Rockside Ranch

Farm/Brand HeadquartersEtna, CA
ProductsChicken, turkey
Market AreaNorthern CA
Total Score1695

Rockside Ranch is tucked between the Marble Mountains and Trinity Alps of far Northern California. Roughly two miles outside the small town of Etna, the ranch is on 100 acres of woodland and pasture—the ideal setting for students to retreat from the distractions of a modern world and step into a rugged experience in nature.

Farm life is central to the program. The daily rhythms of the farm foster responsibility and compassion. Students experience a rare physical connection to life and land that is both deeply challenging and highly redemptive.

Students take part in growing and raising their own food, cutting and burning their own heat, and identifying and solving a host of problems that come with living so close to the land and to one another. For more information on Rockside Ranch, see our farmer spotlight.

TOTAL (possible score is 1800) 1695
5-Bird Rating | Top-Rated
Family Farms and cooperatives receive the most points. Corporations and companies with poor or negligible farm oversight receive the fewest points.
Ownership structure
100Non-pofit 501(c)3, farmers live on farm
100% organic brands receive the most points. Split operations receive fewer with increased penalties for poor segregation at the processor and farm level.
Dedication to Organic Production
100100% organic production (brand does not market conventional)
Farms that participated in Cornucopia’s research providing full transparency receive the most points.
Transparency and Disclosure
100Full and open disclosure
Points determined by integrity of the brand’s organic certifier.
Organic Certifier
To receive full points, flocks must number 500 birds or fewer (200 for turkeys).
Flock size
100Small flock sizes for both chickens and turkeys
No more than 1.5 lbs of bird per square foot is required for full points.
Stocking Density
100Stocking density and mobile housing allows for high welfare for each individual bird
Mobile housing receives the highest number of points.
Housing Style
100Mobile housing
Heritage varieties receive the highest number of points.
Strain and/or Breed and Slaughter Age
100Freedom rangers and broad breasted whites
Birds must spend 3/4ths or more of their lives outdoors for full points.
Timing for Outdoor Access
100Chickens and turkeys spend a majority of their lives with true outdoor access
Enrichments include but are not limited to shade structures, water, novel feedstuff (greens, mealworms, sprouted grains), and dust baths.
Enrichments (outdoor and indoor)
100Extensive enrichments
Points awarded for labels that go above and beyond organic.
Other Labels/Standards
100Real Organic Project Certified
Maximum points given for high quality, rotated pasture. Non-rotated pasture adjacent to fixed housing with lower than 90% vegetative cover receives fewer points.
Outdoor Management
100Pastures are vegetated with some woodlands
100 points for on-farm production and/or milling of feed. Fewest points given to feed that cannot be verified as domestic and/or birds get poor or no supplementation from outdoor foraging.
Feed Sourcing
90Obtains feed from organic feed supplier that gets feed locally and distributes locally. Feed also certified GMO-free.
Methionine needs met by outdoor foraging receives 100 points. Synthetic supplementation receives 70 points.
Synthetic Methionine
90Supplements with synthetic methionine
Under 5% cull and death rate required for full points.
Cull/death Rate
60Under 15%
Chicks and poults that are certified organic since hatching, or are hatched on-farm receive 100 points. Off-farm or conventional chicks and poults receive 70 points.
Chick and Poult Sourcing
80All chicks purchased from local hatchery
No physical alterations required for full points. Permitting beak tipping results in fewer points.
Physical Alterations
100No physical alterations performed
Measures farm oversight. Farmer owned brands, or daily visits by management required for maximum points.
Farm Support
100Farmstead (owner and/or management works on-site and sees birds daily)
Non-scoring, category provided for information only.
Slaughter Method (non-scoring)
Non-scoring, category provided for information only.
Soy Free Ration? (non-scoring)
Maximum transparency, sharing of the organic systems plan, and/or novel practices that sets the brand apart from the rest of the industry can result in extra credit points.
Extra Credit