On the global stage, we asked folks far and wide what they thought makes Canadian beef great. Just what did it stand for in their minds? The answer that came back was simple: It was Canada itself!
What came to mind for the survey respondents was all of the things that it takes to raise some of the best beef in the world: the landscape with its wide open spaces, the environment with its cooler climate and a community of progressive farmers and ranchers with conscience, pride and good-will as well as the technologies that support their efforts to care for their cattle and the land. Click here for the complete checklist of Why Canadian Beef – along with the video.
We’ve just held a celebration of ‘what it means to be’ Canadian beef and we want to share that with you — after all, we’ve got a lot to be proud of with Canadian beef. We put the best of Canada into our beef. Watch the videos and read the story here for a sampling of some of the good works happening ‘out on the range’ in terms of animal welfare. This is what we mean by Care….
The Short Story: The Care Taker
“Our goal is to keep our cattle as comfortable and content as possible.”
Bill and Sheila Sheard are the third generation to farm their property, just north of Brampton, Ontario. They pay careful attention to the care of their land, and their cattle herd of about 1400. “We work hard to do things right,” says Bill. It’s important to their integrity and to the sustainability of their way of life. As proof of their efforts, the Sheards were recognized as Farm Family of the Year for Peel Region in 2011 and area Environmentalist of the Year in 1997. At the heart of the operation is the care of their animals.
“As a farmer, the care and well being of my cattle is a top priority, says Bill. “Stress-free cattle are healthy cattle so we are always looking for ways to improve what we do. Our goal is to keep our cattle as comfortable and content as possible.”
Part of their commitment is being in tune with the needs of their animals. The Sheards provide soft, dry footing for the cattle, and built their barn with adjustable roof vents and retractable window coverings, to provide a constant flow of fresh air. Water is always available, and the Sheard’s hire an animal nutritionist to ensure they provide the right balance of hay and feed. Consistent feeding times with just the right mix are the basis for a routine that keeps cattle comfortable and healthy. Taking good care of livestock is not just about doing the right thing it also makes good business sense. Cattle farming is a way of life, and an investment.
“Good care of our animals is second nature to us,” says Bill. “We spend every day living off our land, and working with our cattle. It’s a way of life we love. And with it comes the moral obligation that we have to be responsible for the care of our animals.”