Dan Gattis is a cattle rancher, trial lawyer, and advocate for beef. Dan has dedicated his life’s work to producing quality food for the community, serving as a steward for the land, and educating others about the positive benefits of eating beef and the beef industry, in general.
Dan’s lineage in agriculture harks back seven generations to the 1890s when his family predecessors began raising cattle on the open grasslands near Georgetown, Texas. Over the years, many of the large family has scattered about to do their own thing. Yet, as each new generation comes of age, at least one child has found a calling in the business and has stayed involved to continue operations and further the family’s ranching heritage.
Today, Dan is at the helm of Gattis Cattle Company, a cow-calf operation predominantly featuring the Beefmaster breed.
“My wife, Shana, and I have always included our three children in everything we do,” explains Dan. “Whether it’s through our careers or taking them to cattle industry conventions, we try to expose them to a variety of experiences to see what their real interest is. All three of my kids have expressed an interest in being involved somewhere in agriculture throughout their life, whether it’s their number one vocation or just a passion.”
If you were to look out over the Gattis’ ranch, you’d see cattle grazing over 500 acres of prairie land. Dan’s passion in preserving Texas grasslands go beyond his own personal interest in ranching. His passion also speaks to preserving the overarching health and well-being of the land for future generations.
“If you allow that grass to grow and it never gets clipped, it gets worse and goes away,” Dan explains. “You can over-graze, but that’s why moving cattle on a large plot of land is important. That cow replaces the buffalo herds that once came through, and today the cow is an important part of keeping the grasslands healthy.”
There are many benefits when a rancher rotates through his land with the cattle, allowing “rest” time for the various plots on a rolling basis. This holistic ranch management technique, often referred to as regenerative ranching, has numerous benefits for the land. It helps the grass grow strong and healthy, improves moisture in the soil, and it accelerates the natural process of carbon sequestration.
Carbon sequestration is the scientific term that explains how the land, or even technology, captures and stores carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This could potentially lessen greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change on the ecosystem. Additionally, wildlife habitats are preserved on land that is maintained and protected by cattle. In the grassland ecosystem, this includes animals and insects such as hummingbirds, ducks, butterflies, ladybugs, elk, and deer.
Aside from his time spent stewarding the ranch, Dan has been a tireless advocate for the beef industry, serving in many leadership capacities in national and state organizations. This includes his role as a current Board Member and Immediate Past Chairman of the Texas Beef Council, representing Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
Dan is always ready to share the good news and positive benefits of beef as a quality protein.
“What you are putting on your plate, what you’re putting on your family’s plate, is the most wholesome and nutritious protein you can provide for your family,” he elaborates. “My role as a rancher is to give you accurate information about the nutritional value of the beef that you’re eating, and we have the research to back it up.”