Read the stories from those who love and support Canada Beef. This is #MyCanadianBeef.
Read the stories from those who love and support Canada Beef. This is #MyCanadianBeef.
Life on the farm is busy. There is always something to do. My favourite time of the year is summer. I like to check my 4H cow & heifer out in the pasture and see how they are doing. I enjoy being part of the silage crew; putting up the winter feed for the cattle. I also like to help in the garden and harvest fresh vegetables.
I am a member of the Hillmond 4H Club and have been a 4H member for 6 years now. This past year, I had both a steer and heifer project. I enjoy working with my beef projects. I love it when I scratch my 4H calves and make them feel good. 4H has taught me a lot about how to feed and finish an animal. 4H has also given me many opportunities to develop life skills, such as public speaking.
“Eat Beef!” was my speech for this year’s 4H public speaking. I had the opportunity to compete at both the Club & District levels. When I was brainstorming for my speech, I wanted a topic geared towards agriculture. I also wanted to chose a topic that was informative. I chose to compare the plant-based meatless burger to a beef burger. I felt some of the advertising I saw on T.V. was misleading. So, I set out to research how plant-based meat compared to beef. I tried to focus on the facts. I was surprised to find out just how highly processed plant-based meat products were. When I compared them, I found that beef was a more complete protein package and an important part of a healthy well-balanced diet.
I think it is so important for consumers to get informed, know what they are eating, and question the tactics used in advertising. Beef producers can play an important role in informing and educating consumers.
Canadian beef is a top quality product. So I say…EAT BEEF!
In 2015 Warren and Trudy were pleased to have been given the opportunity to take over the long time family run cattle operation from parents Jesse and Arleigh whom still remain on the ranch living out their retirement. SFC is a hustle bustle location on any given day. Balancing the cow herd, managing several pastures, putting up feed and moving irrigation in the Summer months are only a portion of busy life. Warren and Trudy also own and operate DWS Contracting Ltd, a logging , road building and Silviculture company 10 months of the year.
They are proud of what they do here at SFC and look forward to the future of the cattle industry both in the Purebred and commercial side of the business. They sell cattle to small hobby farmers, as well, commercial farms and ranches. They believe in raising quality cattle with good dispositions, as well as being structurally sound. SFC sell only what they would use for themselves. From excellent 4-H fed calf projects, replacement heifers for your herd or replacement bulls they have it all. The bulls are ranch raised with no fancy treatment on a good growing ration and homegrown hay or silage, proving that they are what they are when sale day arrives in Spring. Warren and Trudy encourage folks to stop by anytime and have a coffee, or beer and come for a tour of the ranch and if it’s the right time of year see all stock if they are home from the range.
The farm that we live on was established in 1905. We are the 3rd generation running cattle and farming the land and we have been on the property that we own for 5years now. Beef cattle and forage are the primary source of our income year round. Chris was born and raised on a beef/grain farm west of Didsbury. He returned to the family beef farm after completing his post-secondary education in southern Alberta. Since then Chris has worked to expand the beef and forage business by making quality improvements to the farm and land. As well Chris is actively involved in the Beef Industry and sits on Alberta Beef Producers Board of Directors. Stacey was born and raised on a large equine farm west of Didsbury.
Stacey works part-time as a Registered Nurse for Alberta Health Services and is busy at home with farm life and raising their 3 children. “I love growing our veggies in the garden for our family to consume and enjoy seeing our children love the land and animals as much as Chris and I do!” In addition to beef cattle we also have 4 horses for recreational use, barn cats and our family Aussie shepard dog ‘Snip’. It is a busy but rewarding life and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
We raise 3 types of beef cattle: Purebred Red Angus, Purebred Black and Red Gelbvieh cattle. Today as junior members, my brother and I are the 6th generation of Watsons to belong to the Gelbvieh Association – yes – we have ‘clubs’ for those who specialize in cattle breeds J.
Run by Wade and Jolene Watson along with my brother Waylan and I, we’re proud of our 100 year heritage in raising cattle. In 1903, my great grandfather showed the all-breed champion at the “Territorial Purebred Cattle Breeders Show” in Calgary. That’s the root of our pride in what we do. Both my brother Waylan and I were members of the local Beef 4-H clubs. Our home ranch is located west of Medicine Hat, in the Southeastern corner of Alberta , Canada.
Our motto “Breeding to Bring the Best 2U” signifies the emphasis we put on raising some of the cattle breed-stock. Some of the Watsons’ favorite family activities are Friday night steak night (my Dad & Mom are the best cooks!) and riding and trailing our cattle in the pastures during the summertime.
