I’m from a farm (Joyce) and maybe that’s what makes me forever grateful for the land that we have and the food that we get from it. And I am also grateful for the folks like McDonald’s who express their gratitude for the good foods grown in Canada in their Not Without Canadian Farmers efforts.
Jill Harvie of Harvie Ranching was a part of the recent McDonalds Not Without Canadian Farmers video that maybe you’ve seen on TV or on-line. It’s a powerful video that features some insights into just what kids want to know about beef ranching and farming. And as we parent’s know, kids can ask the craziest questions.
We caught up with Jill to get the backstory on just the kids wanted to know about beef cattle – along with Jill’s answers:
Kid Question #1: What do cows eat?
JILL: Lots of grass for sure. We have rich pasture and range land for cattle to graze. And if you look closely at what’s under your feet, you’ll see it isn’t just grass that’s growing there. Nutrient-rich green crops like alfalfa is an important part of the mix. Click to learn more about what cattle eat.
Kid Question #2: Where do the cows spend their time?
JILL: Cattle are built for the great outdoors – just like the buffalo herds that roamed freely on the range when the settlers first came to Canada. We give them shelter from harsh weather like extreme temperatures or winds. Click here to see how a beef farmer in Ontario cares for cattle.
Kid Question #3: What makes happy cows?
JILL: Cattle are happiest when they are healthy, well fed and watered, protected from harm and get to do the things that they naturally like to do. We try to make life as comfortable as possible for them. Did you know cattle take comfort in being together? If I see an animal that’s off on its own, I check to see if something is wrong. Cattle like to follow each other across a field by walking in an ‘S’ pattern so whenever we move cattle, we try to move them in a way that uses that ‘S’ pattern.
Kid Question #4: What if you run out of grass?
JILL: We pay close attention to how our fields are doing. If cattle have grazed a pasture down, we will move them over to another field to give a chance for re-growth to happen. We move the cattle from field to field so they have new grass to feed on.
Kid Question #5: What do you like most about your job (raising cattle)?
JILL: I have my dream job, surrounded by nature, animals and the great outdoors while being a part of feeding my neighbours, my community and Canadians. This is a way of life that I love. Being outdoors with my horse, the cattle and the wide open spaces makes me happy. Seeing a deer, listening to an owl – being apart of the world of nature is a great way to live.
Click to learn more about why Jill loves what she does and more about the cattle she raises.
Click here to read more about Jill’s story. And if you have a few Questions for Jill, be sure to send them in via our Comment Box and we’ll get back to you with answers!