Rediscover The Taste of Beef!
In the Beginning
Unlike most, I have a tendency to jump into things with both feet without knowing where I’ll end up. I made all kinds of bookings at the local Abattoir, without a whole lot of sale or storage space. That’s what brought me to the local Saskatoon Farmers Market. Fortunately for me, they needed a beef supplier at the market. It’s helped us survive a long tough cattle market but more importantly, it’s given us the opportunity to meet so many amazing and wonderful people. It’s also been a real joy to learn about the beef end of the cattle business. I love all things cow related but, like most cattlemen, had very little knowledge of the actual customer end of things. I always smile to myself when people suggest how smart I am for what I’ve done. It was strictly fear driven, figuring out how to pay my next bill.
Our sales are quality driven; it's not about the convenience (we’re only open for some on Saturday 8-2), it’s not about fancy visual (we’re all brown paper wrapped). Basically we do zero advertising. It’s all about having the best products we’re able to produce. The great thing is we have control of all aspects of our production and are able to make changes as necessary. We never nickel and dime our production. To me even the smallest of things is important, as a bunch of small things added together make a difference. At the end of the day, although we like everyone have to pay bills, it has to do with the pride and satisfaction of producing the best product possible. Enjoy!
We run about five sections of grass and hay land. Our cattle are bred to survive and thrive on grass. Having said that, we do use a little bit of barley in our rations to balance energy. Just like people, cattle need a few carbs to fend off the cold and to grow. It’s just common sense, as in all things more is not necessarily better; all things in moderation. Our finishing rations have been running around 15% rolled barley versus some industry rations that run at 80-90% barley. Cows are ruminant animals; they're meant to consume forages (grass, hay, silage). It drives me crazy when people think of cows as anti-environmental, a cow takes unusable roughage (grass, unfarmed land, straw, hay, etc…) and turns it into a delicious and nutritious food for people. All without the need for chemicals or man made fertilizers and in turn, she replenishes the land with her own natural fertilizer. To produce a chicken, it eats grain which is in direct competition with human consumption. There is nothing in agriculture more environmental or food resourceful than black cows on green grass. At our place, our cows are our stewards of our environment.