I was always around the farm and loved being in the barn around the cattle but my passion for cattle really took off when I was 12 and received my first calf. The lessons learned and the fun I had with the heifer really sparked my interested in agriculture.
I am part of a generation that is excited to farm and raise cattle and we are at an advantage with social media and being able to tell our stories to the public. Educating the public on different experiences is key for them to have a better understanding of what we do as Farmers.
When it comes to showing cattle, it takes a lot of time and effort. Like most things in agriculture it does not just happen overnight. We like to think that it is at least one year in the making, between breeding choices, calving season, selection and making it to the shows. That does not even cover all the work in between to keep the rest of the farm running as smoothly as possible. I along with other breeders use these shows to see how our choices stack up against our fellow competitors and to see how our hard work has paid off.
I will honestly never forget the first cow my parents gave me when I was about 5 years old – #693! She had a big red spot on her white face and I still smile with pride when I see her progeny out on the ranch.
In this respect, I would say my parents started succession planning with us early on in life to show us the profits and loss of the ranch. Our part-time jobs were working on the ranch and my parents found a way for us to slowly grow our herds as we grew up, which was also our college funds. The BSE crisis in 2003 was the biggest wake-up call a 15-year-old could see in the industry and the struggle the industry went through at that time. To this day, I still give my parents all the credit to keep the ranch operating and finding a way to send their two kids to college.
At this time, I initially had no set plans of returning to the ranch, I pursued a degree in public relations in Calgary, and then worked in sports for the Calgary Roughnecks for about 8 years in business. This country girl’s connection was too strong though and I found myself wanting to return to the land and carry on the legacy my family started. It is almost impossible in this day to start from scratch, so I was lucky my parents were open to have me join the operation and continue the succession planning they began so many years before.
I have a few goals and one is being a part of the younger generation coming up in the agriculture community – I really hope we can find more ways to educate and bridge the gap between rural and urban. We have a lot more in common then everyone thinks and just need to find a way to connect.
Like many, I also have deep belief in holistic ranching and want to learn more from listening to the land and cattle on the best way to operate the ranch. The previous generations have so much knowledge on what they have seen the land produce which is why it is so important for us to learn from them but also embrace the new technology and information!
My dad and uncle have been farmers all their lives, my ancestors moved from Germany to Canada, and settled in Perth County, where our farm still resides today. Some of the parcels of land that we own have been in our family for over 100 years. I decided that I wanted to be a part of my family’s farm in a more formal way after going way to university and being exposed to different worldview perspectives. I didn’t fully appreciate at the time the importance that food production plays in our society. I decided that farming was a meaningful career for me.
I hope that my family is fortunate enough to continue the legacy of farming and be able to pass the farm down for generations to come. It is an honour and privilege to be able to take care of the land and raise livestock. I plan to continue being a key member of my family’s farm until my parents decide to retire at which time I plan to take over the farm. In the meantime, we are focusing on enhancing our cattle genetics, pasture lands and selling more beef direct to the consumer.
Growing up, I was involved in 4-H and Junior Farmers – both rural youth organizations. Being involved with these groups helped to build my confidence, leadership and networking skills. I also had many travel opportunities across the province, country and even internationally. In 2018, I traveled to the United Kingdom for three months thanks to Junior Farmers. I got to see what farming and rural life was like in another part of the world. A little fun fact about these groups is that you don’t need to have grown up on a farm or be a farmer to join, so be sure to check them out!
Christopher and Katie met while attending the University of Guelph. They both have their Certified Crop Advisor designations. They were able to purchase their own farm in 2017, which now hosts Farlane Livestock’s small herd of purebred Speckle Park cattle, and the new but growing endeavor of a sheep flock.
How did I get into farming? That is a good question that I’m not sure I have a good answer for.
I guess you could say I was born? It’s probably the best one I can come up with. I started “carpet farming” with toys in my grandmother’s living room. As I got older I helped my father and grandfather with jobs around the farm, doing more and more every year. When it came time for University, it seemed logical to get an agriculture degree. I have worked for several agricultural related businesses; crop inputs, feed supplies, and grain merchandizing. My now wife, who also works in agriculture, and I purchased our first farm 3 years ago.
Along the way, I have learned that farming is a vocation that requires lots of cross discipline knowledge. Being someone that likes to bounce between things and is interested in everything the world has to offer, it is a good fit. No two days are the same. I hope to build and operate a profitable farming business that is sustainable for my family, my environment, and my community.