating the environmental impacts associated with cattle Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Bion's patented technology will refine the waste stream into valuable coproducts that include clean water, renewable natural gas (RNG), and organic fertilizer products. The revenues generated from these new product lines will transform a cattle feeder from a marginally profitable business into a lucrative one.

Ribbonwire Ranch is owned and operated by Doug Lathem and Chad Schoonover and their families. The ranch is located on the northern edge of the legendary XIT Ranch, a Panhandle ranch that dates back to 1885.

Chad Schoonover co-founder of Ribbonwire Ranch said "We are excited to be partnered with Bion for this initial system.  This could change the industry. This new approach allows us to capture what has otherwise been lost, while still providing a humane environment that doesn't pollute the air, water or land."

Doug Lathem, co-founder of Ribbonwire, said "I am proud that we are working on a better way to feed cattle, one that will allow our kids and grandchildren to live and work in this area for generations to come."

Bill O'Neill, Bion's CEO, expressed his appreciation to Ribbonwire for recognizing this opportunity and wanting to be part of it.  "We are fortunate to be working with a forward-thinker like Ribbonwire Ranch. We realize that this announcement is just a first step in making sustainable beef a reality. However, it is an important step to giving the consumer the sustainable beef they want and helping cattle feeders and producers create more value for their cattle.  And equally important is the fact we are keeping the waste stream from polluting the air, land, and water, and verifying those improvements in the process."

About Ribbonwire Ranch: Ribbonwire is a cattle ranch in the Texas panhandle that operates on approximately 40,000 acres of grazing lands that is certified organic; its affiliated entity, Lathem Farms, operates +/- 10,000 acres of farmland, of which approximately 70% is certified organic. It is considered the largest organic cow/calf operation in the State of Texas. The principals of Ribbonwire and Lathem have over 50 years of combined knowledge and experience growing feed and producing organic cattle.

About Bion: Bion's patented third generation technology was designed to largely mitigate the environmental impacts of large-scale livestock production and deliver a USDA-certified sustainable product to the consumer. The platform simultaneously recovers high-value environmentally friendly fertilizer coproducts and renewable energy that increase revenues. Bion's 3G Tech platform can create a pathway to economic and environmental sustainability with 'win-win' benefits for at least a premium sector of the $175 billion U.S. livestock industry and the consumer. For more information, see Bion's website at 


Latest News

Spring has Sprung and Show Season is Just Around the Corner. Are You Ready?

For your showing clients, now is a good time to discuss a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. Many livestock shows will require a CVI -- even if the animal doesn’t have to cross state lines to get to the show.

Mastitis in Beef Cows: What You Need to Know

Although mastitis, an infection of the udder, is often considered a dairy cow problem, the disease may also impact beef producers. Here's what you need to know and look for and how to help protect your herd.

We Need More Answers, Veterinarian Says About Biosecurity Research

As a veterinarian, Jeremy Pittman, senior director of U.S. veterinary services for Smithfield Foods, says he is constantly tasked with, asked about and challenged on biosecurity processes or protocols. 

Mineral and Vitamin Considerations When Drylotting Cows

Managing cows in a drylot can be a way to maintain the herd when forage production is reduced. However, it's important to make sure cows are getting the vitamins and minerals they need.

Animal Activist and Former Baywatch Star Found Not Guilty in ‘Open Rescue’

Former “Baywatch” star Alexandra Paul and activist Alicia Santurio were found not guilty of misdemeanor theft after “rescuing” two chickens in 2021. Although they faced jail time, Paul says it was worth the risk.

7 Tips for More Effective Vaccination Programs in Calves

Ask 10 dairy producers what they believe is an effective vaccination program for calves, and you’ll likely get 10 unique answers. That’s OK, because there is no effective one-size-fits-all strategy.