CD&J Mini Ranch

Owner: Cynthia Cook

29575 Adams Rd
San Benito, TX 78586
Cameron County

daytime phone: (956) 456-9600
evening phone: (956) 399-7146
Web site:

Application Date: 2020-08-21

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
We want to make sure the food we raise is the best/safest we and our customers can consume. This is why we started raising our own meat. When we started raising our beef and pork, we also knew we wanted to eventually make our meats available to local consumers. We decided to become Certified Naturally Grown because it tells the customers that we take extra care of our animals to provide the healthiest meats possible. I researched becoming an organic farmer but found CNG program suited our ranch better.
Are you currently third party Certified for your livestock operation by any other organization (Organic, Biodynamic, etc)? *
Have you ever been certified in the past? *
If yes, please note which agencies and dates: *
CNG 2020-2021
Have you ever been denied certification? *
How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
While researching becoming an organic farmer on line.
Your application will be reviewed AFTER we receive a valid Feed Declaration for your farm. We ask you to submit the Feed Declaration within ONE MONTH to ensure your application isn't denied. Check this box to indicate you understand this. *
How did you learn to farm, and for how long have you been farming for market? What has prepared you to farm successfully according to CNG standards? *
I learned to ranch by watching & helping my Grandparents during summers when I was younger and by books, trial & error and from other local ranchers. I was not a rancher prior to starting CD&J Mini Ranch. I have been raising animals to sell at Farmers Markets, local deliveries, and a few other places for the past two years prior to that I only raised for my family. It is important to me to raise my own meats according to CNG standards because I know that it is done in the safest & most humane way, by not use synthetic pesticide, fertilizers, herbicides, and by maintaining healthy soil and rotating my animals into my six grass fields.

General Farm Information

Farm Acreage you want listed as Certified Naturally GrownTM:
Total farm acreage to be used for pasture and feed crops *
Number of above acres that you own: *
Number of above acres that you lease: *
Do you have other acreage in "conventional" agricultural systems? *
General Listed Acreage Breakdown
Other (please specify below):
If indicated, please specify how 'other' acres are used
Home, shop, barn and vegetable crops
Please check all items you grow and would like to market as Certified Naturally GrownTM (to certify produce, please complete the separate produce application) *

Please Specify Any Other Items:
Please check all markets you grow for (this will be displayed on your farm profile to help potential buyers find you). *

Please Specify Other Markets:
CD&J Mini Ranch Website online local app.

Farmland Management and Practices

Primary Tillage System: *
no till system
Do you use Cover Crops? *
If yes, please list: *
I add cow peas and winter wheat to my no till hay and pastures
Do you use Compost? *
Do you use Manure? *
Please note general sources of manure: *
Cow that they deposit themselves.
Please list application rates. Give a specific amount or range (for example: one to two tons per acre, ten wheelbarrow loads per 1,000 square feet, or 1-2 inches deep). Do not answer "varies". *
I am working on means to spread the manure but have not yet.
Please list any other brought in fertility sources that you use (specific rock powders, lime, soybean / alfalfa meal, specific purchased pre-mixes, etc)and how often it's used. If you indicate a name brand product, please also specify the ingredient/s.
I do not use commercial fertilizers or bought products.
Have any chemical fertilizers been applied to the fields you are seeking Certification for in the last three years (36 months)? *
Have any non-acceptable pesticides and/or herbicides been applied to these fields in the last 3 years? *
Describe your primary weed problems and methods of control. If you indicate a name brand product, please also specify the ingredient(s), what kind of product it is (a soap, microbial, oil, a botanical...), and how often it's used. *
I have daisies that we hand remove in our 10 acre hay field. We have little problems in our animal pastures.
Describe your primary plant pest problems and methods of control. If you indicate a name brand product, please also specify the ingredient/s, what kind of product it is (a soap, microbial, oil, a botanical...), and how often it's used. *
We do not have a pest problem in our pastures.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
irrigation system our animals drink Rio Hondo city water.
Are there any known contaminants in the irrigation water? *

