100% Grass-fed Beef
We are proud to raise 100% Grass-fed Beef, raised on our pastures from birth until slaughter on our holistically managed pastures. We have worked hard over the past bunch of years to focus efforts on the right kind of beef genetics that will fatten well on grass and forage only, and thrive in our local climate and environment. We’re excited about the results we are seeing from our use of the Speckle Park breed, which is a Saskatchewan-developed breed derived from three breeds in England and Scotland – Aberdeen Angus, Teeswater Shorthorn and British Park. Speckle Park are known for being great mothers, growing vigourously on grass & forages, and producing high quality beef that is already winning awards in Canada and around the world. We also use other smaller frame breeds like Lowline Angus and South Devon, that have the desired traits we are looking for in grass-fed beef animals, and with slighly different finishing stages which will help us provide a more consistent, year-round supply of beef to our customers.
Our grass-fed beef is finished between 20-32 months, and dry-aged for 14+ days for quality, flavour and tenderness. Though it takes longer without the use of grain to finish a beef animal, we believe it is worth the wait, due to the health benefits of eating grass-fed (see more info here) and giving a grazing animal the opportunity to finish at a slower, more realistic pace. We do not introduce grains to our beef at any time, as it changes the rumen/gut flora of that animal, which can not as easily absorb the nutrition from grass and plant forages once that change has occurred (more info here). However, we do feed dried grass and legume hay during the winters when grazing is not available, and sometimes energy-dense supplements such as peas to help our calves and finishing animals maintain and gain weight during colder months of our harsh Manitoba winters.
We are very proud of the quality of beef that we’ve produced so far, and strive to continue to improve. Customers appreciate the taste, tenderness and the fact that, although grass-fed meats tend to be somewhat leaner, we try to achieve a good amount of fat on most cuts. This is important to us because a lot of flavour is found in animal fats and, importantly, nutrition! Grass finished beef contains more beta carotene, higher levels of conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs), which are powerful antioxidants, and high amounts of omega 3s (more info here).
Cows Benefit the Grassland Ecosystem
Our Grass-fed beef program is about more than just the meat – we have learned that the cattle can be very beneficial tools to help us in improving our land. We use adaptive grazing techniques, moving our animals frequently to new pasture and allowing paddocks to have adequate rest and recovery before re-grazing again. This management process, which imitates the historic movements of other herding animals such as bison over the grasslands, can result in better nutrient coverage and organic matter development (via manure), more vigorous growth of perennial and native plants, and encouragement of a diverse microbial life below the soil, all which can benefit the capacity of the land to grow plants, retain water and sequester carbon!
Our cattle are well cared for, and we use low-stress cattle handling techniques with them. Calves are born on pasture in the Spring and graze on fresh grasses and legumes in the growing season, as well as grass and legume-based hay or silage over the one or two Winters they experience before they are finished. We don’t administer ionophores, synthetic hormones, or chemical pesticides to our cattle, and use antibiotics only in a case-by-case situation if their health is jeopardized.