Livestock Management and Practices

Please list all livestock for which you seek certification by type/breed, and indicate how many of each are on the farm today (for example: belted galloways - 20, nubian goats - 5, orpington chickens - 7, frizzle chickens - 3) For animals that have not yet been stocked for the season (e.g. poultry or piglets) please estimate how many you expect to have on farm during the upcoming season. Only list livestock that are (or will be) managed according to CNG standards. *
Kunekune pigs-34 Bred for winter farrowing 50 piglets Seminole Dexter & crosses - 7 none bred for 2021 or early 2022.
I affirm that all livestock listed on this application are raised according to Certified Naturally Grown standards. I further affirm that I will not represent ANY livestock products as Certified Naturally Grown if they have not been raised according to the standards required by Certified Naturally Grown. Any livestock treated with antibiotics or other prohibited substances will be quarantined and sold separately. All livestock are fed feed grown according to CNG standards - without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, and free of any genetically modified grains (GMOs). *
Have all the livestock been raised according to CNG standards since the last third of gestation or since hatching? *
Give brief details of your rotation practice for each type and/or group of livestock. (E.g. heifers strip grazing behind electric fence moved daily, 28 day rotation, poultry rotated weekly - 3 pens.) *
Cows rotated between 6 fenced pastures every 20 days; Kunekune Pigs are kept in fenced area until old enough to stay in electric fenced pasture area which is approximately 6 acres. Males are in paddocks with nipplers watering system and misters.
Do the animals listed above include cows, goats, sheep or other ruminants? *
Do your ruminant livestock obtain at least 30% of their dry matter intake from grazed forage during the growing season? *
Do the animals listed above include poultry? *
Do your livestock spend most of their time on pasture during the growing season? *
Is all feed grown according to Certified Naturally Grown standards (without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or post-harvest fungal treatments)? *
For all livestock you seek to certify, please provide more information about the feed. Is it grown locally for you? Purchased in bulk at a mill? Bagged at the feed store? Is it Certified Organic? What brand, if any? *
Hay grown on our farm. When supplemental feed is needed, we purchase Certified Organic Nature's Best at Tractor Supply.
Do you buy in some feed? *
Will you be sure to submit a Feed Supplier Declaration within two weeks? (download it at Please note: when the big name brand companies say their feed is "Natural" that does not mean that they are grown according to CNG standards. It probably means they do not add antibiotics, which is a good start, but very likely the feed was grown with synthetic fertilizers and using genetically modified seeds. *
Describe your primary livestock pest problems AND methods of control. Do not answer "none". You MUST indicate either actual pest challenges and/or LIKELY challenges, and you must ALSO indicate how you manage (or would manage) them. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used. *
We have had problems with lice on pigs. The pigs are separated if we find lice on them or evidence of lice issues and their areas are cleaned and dusted with diatomaceous earth, we also add some to their feed for worm prevention. We then spray the infected pigs with enzymatic soap every week or so until the lice are gone. Flies are the main issue for our cows. We dust them with diatomaceous earth. I have found nothing else that works.
Describe your primary livestock disease problems AND methods of control. Do not answer "none". You MUST indicate either actual disease challenges and/or LIKELY challenges, and you must ALSO indicate how you manage (or would manage) them. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used. *
My pigs and cows are mostly very healthy and we have had no disease issues that I am aware. But, if we had an issue such as worms, I would call out our farm vet to take a look at them and I would ask her to recommend a treatment that would work but also be within my CNG guidelines for my CD&J Mini Ranch.
Provide details of all livestock owned by you, or grazed on your land, that are treated and quarantined on your property *
I do not have any animals at this time quarantined on my property. When and if I bring in an new animal I quarantine them for 45 days before adding to my herds.

Seeds and Buffers

Do you purchase or grow using any Genetically Modified seeds? *
Do you use any chemically treated seeds in your operation? *
Chemical/Spray Drift and Buffers:
Is there any likelihood of Chemical/Spray drift contamination of your fields? *
Do you have an adequate buffer to protect yourself from potential contamination? *
Please describe your buffer. Be specific. On all sides, how far is it from your livestock pasture to the next closest use (i.e. road, conventional crop, residential yard)? Specify what is grown on neighboring land in agricultural use. For example: To the north and east, a wooded area of at least 100 yards separates us from the neighbor's corn fields, to the south is a fallow field at least 100 yards deep separating us from a blueberry farm, and to the west about 60 feet separates our crops from a field where conventional corn and soybeans are grown. *
We only have 1 farmer within 2 miles of us and he is over 200 ft from us with a tree line buffer.


Please indicate your agreement with the following statements by checking the boxes.
I will not label, or in any way lead consumers to believe that livestock not raised in accord with CNG standards is Certified Naturally GrownTM. *
I understand that I have to complete at least one (and hopefully more) Certification Inspection(s) of another ranch or farm in my area each year, and that the inspection will NOT be of the same rancher or farmer that inspected me. *
I have reviewed the Certified Naturally Grown livestock certification standards, I understand them, and I will abide by them. I understand that if I have any questions I may contact CNG for clarification. *
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your farm: